Don't Be Afraid of Your Cast Iron!
Don't be afraid of your cast iron! I know it can seem daunting and confusing, but remember, you can always strip and re-season the pan if you somehow damage the seasoning! Cast iron has become my favorite cookware to use and it can be yours too.
Here are my top cast iron tips:
- Make sure you use plenty of oil (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lard, etc.) when you're cooking with cast iron.
- Make sure the pan is really warmed up before you start cooking in it.
- Make sure your pan is properly seasoned.
If you want to know more about seasoning a cast iron, I have a "cast iron" highlight saved on our Instagram (@millerbrothersfarm) so you can check it out!
So... you've cooked a great meal in your cast iron, but now you have to clean it! Everything you read about cast iron cleaning says something different. I get it! Here's what's worked for me.
If I've made something like grilled cheese and the pan only has melted butter in it, I will just wipe it out with a paper towel and store it.
But if I've made something like eggs and I have some stuck-on pieces, I'll wash it in the sink first with just water and a sponge. If it comes clean right away, I'll proceed to dry and oil it. But If I can't get the stuck pieces, then I will use a little bit of soap (yes, you can!) to get it completely clean.
Side note: The reason you can use a little bit of soap is a little something called polymerization. Polymerization is the process during seasoning in which the oil molecularly bonds to the iron and forms a smooth surface over the pan. A little soap won't remove the molecular bond!
After cleaning, you need to make sure your pan is prepared for storage. Completely dry it with a towel. Next, oil the whole cooking surface and heat it on your burner until it smokes a little bit. This is an important step because you are essentially adding another layer of seasoning to the pan every time you clean it! Now turn off the heat. When your pan is completely cool, you can store it as usual!
Do you cook with cast iron?