I cooked with cast iron for many years in restaurants, but didn’t have to clean or maintain them. I was a little hesitant to get a pan for my home kitchen, but I decided to go for it anyway and after having it for a couple years, I realized it’s no big deal!
I got a Lodge cast iron because it’s inexpensive, great quality and is already seasoned! So, if you have one, or thought about getting one, here is what you need to know:
Benefits of Cast Iron
1. It gives you an exceptional sear because it has great heat retention
2. It creates a non-stick surface
3. It’s versatile and you can take it anywhere (like camping)
4. It’s natural – so no chemicals to worry about
5. It gets better the more you use it (the seasoning keeps adding on and creating a nice, non-stick finish)
I didn’t use one years ago, to crisp up these cauliflower – but it would have made my job so much easier!
Cleaning Cast Iron
1. Wash by hand (with a little mild soap is okay!) and I like to use these scrubbies. If you have food that has really stuck to the pan, just pour some water in it and let it simmer on the stove and it will help to remove it. They also sell specific chains and scrubber, but I have found the above to work fine.
2. Dry it immediately after to prevent rust. Use a kitchen towel to dry well and if you see some black spots come onto the towel, it’s just the seasoning and it’s totally fine.
3. Oil it with a very light layer of cooking oil. You can use canola, coconut, avocado and even pure olive oil. Just be sure to remove excess with a paper towel so it doesn’t get sticky.
1. Rust does not mean your pan is ruined. Just scrub it off with a steel wool and follow the same steps as cleaning (above) and then put it in a 450-500 degree oven face down for about an hour. Let it cool in the oven (set a timer, do you don’t forget it inside and preheat your oven with it inside next time) You may need to repeat this process to achieve the patina (also called seasoning, and is shiny and creates a non stick surface)
2. Yes, you CAN use cast iron cookware on glass stove tops and induction – just take extra care because of the weight.
3. You CAN cook acidic foods in your cast iron like tomato sauce, etc. Only when there is a large amount of high acidity and it’s cooked for a long period of time – it might remove some of the seasoning. The good news is, you can just re-season it.
Please comment below or on social media if you have questions!