Cast Iron 101

Cast Iron is great for use in your Wood Fired Brick Oven! Here are some tips on how to care for your Cast Iron Cookware!

Today I’m here to pass along some cast iron tips – how to season your cast iron pan and care for it as time goes on.

Okay, let’s get started. We’re going to talk about seasoning your pan first.

What does seasoning  mean?

When you “season” a cast iron pan, you’re actually just baking oil into the pores of the pan to prevent food from sticking to its surface. Normally you’ll season a pan when you bring it home from the store brand new.

Some pans are sold already seasoned, some are not. If you notice that food is sticking to your pan, it’s most likely not seasoned. And if you’ve had your pan for awhile and notice that food has started sticking to it again, you can reseason it at any time.

You begin the seasoning process by washing the skillet with soapy water and a plastic-bristle brush. This is the only time you get to use soap and water on your cast iron pan!

  1. If you notice there are some food bits stuck on the pan, use coarse salt to scour the pan, then rinse it and dry it well.
  2. Take a paper towel and rub a thin layer of vegetable oil on the inside and outside of the pan.
  3. Now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of the oven with some foil and place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven. Allow the skillet to “bake” for one hour, then turn the oven off and leave the skillet in there to cool.
  4. Store your skillet in a dry place without any cover. If your skillet has any rust on it, it’s probably because it was put away wet or has been stored in too humid of conditions.

What do I do after I cook something in it?

  1. Rinse the skillet with water while it’s still warm. Remember NOT to use soap.
  2. If there are any food bits, repeat step #1 above, using coarse salt to scour the bits away. This also helps to remove any flavors or odors that may be left from your delicious dinner you just cooked in the pan.
  3. Dry the skillet using paper toweling. Cast irons pans WILL stain towels. I learned this the hard way and ruined a flour sack towel my grandmother had given me years ago. Boo.
  4. Rub a few drops of vegetable oil on the inside of the skillet with a paper towel to restore its sheen.
  5. Store in a dry spot.

Are you sure I don’t have to use soap to clean the pan?

YES! The pan heats up so fast and so hot that it will kill anything left on its surface. Don’t EVER put the pan into the dishwasher. The detergent and humid conditions will ruin the seasoning and encourage rust.
Tip: If your pan does rust, scour off the rust with salt and a plastic-bristle brush, dry and reseason.

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