Tips on Cleaning and Caring for Cast Iron Pans
Do you have a cast iron pan? I do and I love it. Mine is actually a grill pan that I love to use to cook steak and hamburgers. There’s something about cooking in cast iron that brings extra flavor to your recipes.
Today I’m going to share with you tips on how to clean and care for your cast iron pans.
Some people are extremely blessed to have cast iron pans that have been around for generations. I mean, some people pass their cast iron pans on to their children, then to their grandchildren and on and on. I wasn’t as fortunate.
I purchased my cast iron pan about 12 years ago and I really do love it. It’s a cast iron grill pan and I use it primarily to cook steaks and hamburgers and the taste if amazing. Let me say that again, the taste is amazing.
How to Season a Cast Iron Pan:
Before you even begin cooking with cast iron, you need to season the pan. The grill pan that I purchased came pre-seasoned which is great. I didn’t have to go through these steps, but if your’s didn’t, here’s what you need to do.
Wash the pan first with hot soapy water and dry completely. Then place the pan in preheated 375 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan and then using a paper towel coat the entire pan with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening. You don’t want to use vegetable oil.
Place the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes, remove and pour out any excess fat. Place the pan back in the oven but this time turn it upside down and bake for one hour. Then turn off the oven and let the pan cool completely.
What to Cook in a Cast Iron Pan:
What I love about cooking with a cast iron pan is that it can be used over high heat to brown and sear foods. I like to start my hamburgers or steak on top of the stove and sear the meat to get those beautiful marks that you see in the photo below and then finish cooking in the oven.
But cast iron isn’t just for meat! You can also cook chicken and fish. People love to use their cast iron pans to bake cornbread and biscuits. I used a mini round cast iron pan to make a
skillet chocolate chip cookie. The possibilities are endless!
How to Clean and Care for Cast Iron Pans:
So…you’ve made this amazing and delicious steak in your cast iron pan…now what? The most important things to remember are do NOT use soap, do NOT let your pan soak in water and please do NOT put your pan in the dishwasher.
What I like to do is fill the pan very hot water. Sometime I’ll even boil a pot of water and pour it right into the pan while it’s in the sink. Then I’ll use a sponge or a stiff brush to clean. If you have some tough bits and pieces that won’t come off, you can pour kosher salt into the cast iron pan and then try scrubbing again with a damp sponge, paper towel or the stiff brush. Rinse the pan with hot water to remove the excess salt when you’re done.