Every cook has an arsenal of kitchen arsenals, but if there’s one trusty pan that is a must-have for its excellent performance, durability, and ability to last a lifetime, then a cast-iron skillet is one of the best you can get!
Cast iron pans heat evenly and retain it well, which is great for searing, braising, as well as roasting a wide range of dishes. When taken care of properly, cast iron skillets can live on for generations, but maintaining it can be tricky for beginners as it’s not the kind of pan you can just chuck in a dishwasher.
If you don’t take care of it properly, a cast-iron skillet can quickly rust. So to help you out, we’ve rounded up some tips on how to take care of your cast iron pan.
How to Give Your Cast Iron Skillet the TLC It Deserves
The Washing: All You Need is a Hot Water and Brush
Before and after cooking, your cast iron skillet needs to be washed, dried, and oiled completely, to prevent rusting and to preserve your skillet’s seasoned coating.
If you don’t mind the extra work, you can clean your cast iron skillet with hot water and a brush, and then wipe it with a paper towel or cloth to dry. Keep in mind that non-metal scrubbers should be used on cast iron, as any metallic tool will dull or damage your pan’s seasoning.
Seasoning: Keeping the Sought-After Patina Every Time
After washing all the food and juices out, you’ll want to season your skillet after each use to keep the pan from rusting. All you have to do is wipe the excess oil off with a paper towel, and your pan will be good to go. To make sure your cast iron skillet is evenly seasoned, place it over medium-high heat, and let it sit for a few seconds.
Wipe the skillet with a paper towel while it’s still hot, to remove any excess oil. If you’re seasoning your cast iron skillet after the initial seasoning, you should rub a thin layer of oil all over it then let it cool down.
After a while of good maintenance and frequent use in the kitchen, it should naturally develop a good patina.
Storage: Keep Them in a Dry Place
Cast iron skillets should be placed in a dry location, as humidity and moisture can cause the skillet to rust. It’s also important to avoid stacking them on top of other pans, as this will minimize the contact between the two pans and cause the seasoning to wear off.
The Bottom Line: Caring for Your Cast Iron Skillet Ensures it Performs Perfectly in the Kitchen for Years to Come
People have been using cast iron skillets for hundreds of years, and for one simple reason, it works. A cast iron’s ability to retain heat, coupled with its ability to even out the heat in the pan makes for perfect searing on the stovetop and even baking in the oven.
With the right tips in mind and the proper seasoning, your cast iron skillet will last for years to come. Not only will it perform like a champ in the kitchen, but your food will also taste so much better.
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