Ultimate Guide To Caring For Your Cast Iron Cookware.

Cast iron is so durable that some families pass them down over generations. But you need to take care of it if you want it to last. Check out our guide on caring for your cast iron so it lasts a lifetime.

Cast iron cookware holds a special place in our culinary hearts because it's economical, durable, versatile, holds heat well, and cooks food evenly. Properly seasoned and maintained, cast iron can last for generations and sustain a longer-lasting easy-release surface than contemporary nonstick pans. But in order to do all this, cast iron cookware has to be well taken care of. And that's no small task, because no other piece of cookware incites greater debate and panic over its care and maintenance. To soap or not to soap? What's the best way to season it?

1: Wash with Soap Only Once.

When you purchase a piece of new or used cast iron cookware it's okay to use mild soapy water for the first washing. But that's it! Avoid harsh soap and scouring pads thereafter because they can remove the seasoning you'll be trying so hard to achieve. And don't even think about running your cast iron cookware through a dishwasher.

What Not To Do To Cast Iron:   

Don’t let cast iron stay wet or soak in water

Don’t let it get too dried out

Don’t use high heat on the stovetop since cast iron can overheat this way

Don’t shock the metal with sudden temperature changes (it will break)

2: Seasoning Your Cast Iron Cookware.

Our cast iron cookware’s are pre-seasoned but if you wish to reassure the seasoning onto the cast iron then please follow these instructions. 

We're not talking about salt and pepper here… "Seasoning" on a pan is fat or oil baked into the iron, which helps create a natural non-stick coating. The more you use your pan, the more seasoned it will become. 

To season a cast iron pan, preheat the oven to 300°F. 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. Using a cloth or paper towel, coat the pan with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening, lard, or bacon grease. (Don't use vegetable oil—it creates a coating that feels sticky.) 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 1 hour, turn off the oven, and let the pan cool in the oven. Repeat this process often to maintain and intensify your pan's seasoning. Some new pans are labeled "pre-seasoned" but we recommend seasoning them at home anyway to create a stronger seasoning bond.

3: CAN BE USED WITH A VARIETY OF HEAT SOURCES.

IN THE OVEN, ON THE STOVE, ON THE GRILL OR OVER THE CAMPFIRE.  Cast iron cookware may be used on various heat sources including gas, electric, induction and ceramic glass-top stoves and ovens. When using on glass stove-tops, be careful not to slide the cookware around as it’s possible to scratch the surface. Seasoned cast iron can also be used on the grill or outdoor fire and coals for camp cooking. Begin heating cookware on low and slowly bring the heat up. ALWAYS REMOVE COOKWARE FROM THE STOVETOP AFTER COOKING

4: Get Cooking.

Cast iron cookware is great for everything from pan-searing pork chops to baking cornbread. With new pieces, we recommend starting off with foods that contain a high fat content (like bacon) to help with the seasoning process and solidify the non-stick surface. Note: never store food in cast iron. Acids in food can break down the seasoned surface.

5: Keep It Clean.

We don't recommend letting your cast iron soak. Wash your (preferably still warm) cast iron cookware with hot water and use a sponge or stiff non-metal brush to remove cooking residue. To slough off tough bits of stuck-on food, pour a cup of coarse kosher salt into a still-warm skillet. Squeeze a folded kitchen towel with tongs and scrub the pan with the salt. Toss the salt and rinse the pan with hot water, you can also use a few drops of a mild dishwashing soap every once in a while. If the cast iron cookware gets a sticky coating or develops rust over time, scrub it with steel wool and re-season it. To prevent rust, dry the skillet thoroughly and lightly coat the cooking surface with cooking oil. Cover with a paper towel to protect it from dust.

6:Dry It Completely, Every Time.

Moisture is the enemy. Not properly drying your cast iron can cause it to rust. So after rinsing, dry it well and place it on the stove-top over low heat. Allow to dry for a few minutes, then use a cloth or paper towel to rub it with a little shortening, lard, bacon grease, or vegetable oil. Heat for 5 to 10 minutes more, remove from heat, and allow cooling. Wipe with another cloth or paper towel to remove excess grease.

7:Store It Carefully.

Keep your cast iron cookware in a dry place with the lids off to avoid rusting. If rust appears, scour your pan with steel wool to remove it and re-season the pan. 

TIPS:

There's only one thing you shouldn't attempt in cast-iron cookware: boiling water, which will cause the pan to rust.

Cast iron takes longer to warm than other surfaces but retains heat remarkably well and diffuses it evenly.


Cast iron remains hot long after you remove it from the stove. As a reminder to be careful, drape a thick towel or a mitt over the handle. 


To avoid getting smudges on all your kitchen towels, designate one to use exclusively for drying your cast-iron cookware.