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Caring for Cast Iron Pans
- Wash with soap only once. When you first get your new pan, wash it with a mild soap. This is the only time you will use soap on your pan. Avoid harsh scouring pads as this will remove the ‘seasoning’ you will be try to achieve.
- Season your pan. This isn’t adding salt and pepper to your pan. “Seasoning” is baking oil or fat into your pan to create a natural non-stick coating. The more you use it the more “Seasoned” it will become.Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Place a layer of foil on the bottom rack of your oven and the pan on the top rack. Heat the pan for 10 minutes and remove. Take a paper towel with some type of fat. I use canola oil. Coat the entire pan. That includes the exterior. Place the pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and pour out any excess fat or oil. Turn the pan upside down and return it to the top rack of the oven (position it over the foil to catch any drips). Bake for an hour. Repeat this process often to maintain the “seasoning’ on your pan.
- Keeping it Clean. Don’t let you pan soak. Water is the enemy of a cast iron pan. It will rust and you will have to scrub the rust away and start over to season it again. Wash your (preferably still warm) pan with hot water. Use a sponge or stiff non-metal brush to scrape the stuck on food bits. For stubborn stuck-on foods, use coarse salt to scrape the bit clean. Rinse with hot water.
- Dry thoroughly. Can’t stress this enough. Make sure there is no water left on the pan.