Cast iron cookware will last a lifetime if you treat it right. Here’s how to do just that.
Buzzfeed’s “Tasty” page has tons of great cooking tips, ideas, and recipes. In this installment, instructions for cleaning, care, and handling of your cast iron cookware can improve your cooking skills in the kitchen. Refer to the step-by-step guide below the video if you want something to follow along with while you’re seasoning!
First, you want to scrub your pan with a mild dish soap and steel wool. Make sure you cover all surfaces of the pan, not just the cooking surface.
Rinse off the soapy water, then dry the excess water from the pan with light heat on the stovetop.
Flaxseed oil is recommended as the best option for seasoning your pan because it dries the hardest and lasts the longest, but canola oil will do just fine.
Again, you want to cover all the surface areas of the pan, not just the cooking surface. Then, wipe the excess oil from the pan and heat in the oven so the oil sets into the porous surfaces.
The result you want to achieve is a glassy layer that covers all surfaces of the pan.
Cooking with your cast iron cookware requires a little patience. Give the pan time to heat evenly before placing your food on it. You should be able to feel the heat coming from the pan by hovering your hand above it.
If your food sticks to the pan, chances are that either the pan, the food, or both are too cold. Once your pan is evenly heated, you can add your meat.
Don’t move the meat around too much. If it’s sticking to the pan, it’s not ready to flip. You want to give your meat time to caramelize and self-release from the pan.
You can also use your pan to sear vegetables on high heat and finish roasting them in the oven at low heat.
As far as cleaning your pan, there’s a happy medium as far as when to tackle the project. If you let the pan get too cold, the food will be more likely to adhere to the pan. You also don’t want to cool the pan too quickly and risk cracking it.
Use salt and a mildly abrasive scrubbing pad to remove any leftover food particles and rinse in hot water. Then dry the water on the stovetop to prevent rust from forming, and wipe the pan in a thin coat of oil before storing it again. These steps will help you preserve your cast iron cookware for years to come.