I am a BIG FAN of any pan that doesn’t use non-stick coatings. Give me all the stainless steel, enamel, and cast iron, please! I have spent the last year gifting cast iron skillets to my apprehensive friends and family. To get them warmed up, I send a cheesy intro email with tips and tricks and now I will share it with you!
Prepping your brand new cast iron
- Pre-heat your oven to 425*F
- Wash that baby with soap and water.
- Place it over the stove on high heat until all the water evaporates.
- Rub a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening all over the skillet. I usually use a paper towel for this step.
- Place the skillet in the oven face-down and bake for 60 minutes. Place foil or a half sheet on the rack underneath to catch drips. *Warning: it will be smokey!*
- Let the skillet cool in the oven.
Helpful article on cast iron skillets: https://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/how-to-buy-season-clean-maintain-cast-iron-pans.html
- To build up the seasoning in the beginning, try pan frying things (cooking bacon works perfectly).
- Once the cast iron is seasoned, you should be able to wipe off any food residue with a paper towel or clean sponge.
- Contrary to popular belief, you can use a little bit of soap to clean a cast iron pan.
- For tougher spots, use a scraper, chainmail, or brush to clean.
- The pan must be dried immediately after rinsing to prevent rusting. The easiest way to achieve this is to heat it on the stove until the water evaporates.
- Always rub oil into the pan once it is completely dry.
- Do not cook highly acidic foods for prolonged periods.
- The more you use it and fry in it, the more non-stick it will become.
Our favorite cast iron dishes:
- Spoon cake!
- Tater tot casserole
- Any seared protein (Steaks, pork tenderloin, etc)
- Pizza (see attached)
- Cinnamon rolls
- Bibimbap – the crispy rice on the bottom is *chef’s kiss*
- Giant chocolate chip cookie
- Dutch baby
- Ube Pancake
- Mac n cheese
If something horrible happens to your pan, don’t worry! There’s a fix: https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/12/how-to-restore-vintage-cast-iron-cookware.html