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Cast Iron Skillet Tips

What's the Best Way to Care For a Cast Iron Pan?

Lodge at ShopStyle

Jchild needs our help! She recently asked the community about cast iron skillets:

"I just bought my first cast iron pan and can't wait to start using it! How should I go about seasoning it? And after I use it, how do you clean it? I would love to have this pan for years to come but want to make sure I care for it properly. Any tips?"

To season a cast iron pan, coat the bottom in cooking oil, then bake for an hour in a 350 degrees F oven. When cool enough to handle, dry with paper towels. As for cleaning, be sure to wash the pan with hot water immediately after cooking. Do not let it sit and soak. Do you have a cast iron skillet? How do you care for it?

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danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
The one I bought said not to season it. I've been afraid to use the self cleaning cycle because it smells up the house :P I'll try that and then use oil (I'm a vegetarian). Thanks! :)
amandachalynn amandachalynn 5 years
Dana, the easiest way to clean rust off of cast is to put it through your oven's self cleaning cycle. This will also get rid of your seasoning, so you will have to re season the pan after you do this. It may sound weird, but for an initial seasoning the best thing to use is bacon grease. Bacon grease coats the pan like nothing else can. They do sell a lot of preseasoned pans, but I hate them. I prefer to season my own. I used to have a problem with rust, so I started making sure I give my pan a good rubdown with Canola oil before I put it away. Wash it with hot water and a scrubber, I am completely with the no soap people, and dry and coat it immediately. I store it wrapped in cheesecloth in the cabinet with the rest of my pans. The cheesecloth also helps protect it from rust caused by the rest of my stainless cookware.
danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
I've had issues with my cast iron skillet since I bought it. Even though I wash it (hot water and scrub brush) and dry it well every time I use it, I have issues with rust. Plus, I can't get the rust off (and I've tried about 5 different methods to get it off). Any suggestions?
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
I echo chefdrea. Additionally, a potato scrubber (no soap!) works well for cleaning residue. And NEVER put it in a dishwasher. It is crucial that you get the pan bone dry immediately after washing/scrubbing or it will very easily rust.
chefdrea chefdrea 5 years
NEVER use soap on cast iron. If you need to scrub off food residue use kosher salt and a little water as an abrasive and then be sure to dry it completely on the stove before storing it.
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 5 years
After I wash mine (usually with a little soap, just like GTCB does), I turn on a burner on the gas stove and let it heat up until it's dry. If it seems like it needs it I"ll wipe a little oil on it as well, but usually it does just fine with that method. I've been using my cast iron since my first house at college.
GTCB GTCB 5 years
Eh, most of them are sold pre-seasoned and there's no need to season it either on the stovetop or in the oven. Contrary to popular belief I use soap and water on mine, and then put a little spritz of oil in the pan and wipe it around with a piece of paper towel. I've been doing this for years. As for cooking, you'll have to use an oven mitt to grab the handle because they can get really hot.
Aura-Mae Aura-Mae 5 years
The best advice I can give on cast iron is to USE IT. The more you use it, the more non-stick it becomes and the easier it is to clean. Hot water, a good scraping and never any soap will keep your pan in great shape. You can re-season it is you ever feel it is getting dry. (I use my 15" to cook tortillas and the high, dry heat sometimes makes the pan dry out.)
Deidre Deidre 5 years
Never ever ever use soap on it!
weffie weffie 5 years
I usually just scrub mine under hot tap water. If they're extra greasy I'll use boiling water from the kettle, and if there's stuck-on stuff I put it back on the stove with a bit of water until it boils loose. My favourite small skillet and wok belonged to my grandmother for years & years before I got them, and they're both still in great condition!
thehungrytexan thehungrytexan 5 years
I love cooking in cast iron! I "wash" mine in scalding hot water with a splash of oil and a scrub brush. Works great!
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