So you found this nice piece of seasoned cast iron at an estate sale or your Grandmother gave you hers or somehow you ended up with this sleek black skillet. It’s already in great shape. What about keeping it in great shape? Maintaining the seasoning on cast iron is very easy. But now what?
Well yes, it could be a an effective self-defense weapon. Maybe a mock drum or guitar for your little rock star running around the house. In reality, it’s probably the best piece of kitchen cookware that you now own. That title comes with a price tag though.
Seasoning on cast iron. That is the price and if it was seasoned properly to begin with, you’ll want to maintain that as well as possible.
Don’t have any cast iron yet? Take a look at our Utlimate Guide.
I’m sure that many of you have no idea what seasoning on cast iron is. That’s ok, thats why you’re here right? In short, it’s a coating of polymerized oil that creates a non-stick surface. If you don’t have any seasoning oil already, I’d recommend Caron & Doucet Seasoning Oil. Really you can use whatever oil you like, but keep in mind that some oils will produce a funny smell or even make your cast iron gummy feeling, so please choose wisely. Here’s a short list of quality oils to look into.
Once you’re set with a good seasoning oil, your ready to start maintaining the seasoning on cast iron and really make it shine! Let’s get to it.
It’s really very easy to maintain the seasoning on cast iron. Once you get the hang of it, I promise you’ll prefer your cast iron over any other cookware. The process will become second nature to you everytime you step in the kitchen.
1. Wash It – Whether you are using an old skillet or an entirely new cast iron frying pan, always use hot water to clean the skillet, and never use soap (except for the first time you wash it…soap eats away the coating, and you’ll have to start over). If you have any sort of food residue on it, you can use an abrasive type sponge to scrub with. The Ringer cleans cast iron really well or these Lodge Scrapers work great too.
2. Dry It – Water is a cast iron skillets worst enemy. It will cause the cast iron to rust. Because of this you will have to ensure that every water molecule has evaporated from the surface. The best way to do this is to thoroughly towel dry after washing and then place on a burner on medium heat for a few minutes to ensure all water has evaporated from the cast iron.
3. Oil It – Once it’s good and warm, you’re ready to start oiling. You’ll know it’s ready when the handle or rim start to get hot. Grab your seasoning oil and pour approximately a quarter size amount in the skillet. Pick your skillet up and move the oil all around the inside of the pan. Be sure to use a good quality Handle Cover; these skillets retain heat really well! Now grab your Lint Free Cloth and rub the oil all around the pan. Make sure to use the remaining oil on the cloth to wipe the bottom, outside, rim and handle too. After this, you can set your cast iron on a back burner to cool down. Once it has cooled, check the cast iron for excess oil that did not get absorbed initially. If there is any left over residue, you’ll want to wipe it clean before storing.
Like I said before, it’s really easy to maintain the seasoning on cast iron. Not only that, it’s vitally important to the life span of your cookware. Properly maintained, a piece of cast iron cookware will last generation after generation. After all, the seasoning on cast iron is the the reason you were able to get that piece of amazing cookware at an estate sale, or be fortunate enough to have Grandma hand it down to you. Maintain it now, pass it on later.
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