How to Season, Clean & Care for Cast Iron Cookware the Easy Way | Discover Gourmet

How to Season, Clean & Care For Cast Iron Cookware the Easy Way!

Jun 03, 2022 How-To

How to Season, Clean & Care For Cast Iron Cookware the Easy Way!

 

Wondering how to Season, Clean & Care for your new cast iron cookware? Discover Gourmet is here to help - Look no further and read on for tips & tricks on how to easily maintain your cast iron cookware for generations to come.

A cast iron skillet is a kitchen staple that earns its place with its versatility and longevity. Every cast iron skillet needs to be seasoned and prepped in order to reach the full flavor. Most cast irons are pre-seasoned and ready to use right away, some that come ready to use include FINEX and Staub cast iron cookware. It is still recommended that you use a little bit of extra oil when cooking with new cast iron cookware for the first few times.

Seasoning Cast Iron.

To season cast iron cookware, you will first need to prep it. For this step,  all you need is a little bit of oil or shortening. The most common oils are vegetable or canola, but other oils, like Flaxseed oil, will work as well. With a cloth or paper towel, slowly buff in the oil until the entire pan is coated. After it is prepped, it will need to be baked in the oven in order for the oil to soak in and protect your skillet. Cooking between 300-400 degrees in the oven for an hour is common practice for most cast iron owners. The most essential part during this process is that your cast iron cookware is upside down so it stays evenly coated during the seasoning process.

*Pro Tip: Try Placing it on a Baking sheet instead of putting foil below to collect the excess oil. Seasoning your skillet just once is fine, but for a stronger effect you can repeat this process a few times.

Now that your cast iron cookware is seasoned, you are probably wondering how to clean it after you cook with it for the first time. It is IMPORTANT that you wash cast iron by HAND ONLY. To avoid rust and to keep your cast iron cookware well maintained, NEVER soak it, leave it in the sink or put it in the dishwasher. (It can be tempting sometimes, but it's not good for your skillet or your dishwasher). 

Cleaning Cast Iron.

Step 1. For easy cleaning, simply scrape off food and rinse using hot water. For tougher cleaning jobs, use a stainless steel scrubber to remove tough, stuck-on food bits. Use a dab of soap if necessary. Never put your cast iron in the dishwasher or let it soak for long periods of time. You can also use a cast iron cleaning care kit. I personally prefer, and use, FINEX’s Cast Iron Cleaning Care Kit. Finex has a three piece set that helps make cleaning your cast iron cookware easier, while also maintaining its quality. The chain mail scrubber and wooden scraper get rid of build up while being gentle on the skillet, while the oil is used to re-season your skillet after each use. 

Step 2. Once you’ve washed and rinsed your cast iron thoroughly, be sure to dry it immediately. Do not air dry. Use a towel to wipe it down or place your cast iron on the stove and heat over a medium-low heat to ensure it’s completely dry. Remember, iron loves to rust if left wet. We like to say, “We’ve never seen a dry cast iron skillet rust.”

Step 3. Apply a very thin layer of oil (any cooking oil you like) and work thoroughly into the pan. Be sure to wipe off any excess. After you have done this, heat your cast iron cookware on your stove at medium heat or in your oven to remove any excess moisture (wait for the oil to begin to smoke if heating on the stove) and you’re done! Let it cool and store for your next use. Applying a little oil to your cast iron protects the natural seasoning you’ve worked hard to develop and it also provides protection against moisture and corrosion when storing.

Re-Seasoning Cast Iron.

Cast iron is very durable and forgiving. Scorched, scratched or rusted pans can be returned to perfect working condition with a little elbow grease and some quality oil.

The quickest and simplest way to re-season cast iron cookware is to first wash and dry your cast iron cookware throughly. If your pan has rust, gently remove it using steel wool. Once completely dry, apply a very thin layer of oil to the entire surface of your cast iron pan (including the outside surface). Wipe off any excess oil, then place the pan in your preheated oven. Bake the pan for one hour at 400 degrees. You can repeat this process to build up your seasoning and maintain your cast iron cookware for generations to come! 

 

Voila! You are now a Cast Iron Cookware Care Pro!

 

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