If you own a cast-iron skillet, odds are good that you know how important it is to keep your skillet in tip-top condition, preventing rust and seasoning it with time, so that it can last for decades. But, do you know exactly how you should season and clean your cast iron skillet? The answers may surprise you! Read on to discover a few must-follow tips for anyone who owns a cast-iron skillet.
Cleaning Your Cast Iron Skillet
If you have a traditional, non-enameled cast iron skillet, the most important things you need to know on the topic of cleaning are to never use soap with your skillet, soak it in water, or place it in the dishwasher. Instead, use very hot water and a mild, non-scrubbing sponge to clean your skillet after every use. Avoid using abrasive cleaners like steel wool. If your skillet has stuck-on food or residue, create a paste using coarse salt and hot water and rub it over the area. Rinse with hot water and dry it thoroughly – something that you should do every time, to prevent rust from forming!
Cleaning Your Enamel Cast Iron Skillet
Working with an enamel cast iron skillet from a brand like Le Creuset? You’ll love to know that these types of cast iron skillets are much easier to clean than traditional ones since they have a smooth, non-porous surface. But, there are still a few things you should keep in mind. Feel free to clean your enamel cast iron skillet as you would other pans, with hot, soapy water. Refrain from using the dishwasher. If you need a stronger cleaning agent, bring water to a gentle simmer in the pan on the stove with either a small amount of dish soap or baking soda, then scrub and rinse carefully.
Seasoning Your Cast Iron Skillet
Unlike your dinner, seasoning a cast iron skillet has nothing to do with using salt, herbs, and spices. When talking about cast iron skillets, it means that you use oil to build up a nonstick surface on your pan and prevent rusting. You can season your pan as often as you like. When you’re ready to do it, simply rub a small amount of cooking oil on the inside of the pan. Heat the skillet in a 350°F oven for one hour. This will help the oil bond to the pan, creating a naturally nonstick surface. Once complete, remove any bothersome excess with a paper towel or dishcloth.
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