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How do I Care for Cast Iron Pans?
Saved 10/21/10 to YumSugar Q and A

How do I Care for Cast Iron Pans?

I just bought my first cast iron pan and can't wait to start using it! But 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 them properly. Any tips?

CiaoBella2 CiaoBella2 5 years 26 weeks
I just re-seasoned my cast iron skillet using instructions from "the kitchn": http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/tips-techniques/technique-seasoning-cast-iron-006719
beaspaz beaspaz 5 years 30 weeks
Taking care of your cast iron is real easy. The one in your photo looks like a Lodge Chicken Fryer so it's probably already seasoned but I suggest using oil when you cook until it gets the slick black patina of a well loved skillet. I suppose the best way to begin explaining how to care for your cast iron begins with what "seasoning" is. "Seasoning" is a thin coat of oil baked into the iron. Now the oil you use is completely up to you though vegetable oils are most popular. Now Tomato based or acidic dishes can eat away at you seasoning so after making a chili or spaghetti I suggest making something real greasy to restore the seasoning. Cleaning the cast Iron after use is easy a little water and a stiff brush is all it takes. NO SOAP EVER! Most dish soaps are made to cut through oils ie. your seasoning. If you have something stuck on that you just can't get out try using a little salt, it does the trick every time. If it's germs your worried about, keep in mind that 4 min. on med heat and anything on that pan is dead anyway. Other good tips for someone new to cast iron: Cast Iron gets hot and stays hot, so once you've reached the desired temperature turn the heat down or you'll smoke up the house and burn the seasoning right off the bottom of your skillet as well as your food. Cooking cornbread? Let the pan get good and hot before you put the batter in. The batter should sizzle a bit when it hits the pan. Then when the bread is done it will flip right out of the pan. If you do mess he seasoning up it's no big deal. Scrub it clean with soap if you like and get it back to it's natural grey color then coat with a thin layer of cooking oil and place upside down in the oven with a cookie sheet under it turn the oven to 350F and let it bake for about an hour and turn the oven off letting the pan cool in the oven. The reason for turning the pan upside down is to keep the oil from puddling in the center of the pan, too much oil can leave a gummy mess. If you do get it gummy no worries just scrub and start over with less oil. The cookie sheet is to catch any drips and help keep the stinky smell to a minimum.