How to Care for Cast Iron

How to care for cast iron pans

 

Cast iron pans area a FABULOUS alternative to Teflon.  My husband and I decided to get rid of all other types of Teflon coated skillets and make the switch to cast iron a few years ago.  I feel like it was a really easy way to feel better about the safety of the food we were feeding to our family.  But cast iron can seem a bit tricky at first.  Don’t fear, with a few easy instructions you can make the switch without a hitch!  Try these tips to keep your cast iron properly seasoned and in tip top shape!

7 Tips How to Care for Cast Iron Pans

1. Be sure to follow the instructions to season the pan before using.  Some people like to season the pan several times before using, to build a good seasoning on the pan.  You can also do this anytime you feel like your pan needs it later.   To season your pan, coat the skillet with cooking oil and bake it in a 350 degree oven for an hour.  Dry with a paper towel and it will be ready to use!

2. To help create an even, better seasoning for you pans quickly, I suggest cooking items with a high fat content the first few times.  Fry some bacon, bake some butter filled biscuits, or make a pizzokie.

3. Never use soap and absolutely no dishwashers!   (but don’t worry they are SO easy to wash!, see the next few steps)

4. Don’t allow your pan to stay wet for  long periods of time (i.e. no long soaking).  Instead rinse it with hot water immediately after cooking, scrub off any burned on food with a mild abrasive- you can try salt, or a non scratch sponge scrubber but don’t use a metal scrubber.  

5.Dry immediately after washing with a towel or paper towel.   Just make sure it is thoroughly dry, you don’t you want it to be damp at all since this can cause rust spots.

6. After the pan is clean, wipe it down with a cooking oil.  I usually use Olive oil, but you can also use use vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, etc.), shortening (like Crisco) or lard for seasoning your cast iron pans. Just pour a small amount of oil in your pan, or on a paper towel and wipe it around with the paper towel until it is evenly spread.   You can slightly reheat your pan for this process if you want and wipe the excess off, then store the pan when cool.

7. Do not store with the lid on in humid climates and it can cause water to gather in the pan and start rust spots.  Placing a paper towel in the pan is a great option to help keep it dry.