If you are thinking about getting a cast iron skillet or already own one and not sure where to start, then keep reading! I will share the cast iron 101 tips and tricks to keep your cast iron in tip top shape! I hear so many people say that a good seasoned cast iron adds so much flavor to your favorite dishes! Steaks are an amazing in a well seasoned cast iron, it is great for those winter months when you can’t grill outside!
What Does Seasoning Your Cast Iron Mean
First thing any cast iron owner should do is season your pan. So what does that mean, exactly? You put baking oil in the pan and bake it in the oven for a period of time. This puts oil into the pores of the pan and it prevents food from sticking to the surface! Pretty neat, huh?! You normally do this when you have a new pan! Now some pans are sold and already seasoned and others you have to do it yourself.
After you have used your pan for an extended amount of time you might find food start to stick again. Then you will know it is time to season your pan again! This will keep your pan in tip top shape, and make it easy to use over and over!
How to Season Your Cast Iron Skillet
- First you will start by washing your skillet with some soapy water and a plastic bristle brush. This will be the only time you will ever use soap and water on your pan.
- If this is not your first time seasoning and you see food bits on your skillet, take course salt and scour your skillet. Then rinse and dry well. If this is a new skillet, skip this step.
- Next take a paper towel or cloth and rub a thin layer of vegetable oil on the inside and outside of the skillet.
- Preheat your pan to 350 degrees. Put some foil in the bottom of the oven, to catch any drips. Then place your pan upside down in the oven on the rack.
- Bake your skillet for one hour, turn off the oven and allow the pan to sit in the oven until it is cool.
- Store your skillet in a dry place without any cover.
Cooking With Your Skillet
When you are going to cook with your skillet you want to rinse it with warm water, do not use any soap. You never use soap on your skillet, the pan heats so fast and gets so hot it kills off any bacteria, and soap hurts the cooking process. Then dry the skillet with a paper towel. I prefer using a paper towel because it will stain the towel, and if you use a regular towel you could ruin it. Next just rub a few drops of vegetable oil on the inside of the skillet with a paper towel. Then you are good to start cooking!
Tip: Here is a great tip to remember, if your pan does rust, just grab some coarse salt and a plastic bristle brush to clean. Scour it and then dry and re-season it like above!
What is so special about cast iron skillets is they can be past down from generation to generation! With taking proper care of your pan it can last forever!