A cast iron skillet, pan or Dutch oven will last for generations. Families have handed down cast iron pans from mother to daughter to granddaughter. Cast iron pans are the original non-stick pans that are also a great source of adding iron to your diet. With the proper care, you can use your skillet for a lifetime. The most important thing is learning how to care for your cast iron cookware. The first thing you must do is season your pan.
How to Season Your Cast Iron Skillet
Before my mother showed me how to season a cast iron pan, I literally thought you had to add salt and pepper to the pan. My only defense for my ignorance was my youth. Here is the necessary process to season your skillet:
1. Clean your skillet with a mild dishwashing detergent.
2. Make sure to remove all rust spots with a scouring pad.
3. Thoroughly dry your skillet with a paper towel or cloth.
4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
5. Pour a tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil into your pan.
6. Using a paper towel, spread your oil along the inside of the pan. If you need to add more oil, go ahead.
7. Continue this process on the outside of the pan to give it a great shine.
8. Once you finish covering the pan with oil, place it in the oven for an hour.
9. Allow your cast iron skillet to cool in the oven before removing it.
10. Season your pan frequently to retain its shiny patina.
How to Care For Your Cast Iron Skillet or Pan
Once you season your skillet or pan, you must care for it properly.
1. Scrape off any stuck-on food immediately after using your pan.
2. Do not allow water or liquid to sit in the pan. Sitting water will remove your seasoning.
3. If you cannot wash your pan immediately after use, just wipe it clean.
4. When you have time to wash your skillet, use a mild dish detergent. You should not need to use a scouring pad; however, if you do use a scouring pad, you may need to re-season your pan.
5. Quickly dry your pan after washing to avoid rust.
Implementing these tips to care for your cast iron pan will ensure that you have it for years to come. Proper care will mean that your well-loved cast iron cookware will make a great gift to your children and their children. For more information about caring for your pan, view this great YouTube tutorial.