Learn how to properly take care of your cast iron pans with these helpful tips.
A cast iron pan is a dependable tool for the home cook. It has a naturally nonstick surface that evenly distributes heat; it can easily go from stovetop to oven; and if you properly care for your cast iron pan, it can last for generations. Proper care means seasoning it, which will bring out a natural nonstick coating. Learn how to properly care for your cast iron pans by following these step-by-step instructions.
HOW TO SEASON YOUR CAST IRON PANS
1 Wash your cast iron pan with hot water and soap. Thoroughly dry immediately.
2 Place a sheet of aluminum foil on your oven’s bottom rack. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C.
3 Using a clean, dry cloth or a paper towel, apply a thin coat of cooking oil to the entire surface of the pan, including the exterior. (Vegetable oil and shortening are the most commonly recommended oils used for seasoning.)
4 Place the pan upside down on the oven’s centre rack. The aluminum foil you positioned below will catch any drips.
5 Bake for one hour.
6 Turn off the heat and let the pan cool completely before removing it from the oven. When you remove, use oven mits.
7 A seasoned skillet is smooth and non-stick. You can repeat the seasoning process when necessary – that is, when food starts to stick to the surface or the skillet looks dull or rusty.
CAST IRON CARE TIPS
1 To keep your cast iron pan in good condition, simply rinse it with hot water then wipe it clean with a dry cloth or a paper towel after each use.
2 Remove any stuck-on food using hot water and a brush or scouring pad (but never soap).
3 For stubborn food pieces, pour some water into the pan and boil it on the stovetop for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, then use a brush or scouring pad to clean away the pieces.
4 You must always dry the pan completely to prevent rust.
Cast iron pans are also perfect for making Dutch baby pancakes. Check out our recipe here.