Cleaning Cast Iron: How to care for your cast iron cookware

Cleaning Cast Iron: How to care for your cast iron cookware

Cleaning cast iron is often seen as a daunting task. However, the best way to clean cast iron skillet cookware is actually quite simple!

To clean or not to clean?

You must always clean your cast iron cookware immediately after use. There are a few ways you can clean your skillet, but we recommend cleaning cast iron with salt.

What you will need:

  • Cast iron cookware
  • Coarse salt
  • Paper towels or a clean, dry cloth
  • Vegetable oil


How to clean cast iron pan or skillet cookware:

  1. After cooking, add hot water and wash out your cast iron.
  2. Use coarse salt to remove any lingering food scraps.
  3. Once clean, dry the cast iron very thoroughly with paper towels or a clean, dry cloth. You can also do this on the stove over a low heat if you wish.
  4. Using paper towels or a cloth, oil your skillet thoroughly - this is called seasoning.
  5. Store your cast iron in a cool, dry place.


Can you put cast iron in the dishwasher?

Never use the dishwasher when cleaning your cast iron cookware. You can use soap before your first use, but for regular cleans, we recommend simply cleaning with water and some coarse salt before seasoning. Salt and oil will give you a really nice and gentle clean over something rough like a steel wool scrubber.


Why is seasoning important?

Cleaning Cast Iron: How to care for your cast iron cookware

Remember to season your cast iron! Seasoning is the term used to create a non-stick surface and is really vital when planning how to look after cast iron cookware. Excellent seasoning comes from regular use and regular oiling after cleaning. A seasoned cast iron skillet is shiny and smooth - you don't want your cast iron to look dull as this will lead to rusting. To season, just use a little bit of vegetable oil (a tablespoon or two), which you then rub into the entire skillet (inside, outside and handle) with a clean and dry paper towel or cloth.


Can I soak cast iron?

Above all else, do not soak your cast iron skillet! This is an easy way to avoid rust. Similarly, make sure it is stored completely dry - moisture is the enemy here. A pro tip is to place a paper towel between the skillet and any other pots and pans if you're stacking them together. Do not store your skillet in the oven - if you accidentally heat it up, you'll strip away your seasoning, which can cause rusting.


What happens if it does rust?

If your cast iron rusts, do not fear! You can (almost) always save a rusty cast iron skillet. Depending on the level of rust, you can either take your cast iron to be professionally sanded back or, if the damage is not too extensive, you can remove the rust at home using a fine steel wool to scour back any affected areas and re-season.


Cast iron fun facts

  1. You can use your cast iron on all heat surfaces, from electric to gas to induction to campfires to the oven. Just make sure to heat your pan slowly - you don't want any food to stick! If you do find yourself in a sticky mess, bring the pan to the boil with a few cups of water and gently scrap off any stuck food using salt. You can then clean and season your pan as usual.
  2. Cast iron skillets are the ideal cookware and are known for their versatility. The durable Smith & Nobel Raw Cast Iron Skillet 30cm can be used to bake pies or cook everything from steaks to omelettes. The Smith & Nobel Raw Cast Iron Square Grill 26cm is also great to use on BBQs or open flames to grill veggies or your meat of choice. Meanwhile the Smith & Nobel Raw Cast Iron Fry Pan 29.5cm and S&N By Miguel Maestre Cast Iron Casserole 28cm Black Matte are perfect for slow-cooking stew or braising meat.
  3. Be careful when using acidic foods - like tomatoes or lemons - as cast iron is porous and the acid can strip away any light seasoning. You can avoid this by making sure your cast iron skillets are seasoned really well before cooking.


Cast iron can last generations

When cared for well, your cast iron should last forever. Cast iron typically gets better with age and caring for it will get a lot easier the more you use it. Just remember to clean and season your cast iron after each use to protect the material from rusting and keep its non-stick surface.

Harris Scarfe has an extensive range of cast iron cookware Australia. Shop the Harris Scarfe cast iron range now.



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