We here at TableCraft are in love with cast iron. Cast iron cookware is the kitchen’s most versatile and durable tool. However, to truly get it’s full worth, it is important to care for it and use it correctly. Now, forget all the other myths, follow these tips and your cast iron skillets and cookware will last forever. Yes, forever.
1. RESPECT THE CAST IRON
You are its steward, and it is your duty to pass it on to the next generation.
2. USE IT OFTEN
The more you use your cast-iron skillet, the better it will work, and the more you’ll care for it.
3. CLEAN CAST IRON AFTER EACH USE
Wash with hot water while the pan is still warm. It’s naturally non-stick (if seasoned properly).
4. DON’T USE SOAP. EVER.
And no matter what, don’t ever put cast iron in the dishwasher. Gah!
5. SCOUR SMARTLY
Use coarse sea salt for scouring stubborn bits of food without damaging the seasoning. Use a paper towel to rub the salt into the bottom and around the inside edges of the pan. A stiff bristle brush also works well. Still sticking? Loosen residue such as caramel by boiling water in the pan.
6. DRY IT IMMEDIATELY
Wipe dry after washing and heat over a low flame for 2 minutes to open the pores of the iron. Use a paper towel and tongs to apply a light, even layer of vegetable oil on the inside of the pan.
7. STORE IN A COOL DRY PLACE
For pans with lids, add a paper towel wad and keep ajar to allow air flow.
8. UNDERSTAND ‘SEASONING’
For cast iron cookware, this is the polymerization of fat bonded to the surface of the pan. In layman’s terms, seasoning is the glossy sheen that gives cast-iron cookware its non-stick properties and keeps it from rusting. Protect and maintain the seasoning and your skillet will last forever. Keep reading to learn how…
9. BUST THE RUST
Rub cast iron with steel wool. For the seriously stubborn rust on neglected pans, take the cast iron to a machine shop and ask someone to pressure blast it with air or sand. Then start the seasoning process (see below) to build a protective coat.
10. RE-SEASON IT
- WASH VIGOROUSLY! After busting the rust, wash cast iron with warm and (just this once) soapy water. Dry well.
- RUB WITH VEGETABLE OIL. Use a paper towel to rub oil inside, outside and on the skillet handle. Wipe away any excess.
- BAKE AT 400 FAHRENHEIT (210 CENTIGRADE) FOR AN HOUR. Place upside down on an oven rack; line the bottom rack with foil. Bake. Repeat oiling and bake until seasoned.
Now that you know how to take care of your Cast Iron cookware, check out TableCraft’s selection below