How to Take Care of Cast Iron: A Guide for Complete Beginners
No matter how much or how little cooking experience you have, a few staples will always come in handy in the kitchen. Among these necessities is a good frying pan.
There are several kinds of frying pans, but cast-iron pans are the way to go if you want to try some advanced Australian recipes. Learn how to properly care for your cast iron cookware by following the steps in this guide.
Maintaining Cast Iron Pans
So, you’ve just purchased a cast-iron pan. Whether you’re using a brand-new skillet, one you found at a garage sale, or one passed down through generations, there are several things you should know before you cook with it.
Here’s a quick primer on the basics of cast-iron maintenance, from cleaning to storing.
- Cleaning Cast Iron for the First Time
The first step you should take after buying a new cast iron skillet, or even if you just peeled the sticker off a thrift shop find, is to wash it thoroughly. Hot soapy water will make this washing a little different from regular maintenance.
You may have heard that soap isn’t suitable for cast iron, but this isn’t always the case. Cleaning a skillet with water and soap for the first time is a good idea, whether it’s brand new or secondhand. This first cleaning gets rid of any rust or manufacturing grime.
After this first cleaning, give the pan a rinse and dry it completely. If you take proper care of your pan, you may only have to soap it up a couple of times a year.
- Maintaining Cast Iron: Seasoning or Reseasoning
What keeps a cast-iron pan nonstick would be the “season” you put on it. For a quick summary, consider this: Seasoning is the technique of coating oil in successive layers onto cast iron to make it nonstick and rust-proof.
Many brand-new skillets already have a little seasoning applied at the manufacturer. But if you acquired yours secondhand, you should give it a more substantial coating by washing and re-seasoning it.
- Cast Iron Storage
It’s not as crucial as how you keep your cast iron, but where you keep it. The first rule of cast iron storage is that it must be completely dry before being stacked or hung.
The seasoning you worked so hard to get is vulnerable to rust. Second, if you’re piling the skillet with other pans, it is recommended to line it with a paper towel. It prevents the pan from rusting and keeps the surface dry.
- Durable Maintenance
You will likely use your cast iron for cooking once you have cleaned, seasoned, and stored it correctly. Read on to see the standard procedures for cleaning a cast-iron pan after cooking.
- Choose a scraper or brush and warm water to remove any stubborn residue.
- Scrub using salts and oil, then wash and wipe clean if the food remains stubbornly adhered.
- Scrub the pan, wipe it dry, and lightly oil the surface.
- Put the cast iron on low heat after drying it with a clean towel.
- Cool and store the pan until you wish to cook again.
Maintaining a cast iron frying pan might seem intimidating, but it can be your best friend once you get the hang of it. The best thing is that it can withstand rough use, which is equally helpful for both new learners and professionals. Plus, you get to pass it down! How cool is that?