You have a nice cast iron skillet, you have seasoned it well and now you’re wondering how to maintain it day to day. Maintaining a cast iron skillet to achieve that non-stick property and the sheen takes quite a lot of time which means many hours spent in the kitchen cooking. If you love cooking then you wouldn’t mind the hours but for those who hate being in the kitchen, this might seem like such a task. So to save you that stress, these tips guide you on how to care for your cast iron pan. If you have cast iron and need to know how to season it, you need to read our previous post before you read this one.
- Never use soap when cleaning your cast iron. This is the first rule of cleaning a cast iron pan. Soap will strip your skillet off the seasoned layer. Just use simple plain warm water to clean it.
- If you cast iron griddle has stubborn baked-on stains use a sponge or plastic scrubber under running water. Make sure to do this when it’s still warm. Once it cools down the food particles will be hard to come off. However, you may warm it up again , in the oven or on the stove top, if it is already cold by the time you get
- An alternative is to slice a potato in half and use one half and kosher salt to scrub off the stains. Adding a few drops of olive oil to the kosher salt will help with lubrication of the scrubbing process. This method is gentle and will be sure to scrub off the stuck food particles.
Point is, NEVER use SOAP!
A few important pointers to note
- Keep your cast iron pan far away from acidic foods. Do not cook acidic food in it like tomato sauces or marinade acidic food mixtures in it. The acid will strip off the seasoning causing it to rust.
- When prepping to cook using your cast iron skillet, apply a small amount of oil to the cooking surface then preheat the pan on low heat and slowly increase the temperatures. This gently inducts the heat on to the cast iron pan and helps in even heating.
- Be mindful of what utensils you use on your cast iron skillet. Avoid metallic utensils at all costs because they will damage your seasoned pan. Wood, silicone or rubber are good options to use when cooking on your cast iron pan
- Avoid soaking your pan, wash it straight after use and you won’t need to soak it for the stains to come off. Cast iron skillets hate moisture and the less exposure to water the skillet has, the better.
- Avoid storing food in your cast iron. You would rather serve it in a bowl if you don’t intend to eat it right away.
Speaking of storage, let’s quickly have a look on how to store your cast iron pan .
How to properly store your cast iron skillet
How you store your cast iron is very important. Remember, rust is the biggest enemy of your cast iron pan and so you want to store it in a moisture-free place. You also want to completely dry it before storing it. I suggest rubbing a drop or two of oil all over your cast iron pan jut to create a protection layer on it. You may briefly, heat the cast iron skillet after rubbing oil on it so as to melt off any excess oil and avoid it becoming rancid.
You may use a paper towel in between the pans or even your cast iron griddle if you will be stacking them up. Otherwise, hang it in an open place so that in case of any moisture you are certain that it will dry off.
And there you have it, how to take care of your cast iron skillet. It’s pretty simple. Remember the more you use it, the more it gets seasoned and the better it gets. So now you have a reason to spend more time in the kitchen. If not for the love of cooking, do it for the sake of your cast iron.
As usual, we would love to hear from you. Share those recipes that you can only cook using your cast iron pan. If you have been looking to purchase good quality cast iron pans here is a great place to start. Looking forward to your comments down below.