5 Easy Care Tips for Cast Iron
Maureen Murphy, Manager Consumer Trends, Nutrition and LifestylesI fondly remember my grandmother’s well-seasoned cast iron pan, and the wonderful foods prepared in it. For many years I wanted one, but up until several years ago I was under the mistaken impression that cast iron still required a lot of care. An incredibly useful tool in the kitchen, cast iron is ideal for searing meats, retaining heat, and can go from stovetop to oven so you can even bake in it! Once upon a time, cast iron skillets had to be seasoned before using for the first time, whereas today they are pre-seasoned in the factory making them ready for use after a quick rinse and thorough dry. Thanks to these tips from Lodge, maker of cast iron cookware, it’s easy to keep cast iron looking and performing well.
- Cast iron can be washed – wash by hand using a nylon bristle brush, and if needed, use a pan scraper for any stubborn cooked-on bits.
- Do not: soak in water, use a dishwasher or metal scouring pads
- A mild detergent may be used, but isn’t necessary after each washing
- For particularly sticky food, simmer a little water for 1 minute, then use a pan scraper after skillet has cooled.
- Dry immediately and thoroughly
- Rub with a little food-safe cooking oil/shortening (vegetable or canola oil recommended), preferably while skillet is still warm
- Use it frequently as the more often you use it the better it gets as the seasoning (oil) builds up on the pan creating a nonstick layer
- Scrub with a metal scouring pan
- Oil interior and exterior
- Place upside down with piece of foil or sheet pan underneath
- Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour; allow to cool completely in oven