So about two years ago my husband and I got really into using cast iron. It became a challenge for us to solve. We felt like we were trying to crack some code. Cast Irons are difficult because there are SO MANY RULES… and some of them contradict themselves. So below I will give you a list of what I do and I can promise you that it works and it keeps my pans looking beautiful!
Seasoning your cast iron:
Seasoning a cast Iron is so important. Especially a brand new pan. Get it seasoned ASAP! Here are a couple of things you will need to season your pans:
- Steel wool
- Cleaning Brush
- Flaxseed oil or Grapeseed oil
Preheat your oven to 400°. Clean your pan really well at this point. If it is an old pan, you can use steel wool to scrape off any rust or grime. It is okay to put a little elbow grease into it now. This is your opportunity to get it really clean! Yes you can use a little soapy water if you need to as well. After you clean your pan, let it COMPLETELY dry. If you need to put it on a burner to heat it up to dry for a few minutes, that is fine as well. Once your pan is completely dry, coat the pan in your oil. The reason why I choose grapeseed or flaxseed oil, is because it is a non-saturated oil! Saturated oil can make your pans greasy and can eventually cause them to rust. Make sure the layer of oil is very thin on your pan. Then, place your pan into the preheated oven for 1 hour. Once you take it out let it completely cool again. Repeat oiling and baking your pan at least two times, cooling it down after each bake. Then, voila! A beautifully seasoned pan! Make sure you let it cool completely before storing as well! I recommend re-seasoning your pans after 10-15 uses!
Cooking in your cast iron:
I absolutely love cooking in my cast irons. I have 5! I’m obsessed. My favorite thing to do in a cast iron, is cook my entire meal in it! Yes! You read that right, I cook the chicken, broccolini, and my low-carb biscuits all right there in the pan! Another one of my favorite recipes to cook in a cast iron is PIZZA! I love my low carb pizza recipe that goes right into the pan and cooks in 10 minutes!
Before you cook in your pan, here are a few tips to make it easier:
- Make sure your pan is seasoned- This is so important. Cooking in your new pan before seasoning it can ruin your pan, and it can make food stick to your pan pretty badly! Read the first paragraph of this blog to find out exactly how to season your pan!
- Put a little bit of oil in your pan before you cook- It doesn’t take much. I usually put about 1 tsp-1tbsp of olive oil in my pan before I begin cooking. This puts a good coat on your pan to keep food from sticking to your pan. This will make for an easier clean up later!
- Preheat your pan before you use it- This is also a great rule of thumb. Cast iron pans take 2 to 3 times longer to preheat than a standard pan. Keep this in mind before you start piling food in it. The hotter the pan is when you start, the less the food will stick and the crispier the food will be! And who doesn’t love crispy food?!
Cleaning your cast iron:
Cleaning after you finish cooking is important, easy and honestly will help your pan last for a long time. The longer you let your pan sit dirty, the more you will have to season it and the shorter life span it will have. There are a couple great ways to clean your pan:
The first way, which is my favorite, is to wipe it clean while it is hot with a damp towel. This takes minimal effort and is quick and easy. After you wipe it clean, let it cool and dry completely before storing and that’s it! Easy peasy!
The next way, which is how I clean my pan if it got a little too dirty, is to use a little warm soapy water and a soft brush to clean your pan. Yes! You can use a little soapy water, it WILL NOT destroy your pan. This is a myth from long ago when soaps were made from harsher ingredients. Now, soap is not made that way! Once again make sure you let your pan cool and dry completely before storing it!
I hope these tips help you with your own cast iron! Let me know what other cast iron questions you have or if you have some tips you want to share with me! I am always open to learn!