Cooking with cast iron has a lot of benefits- the non-stick surface, durability, and heat retention, to name a few- but they take some extra special attention when it comes to cleaning and care. Continue reading to learn the best ways to keep your cast iron pans in good shape for decades!
Cleaning your cast iron pan is different than cleaning a regular pan. Make sure to clean it after every use, but never put it in the dishwasher or let it soak in the sink. Wipe it down with paper towels to remove the food residue. Rinse the pan under hot water, and scrub it with a non-abrasive scrub brush or pad. Stay away from metal brushes!
Make sure to dry the pan all the way, and then put it over low heat on the stove until all the moisture is thoroughly gone. Add a small amount of oil to the bottom of the warm pan and use a paper towel to cover the whole surface. Wipe it with paper towels until the surface is smooth and even.
When you first get the pan, and intermittently when it needs some care, cast iron should be seasoned. The easiest way to do this is to put a small amount of oil (vegetable oil or shortening, or the oil of your choice will work) and use a cloth or paper towel to rub the oil thoroughly all over the inside of the pan. Move onto the outside and bottom as well, as you want the whole thing seasoned. Once you have a thin layer of oil on the entire thing, place it upside down on a rack in the oven, with foil underneath to catch any drips.
Bake for an hour at 350 degrees. Turn off the oven and let the pan cool down completely before taking it out.
A properly seasoned skillet will be smooth and nonstick, so if things start to stick to it or it appears dull, it is time to re-season it. Happy cooking!
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