Steps to Successfully Care for a Cast Iron Pan

Got a new cast iron pan? Make sure to make your investment last by following these for successful seasoning, cleaning, and prolonging the life of your cast iron pan.

For A New Pan

1. Remove the impurities by adding ½ cup fine kosher salt to the pan. Use a paper towel to wipe out any impurities or dust.

2. Rinse the pan with hot soapy water but do not scrub.

3. Let the pan dry completely.

To Season It

4. Preheat oven to 450F.

5. Douse a paper towel in corn, vegetable, or canola oil and liberally cover the pan with the oil by wiping it with the paper towel.

6. Bake pan at 450F for 30 minutes. IMPORTANT: Place your pan upside down on the middle rack. On the lower rack, place an aluminum lined baking sheet to catch any drips.

7. Repeat the oiling and baking process 3-4 times (steps 5-6), until the color is pitch black. Once you are done, let it cool completely on the stove top. You can now use your pan!

8. When the pan is new, avoid cooking with highly acidic foods, if you must use highly acidic ingredients it is a good idea to re-season the pan (steps 2-7).

9. The more you use the cast iron pan for fatty foods like bacon and fried chicken the more seasoned it will become. The more seasoned it is, the better results you will get and the easier to clean!

Properly Cleaning Your Cast Iron Pan

10. To clean the pan, use only warm or hot water, NEVER COLD WATER. You should not need dishwashing soap, but you can use a very little without harm. For really stuck on messes, use the kosher salt technique. Never put it in the dishwasher or let it soak in water.

11. You cannot let the pan air dry. You should heat it on the stove for 1-2 minutes after cleaning. Remove it from the heat then re-oil it, then heat it again for 1-2 minutes before setting aside to cool.

Storing Your Cast Iron Pan

12. To store it, put it in a cool, dry place with the lid off (if your pan has one). Use coffee filters as lining to prevent moisture from getting in.

Dealing with Rust

13. If the pan rusts, you can use salt or oil to try and get it off.

14. If the whole pan is rusty, place it in the oven's self-cleaning cycle.

15. Re-season the pan (steps 2-7).

1 Comment
Cathy Smith - Mar 8, 2017
Great advice. I love my iron skillet and use it all the time. It heats evenly and doesn't stick (even without teflon non-stick surface). Thanks!
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