You’ve just become the proud owner of a cast iron skillet? Whether you’ve purchased a brand new one, or stumbled upon a gem at a yard sale, there are some essential facts you should acquaint yourself with before you embark on your cooking journey, this is cast iron skillet care.
Caring for Your Cast Iron Skillet Care
Cast iron pans require a bit of specialized care compared to other cookware. Due to their distinct nature, they’ve garnered a devoted following and, along with that, a few myths about how to properly care for them.
Let’s explore the basics of cast iron care for beginners. Covering cleaning, storage, troubleshooting, and what dishes you should christen your skillset with.
First Cast Iron Cleaning
Whether you’re peeling off the sticker from a brand-new Lodge skillet or have unearthed a treasure at a thrift store, the initial step should always be washing your skillet. This initial wash is somewhat different from your daily maintenance routine, as we recommend using hot, soapy water.
You may have heard the advice that soap should never touch cast iron, but that’s not entirely accurate. For new and used skillets, a little soap and water can be beneficial.
This first wash helps eliminate any factory residue or rust remnants. Ensure you rinse and thoroughly dry the pan after this initial cleansing. With proper care, you’ll likely only need to use soap on your skillet once or twice a year.
Season or Re-Season Your Cast Iron
One of the most critical aspects of cast iron skillet care is seasoning or re-seasoning your skillet. In simple terms, seasoning refers to the process in which multiple layers of oil bake into the skillet, creating a rust-resistant and nonstick surface.
While many new skillets come with a factory seasoning, if you’ve acquired a used one, you’ll likely want to enhance its seasoning by cleaning it up and applying a fresh layer. For a more in-depth explanation of this process, refer to resources like Sheryl Canter’s informative piece on the subject.
Storing Cast Iron
Where you store your cast iron is somewhat less important than how you store it. Firstly, always ensure that your cast iron is completely dry before stacking or hanging it.
Rust poses a significant threat to your hard-earned seasoning! Secondly, a handy tip is to place a single paper towel inside the skillet when storing it, especially if you’re stacking it alongside other pots and pans. This helps absorb any residual moisture and safeguards the pan’s surface.
With these fundamental principles of cast iron skillet care in mind, you’re well-prepare to embark on a culinary adventure with your trusty skillet. It’s a versatile kitchen tool that, when properly cared for, can become a cherished part of your cooking arsenal for generations to come.