Vanessa's Recipes

Cast Iron Care

I guess this isn’t really a recipe, per se, at least not for something you can eat.  But it is a recipe for caring for your cast iron.

Cast iron can seem a little intimidating to someone who’s unfamiliar with it.  It seems so “high maintenance!”  It’s really not though.  🙂

Assuming you’ve gone through the curing process, or purchased an already cured pan, here’s what you do to clean it after use.

Rinse off as much of the cooking residue as you can using the hottest water your faucet spews, and a plastic scrub brush.  I have one that’s good for use on Teflon pans.  Never use scouring pads, brushes, or powders on cast iron as that will scratch it and cause rusting.  Don’t use soap either, as that ruins the curing that you’ve put on it.  It’s the curing that creates the non-stick quality that well cared for cast iron has.

Now that you’ve gotten all the gunk off the skillet, put it back on the burner, med-high heat.  This is how cast iron dries.  You can’t leave it with wet spots or it will rust.  While it’s on the heat, pour in about 1-2 tablespoons of oil, either vegetable or canola – something plain.  Now, into the heating oil, pour in an equal amount of table salt.  Yep, plain old salt.  Grab a wad of paper towels, I usually just need 2, and I make a sort of ball and scrub the oil/salt mix all over the pan, and it picks up all the leftover bits of debris from your cooking.  The salt also acts as a disinfectant, so now you have no worries about not using soap.  See how easy that was? 

You need oil so it doesn’t dissolve the salt, like water would.

By the time I’ve gotten all the inside stuff scrubbed, I can take the skillet to the sink, flip it over, and use the rest of my “ball” to scrub the bottom and sides, just to keep the cure nice.  Then, rinse all the salt off under the hottest water you can, put back on the burner for 3-4 min, or until all the water drops are gone. 

Check out how nice it looks!  Easy-peasy!

2010-12-08b

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