Whether you are an amateur cook or an experienced chef, no doubt that your kitchen will hold some cast iron wares. Iron pans are impeccable cookware and can make almost every dish flawlessly. Surprisingly, iron cookware is relatively expensive and can last a lifetime. They have served to be an excellent cookware choice for amateur cooks, as these pans can distribute heat evenly, which can help prevent charring or excessive roasting. When it comes to handling and caring for cast iron cookware, there are several things to remember. Though it takes minimal effort, cast iron requires a different care setting.
How to handle and care for cast ironware?
The pandemic stats reveal that Australians spend more time on online cooking sites to grab quick recipes. So, there is no doubt you can benefit from stacking a few iron pans for easy and quick cooking at home. True that cast iron skillets are remarkably robust and durable. However, cleaning or scrubbing them the typical way can cause them to lose their resilience much earlier. So, here is a complete guide for your cast iron pan’s first wash to everyday care,
1. Washing cast iron for the first time
As you unpack your all-new cast iron pan, it is natural to find some residues or rust on the surface, But this does not mean you purchased a faulty piece. To begin with, you will have to wash the iron pan so that it is all clean and free of any residues. The first wash can also determine how your iron skillet or fry pan will perform in the coming years. So, ensure you use a relatively mild dish soap/detergent and some warm water to cleanse the surface. Gently scrub the surface and the sides and rinse thoroughly. Lastly, use a dry cloth to wipe off water and rust bits.
2. Seasoning the pan
Undoubtedly, all types of pans and cookware demand frequent seasoning. Cast iron skillets have a natural, non-stick layer, making cooking much easier. With regular usage, this iron coating may wither. As a result, it makes the surface rough and uneven. Seasoning involves retrieving this lost coating occasionally by baking the pan with some oil. It is always preferable to buy pre-seasoned cast iron pans rather than unseasoned ones. However, you will have to season the pan yourself later.
Seasoning a cast iron pan includes adding a few drops of coconut or peanut oil to its surface and baking it in a preheated oven. To begin with, gently scrub your pan with some detergent and water. Layer a thin oil film on the surface and bake the pan with a foil-wrapped on the surface at 375 degrees for one hour, and, voila!
3. Everyday cleaning
Undeniably, cast iron cookware comes to be of impeccable use in everyday cooking. So, you tend to end up in an overflowing, messy sink. So, here are some quick tips for your daily upkeeping of these pans,
- Use a brush or scraper to remove food residue or charred particles when you are done with the cooking.
- You can also use warm water, salt or a mild detergent to scrub off the dirt.
- Avoid putting cast iron kitchenware into the dishwasher.
- Instead, for stubborn stains and dirt, use some oil and a few pinches of salt to rinse the pan.
4. Storage matters!
Like any other fry pan, cast iron pans work the best when stored in a cool and dry place. Dry cabinets and cupboards are the most appropriate kitchen spaces to store or stack your cast iron wares. However, you can also choose to hang cast iron pans on the walls for quick access. Never leave away leftovers on your iron pan overnight. Ensure you transfer the food onto different cookware.