Don’t be intimidated by cast iron! Here is how to care for cast iron and why it is an amazing tool to have in your kitchen.
Today I want to share some simple tips on how to care for cast iron pans. I never used these pans because I was always under the impression that it required a lot of work to maintain. My mom and grandma, however, use cast iron all the time! There is a big debate on how to care for cast iron. My mom has been using these methods on her pans for the past 30 years and they’re all gorgeous, clean, great cooking pans so this is how she does it…
Cast iron is great to cook to in. We use our pans to sautee vegetables, sear meat, fry fish, even cook an egg. We love to take our big skillet on camping trips and use it for big Sunday breakfasts.
A well cared for cast iron pan will have a “seasoning”. This seasoning is a layer of carbon and fat that has chemically bonded to the metal to form a plastic-like coating. If you’ve just cooked something simple like sauteed potatoes, you can usually scrape out any food remnants and give it a good wipe down with a paper towel and call it a day but if you’ve cooked something like gravy or fish, give it a good cleaning with some soap and water. It won’t hurt a thing, I promise.
Use an abrasive sponge or brush and a little dish soap and hot water and scrub it out immediately. It’s very important to never let cast iron soak as it will rust.
Dry it with a dish towel or paper towel right away, make sure to get the outside dry also. Add a few drops of oil to the pan and rub it all around with a paper towel.
Mom will often dry her pan on her gas stove top but you can also put it upside down in a warm oven and remove when cool.
If your cast iron has been sticking lately, sprinkle some salt in with the oil and give it a really good scrub down. Wipe the salt out and you’re ready to cook!
There are many methods to clean and care for cast iron. I’ve read comments from people who never wash theirs, who season in a camp fire or self cleaning oven and even some who have put theirs in the dishwasher! How do you like to maintain your cast iron?
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