To some people cooking with cast iron seems a little outdated. If you are not familiar with cast iron you might be a little intimidated by the maintenance of seasoning your cast iron. However, cooking with cast iron is very easy and once you get used to it you will be sold!
This is the complete guide you need to season, clean and cook with your cast iron pan.
How to Season and Clean Cast Iron Pots and Pans
The Benefits of Cooking With Cast Iron
- You use less oil when cooking with cast iron.
- Cast iron pans are free from non-stick toxins.
- Cooking with cast iron adds iron to your food.
- If maintained, cast iron pots and pans last much longer than other pots and pans.
How to Season Your Cast Iron
There are different methods you can use when seasoning a cast iron. I have found that the easiest way to season your cast iron is by using the oven. Newer cast iron pans are being marketed as already seasoned. Make sure to always read over your manufacture instructions to see if this is the case. Even if your cast iron is already pre-seasoned there will be a time when you need to re-season it.
Scrub your pan with hot water and make sure there is no food or residue left behind. Once you have the pan cleaned you will want to dry it completely.
Coat your pan inside and out with shortening. Make sure that you have a good coating on the inside and outside of the pan.
Cover a baking sheet with foil and set the cast iron pan on top. At this time you will also want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You will then let the pan “bake” for 20 to 25 minutes. If you start to see smoke just turn down the heat 10 to 20 degrees.
Once the pan has baked you will want to take it out of the oven using a hot mitt. You will now turn the pan over so the other side can bake. You will bake upside down for about two hours.
Turn off the oven and let the pan cool down.
How to Clean Your Cast Iron Pots and Pans
If you clean your cast iron properly it will last you forever!
As soon as possible after cooking in your cast iron pan, rinse it out with hot water.
After rinsing with hot water, scrub your cast iron pan with a non-metal brush or a nylon brush.
Dry your cast iron with a towel and then rub a light coating of oil in the pan.
Store your pan in a dry place.
How to Remove Rust from Cast Iron Pans:
If your cast iron ever does get rusty you can scrub it with steel wool and then re-season.
Tips for cleaning burnt food off of Cast Iron Pans:
If you are having trouble getting any left over food off, you can boil some water in the pan. Just fill your cast iron pan with enough water to cover the burnt on food. Then place it on the burner and cook over a high flame until it begins to boil. Lower flame and simmer for a minute or two, then proceed with instructions.
Tips for Caring For Cast Iron Pots and Pans:
Avoid using soap and never put your cast iron in the dishwasher. Putting your cast iron in the dishwasher could will your pan to rust.