How Do You Maintain Your Cast Iron Skillet?

Today, cast iron skillets are one of the most popular kitchen devices. The majority of homeowners buy it due to its efficiency, durability, and affordability.

But if you recently purchased a cast iron skillet, you might require a few maintenance tips. This way, you can optimize its performance.

Furthermore, regardless of the type of skillet you bought, there are several maintenance measures you ought to observe.

Undoubtedly, you cannot maintain your cast iron skillet like a standard pan since. So, how do you manage your cast iron skillet?

Cleaning Immediately After Purchase

Before using it for the first time, you should wash your cast iron skillet. Yes, it has never been in use; but the pan is not that clean since it contains factory remains.

Nonetheless, cleaning the skillet for the first time incorporates a slightly different procedure. You need to use little soap and hot water to scrub it.

At times, kitchen experts recommend avoiding soap while washing cast iron skillets. But small quantities of soap work well for the cast iron skillet.

Afterward, use clean water to rinse the cast iron skillet and dry it thoroughly.

Seasoning Your Cast Iron 

When you season your cast iron skillet, you improve its effectiveness. Thus, it no longer sticks food on the pan and does not become dull in color.

During the seasoning process, let your pan sit in an oven for about an hour. Set an oven temperature of approximately 400 degrees and line the bottom of the oven with foil.

Then, place the cast iron skillet in a downward position on the foil. Allow it to heat for one hour and do not remove it until after 10 -12 hours.

The seasoning process will make your pan resistant to damage and rust. Additionally, your food will no longer get stuck in the pan when cooking.

Often, most new skillets are already seasoned. But if you just bought a second hand cast iron skillet, consider seasoning it to maximize its performance.

How to Store Cast Iron Skillets 

After washing your cast iron skillet, how should you store it? Typically, the storage location does not matter. All that matters is how the pan gets stored.

But first, note that your cast iron skillet has to be completely dry before storage. Even little amounts of moisture on the skillet can lead to rusting.

It would be best if you cover the pan with a layer of paper towel while storing it. This way, it won’t get damaged by other kitchen devices like knives.

You can store the pan in your drawers or hang it on your countertop walls. All you need to do is ensure the equipment is safe from rust and damage from other kitchen appliances.

Cast Iron Maintenance

After cooking with your cast iron skillet, you may want to know how to clean this cookware. There are so many myths about cleaning these pans.

But if you are a new cast iron skillet owner, consider incorporating the below tips. Additionally, if you use your skillet daily, you might want to know the right way to wash and maintain this device.

Rinse With Clean, Warm Water and Remove Stuck Food Particles Using a Gentle Brush

Suppose you used the cast iron skillet for deep frying, all you need is a simple rinse. Use clean, warm water to scrub the pan smoothly in all areas.

Soap will not be necessary. Nonetheless, if food particles are stuck on the pan, a smooth kitchen brush is useful to scrape them off.

Consider Using a Mixture of Salt and Oil to Remove Stubborn Food Particles Stuck On the Pan

Occasionally, it may not be easy to remove food particles on the pan. In such instances, warm water and gentle brushing are not enough.

Consider using a mixture of kosher salt and canola oil to scrub the pan. Put a little portion of the mixture in the pan and use paper towels to get rid of the food particles stuck on the pan.

While using canola oil and kosher salt, a brush is not necessary since the mixture does most of the work.

Allow the Pan to Dry Completely By Heating It Gently 

After washing the pan, ensure it is completely dry. Letting it sit to dry on the kitchen counter may not be enough.

So, use a dry kitchen towel to wipe off the water on the pan. Afterward, place the pan on low heat to foster complete drying.

Apply a thin oil coating over the pan to ensure it is completely dry.

Store It Well Until It Is Ready For Use 

When the pan is completely dry, allow it to cool and store it in a clean, dry place.

In case you store it among other kitchen equipment, line it with a paper towel to avoid unnecessary scratches and damage.

Common Do’s & Don’ts of Cooking in Cast Iron 

Be Open to Trying Out New Recipes

Cast iron skillets accommodate cooking a variety of foods like pork, fish, and eggs. So, do not be afraid of trying out new delicacies on these pans. It will not make them any less valid.

Avoid using sharp kitchen equipment that can ruin your cast iron

While cooking on your cast iron skillet, be mindful of the kitchen appliances that come into contact with these pans.

For instance, using a sharp fork can lead to scratches on your skillet. Doing this can shorten their lifespan.

Do Not Store Food in Cast Irons 

Suppose you have leftover foods, do not leave them on the pan. They can quicken food rooting and also damage the pan.

Clean the Pan Right Away

Once you finish using the pan, it is advisable to clean it immediately. Also, do not soak the pan for a long time to prevent rust bits.

The Bottom Line

Cast iron skillets are suitable for kitchen use. But they function optimally only when taken care of in the right manner.

So, users should clean the pan using warm water and sometimes soap. Before storing the pan, they ought to dry it thoroughly using various techniques.

Seasoning cast iron skillets is also a good practice as it fosters the pan’s effectiveness.