Do you own cast iron cookware? I do, but must admit, until recently I haven't used it much. Mostly because I'm afraid of messing it up/not cleaning it properly/not being able to get it re-seasoned. But, there comes a point when you just have to take the leap...so, I've done it. I've been cooking more with cast iron. And...I'm a fan.
So, exactly how do you care for cast iron? Like most things, you'll find all kinds of advice out there, but here's a few good guidelines:
- Season it when you purchase it. Yes, I know it says "pre-seasoned," but a little extra won't hurt. To season, rub a little oil (use a neutral oil - i.e. vegetable, canola, or even shortening) onto the pan, then heat the pan up, either on the stove top or in the oven, until it's super hot; allow to cool. Repeat a few times, and voila...you've seasoned your pan.
- Clean it after each use. This may mean simply wiping with a wet towel, but don't be afraid to use a little soap and water to scrub away any gunk. Dry it immediately after washing!
- Re-season it. See above.
- Use it. The more you use your cast iron, the better it will be!
- Water is it's enemy. Don't let your cast iron stay wet. That means, don't let it sit in the sink while you eat dinner, and dry it immediately after cleaning. Since you should be in the habit of re-seasoning your pan after each use anyway, pop it in a hot oven to make sure all the water evaporates, let it cool, then season.