Cast iron cookware has been around for many years, and while it might seem like an old technology, it’s still one of the best types of cookware you can own today. The main draw of cast iron cookware is its ability to withstand high heat and distribute that heat evenly throughout the pan, making it ideal for searing meats or caramelizing vegetables. And if you take proper care of your cast iron cookware, it can last for decades and allow you to use a combi oven while preparing buffet for guests.
Cast iron cookware is extremely durable, earning a reputation as a kitchen workhorse. However, knowing how to care for your cast iron cookware can go a long way. Simply follow Le Creuset’s cast iron cooking tips and learn more about caring for your cookware.
It’s important to avoid thermal shock when cleaning your cast iron cookware. This means letting the cookware cool down before rinsing it with cold water. If you don’t, the sudden temperature change can cause the cookware to crack or break.
To clean your cast iron cookware, start scraping off any food stuck. Then, rinse it with hot water and mild soap. Be sure to dry it thoroughly before storing it away. You should also coat it with oil before putting it away so that the next time you use it, the food won’t stick to the surface. Don’t forget to apply a light layer of oil each time you use it. As an added bonus, if you do this, your food will come out much more crispy than usual.
Most people assume that all they need to do is wash cookware and then leave it out to air-dry, but there are some additional steps you can take for better care of your cookware. Remember not to put it back on the stove until it completely cools down. And be sure not to put your cast iron cookware away wet because doing so could lead to rusting or mold growth, compromising its nonstick qualities.
Abrasive cleaning agents will damage the seasoning on your cookware and cause it to rust. Instead, opt for mild dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge. Be sure to rinse your cookware thoroughly after cleaning to remove any soap residue. If your cookware is particularly dirty, you can also boil water in it for a few minutes to loosen any stuck-on food. Use an abrasive sponge or steel wool pad only as a last resort.
To protect your cast iron from rusting, dry it thoroughly before storing or applying another layer of oil. You can store your cast iron away from heat sources, such as ovens and stoves, to prevent accidental cooking stains.
When you’re not using your cast iron cookware, it’s important to store it properly. A dry cupboard or airy space is recommended. If you must store it in a damp area, make sure to dry it thoroughly before using it again.
Once the pan is clean, dry it completely and rub it with a light layer of oil. You can also season your cast iron cookware at this point. Seasoning involves heating up your skillet or pot until it smokes and then rubbing it down with fat. Repeat this process two more times so that the oil has been cooked into the surface of the metal. You’ll know when your seasoning is complete because the pan will have a black sheen and be non-stick. Then your cast iron cookware is ready for storage until next time when needed.
If your pan looks a little worse for the wear, don’t worry — a little elbow grease will go a long way. To remove stubborn residues, use warm soapy water and a stiff brush. First, preheat your cast iron cookware. Next, place your cookware in the sink and add enough hot water to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a squirt of dish soap and scrub the pan with a stiff brush. Rinse the pan with hot water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel.
Finally, place the cast iron cookware in the oven for some minutes to help remove any residual moisture. With these easy steps, you’ll have your cast iron clean and ready for storage or use.
It’s important to dry your cast iron cookware before storing it completely. Even one droplet of water can lead to rust. The best way to dry your cookware is to heat it on the stove for a few minutes. This will evaporate any remaining water. Once it’s dry, you can rub it down with a light layer of oil. This will help protect the cookware from rust and corrosion. You should also store your cookware in a dark place, such as in a cabinet or under the sink. If food residue on your pan won’t come off, don’t use harsh cleaners like steel wool or dish soap because they’ll scratch up the surface. Just use hot water and scrub bubbles with baking soda (or similar).
If you’ve just purchased a cast iron pan, the first thing you need to do is season it. This creates a naturally nonstick surface and prevents rust. To season your pan, heat it on the stovetop over medium heat until it’s hot, then rub it with a thin layer of oil. You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or even shortening. Then, put the pan in the oven upside down on the middle rack and bake it. Allow the pan to cool completely before using it or storing it. When cooking, don’t let anything touch the pan that might scratch its surfaces, such as metal utensils or nylon scrubbers.
You should only clean your cast iron cookware with a stiff brush and hot water. Just after cooking, wipe out any bits of food stuck to the pan’s surface with paper towels.