I absolutely LOVE my cast iron pans. They not only make me feel like Laura Ingles Wilder, but they are a fantastic way to add iron to my family’s diet and cook delicious food.
I have 2 cast irons that I use on a regular basis – one with sides for breads, breakfast pancake, fried apples, french toast and sweet items and a flat one for steaks, bacon, fish, and pork chops. Since cast iron maintains some of the flavor of the food you cook in it, I don’t like to mix the two up.
After using a cast iron pan, its important to clean it properly.
I scrape any food or grease residue out with a plastic scraper,
rinse with warm water, and wipe with a clean cloth. Its that
The Rules of Cast Iron
NEVER Use Soap
The thing that makes a cast iron so great is the natural “season” that the pan develops. This is the oil and grease that remains on the pan giving it a natural nonstick finish. When you use soap, all of that season is stripped. The pan will quickly rust, change colors, and you won’t be able to cook in it. Only use water and oil to clean your cast iron – never ever soap.
Don’t be afraid to oil your cast iron before cooking in it and after cleaning. Regular oiling keeps your pan in tip top shape. I use olive oil by spritzing a little on and wiping it with a clean rag or paper towel.
How to “Rehabilitate” a Cast Iron Pan
Sometimes, we accidentally use soap on a beloved cast iron or we find a used one that we wish to clean and restore to working condition.
To do this, assess how bad the damage is. If there is rust, scrub with soap-free steel wool or sand and water until ALL signs of rust are gone. Rinse the pan thoroughly with warm water. Do not use soap. Wipe with a clean cloth. Next preheat your oven to 300 degrees and pour about 1/4 cup of pure olive oil into the bottom of your cast iron. Use your fingers or a clean cloth to spread the oil up the sides of the pan. Make sure there is still enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan – add more if necessary. Put your oiled pan in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the hot pan and wipe most (not all) of the oil out with a clean cloth. Ta da!