Whether you have invested two hundred plus dollars on your cast iron cookware or a little over ten dollars, the fact still remains that cast iron requires a certain amount of care. So keep reading and do these simple steps when it comes to caring for your cast iron cookware, if you like it to last for generations to come.
If you do these simple steps when it comes to caring for your cast iron, you will find that using cast iron is not as bad as you may have thought. Of course, this only appplies to those who are new to cast iron or are considering purchasing some form of cast iron cookware.
- Wipe away any excess grease or oils from your cast iron cookware with either a towel designated just for your cast iron cookwares or a paper towel (most preferably, a linen towel or a microfiber towel). You can stop here if you are feeling too lazy to continue or simply do not have the time to finish the clean up process. That is provided you don’t have any stuck on foods that may prove even more difficult to remove at a later time.
- Next, use a sponge (free of any soap) with some warm water to gently cleanse your cast iron cookware.
- Once you have rinsed your cast ron cookware with warm water, clean or wipe down your cast-iron cookware with a wet or damp sponge. And make sure to dry your cast iron really well with a clean cloth or towel. This is one of the most important steps in caring for your cast iron cookware as it will prevent oxidation from the water being left on the surface of your iron cookware.
- You can choose to gently heat up your cast iron cookware to ensure it is completely dry and to help open up the “pores” of the iron to further ensure the oil seeps into the “pores”, thereby, reinforcing your seasoning layer, or…
- Once completely towel dried, you can apply a thin layer of an oil of your choosing. I find the best oil to use is flaxseed oil…. However, you may choose an oil that will not go rancid after a few days of being exposed to the air, especially if you choose to skip heating up your cast iron vessel. Otherwise, you will find that your cast iron cookware has a slightly off putting smell and somewhat tacky feeling. You can stop here if you like or you can take the following detailed steps for heating and oiling your cast iron.
- Dry your cast iron cookware and place it on your stovetop on low to medium low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes (10 minutes if using low heat and 5 minutes if using medium low heat). This is to open up the pores of the metal (heat expands metal) so it can easily receive the coating of oil you will be applying. Once evenly heated, carefully apply a nickel sized amount of oil, up to a quarter sized amount for a large pot…and use a clean towel to buff it in so to speak. This will give your cast iron pots and pans in nice protective layer of oil keeping any oxidation that can happen at bay. This also gives you the added perk of that shiny, glossy, black patina that is coveted when it comes to well cared for cast iron cookwares. Repeat this step every time you use your cast iron cookware for a well-seasoned heirloom piece.
Don’ts for Cast Iron
- Air drying
- Scrubbing your seasoned pan with soap and water (a drop or two of soap diluted in water, can help cut through grime on you cast iron cookware, but it is up to you whether you choose to use any amount of soap on your seasoned cookware: TIP: baking soda works just as well*)
- No to any use of soap on bare unseasoned cast iron (think rust galore! Plus you don’t want foods you cook being flavored with dish soap…).
- Avoid using metal utensils on freshly seasoned cookware to avoid damaging your seasoning – wooden utensils are best, silicone utensils are a close second.
If you have any questions or have any tips on how you care for your cast iron cookware be sure to include them in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
Please feel free to check out our other posts and be sure to continue visiting our site for more reviews and resources when it comes to cast iron cookware and accessories.
*TIP: Using baking saoda to absorb the fats and oils from your cast iron pots and or pans will make even the most stubborn greasy deposits quickly removeable. For best results, just be sure to add a good tablespoon or two (depending on size of cast iron vessel) directly to your pot before you add any water and simply use a dry sponge or cloth to move the baking soda around the pot until most of the fats and or oils are absorbed. Then dispose of it accordingly and proceed to rinse with warm water until all resiude of the baking soda is gone. Then, proceed to oil accordingly.