Cast iron cookware is a favorite for amateur and professional chefs. Besides having great heat-retention qualities that are perfect for cooking, cast iron is durable and will last a lifetime. For this reason, many Americans reach for their cast iron skillet before their aluminum pans and teflon-coated pans.
At Homco, we carry a large selection of Lodge Cast Iron cookware. While cast iron makes cooking easy, to get the best results and to make your cookware last a lifetime, it’s important to know how to clean and care for your cast iron pots and pans.
Introduction to Seasoning a Cast Iron Pan
Seasoning your cookware is an important part of cast iron care so it will last a lifetime. Though cast iron is sturdy, the metal is highly reactive and an improperly seasoned or unseasoned cast iron pan will develop rust spots when exposed to moisture.
The “seasoning” is just a thin layer of polymerized fat that is bonded to the surface of the cast iron. It forms a stick-resistant layer, more like plastic than oil, and it’s really easy to do!
While all of our Lodge Cast-Iron comes pre-seasoned, it’s important to know how to do it yourself. When the surface of your cast iron erodes, which will happen naturally as you use your pan, you’ll be ready to add a fresh layer.
What You’ll Need to Season a Cast Iron
- Cast Iron Cookware
- Soap (for re-seasoning)
- Oil (with a high smoke point)
Step #1: Wash and clean the pan:
Before we season a pan, we want to make sure it’s free of dirt, grime, and food particles. So our first step is to wash the cast iron thoroughly with warm water and a non-abrasive sponge or brush.
Although you may have heard that it is bad to use soap on cast iron if you’re re-seasoning your cast iron pan, a little soap will help get the grime and prepare the surface best; we’ll be adding the seasoning back anyway.
Once, you’ve washed your cast iron dutch-oven, pan dry it off with a paper towel. Don’t let it drip dry because this can leave mineral spots and residue from your water.
Step #2: Rub with oil:
With our cast iron pan clean, we now rub the inside and outside of our pan with oil. It’s important to choose an oil with a high smoke point so that you don’t fill your house with smoke when you get to the next step.
Some oils that are popular for seasoning cast iron are canola oil, vegetable oil, and beef tallow, though any oil will work. If you choose an oil with a low smoke point, though, like virgin olive oil, then you might be setting off smoke detectors.
The best oils for seasoning cast iron pans and their smoke points:
- Safflower Oil – 510°F
- Vegetable Oil – 400 – 450°F
- Peanut Oil – 450°F
- Soybean Oil – 450°F
- Beef Tallow – 400°F
- Canola Oil – 400°F
When you rub your cast iron, smear it evenly and wipe excess oil before heating your pan. If you’ve left too much oil, then it will pool and leave hardened droplets of oil on your pan.
Step #3: Heat in the oven:
The final step after rubbing our pan with oil is heating it in the oven at 450°F. We like to place our oiled pan in the oven, flipped upside down, with a second pan beneath it to catch potential drips.
Leave the pan in the oven for 30 minutes and the heat will polymerize the oil and bond it to the cast iron, forming a slick protective layer.
Repeat this step with successive thin layers to build up a stronger layer of seasoning on your cast iron Lodge cookware.
Now you’re ready to cook with a well-seasoned cast iron pan!
Watch our Step-by-Step Tutorial:
How to Clean a Cast Iron Pan
Since soap is not recommended for cleaning cast iron, we use a little bit of a different process than you might be used to. While soap isn’t inherently bad for your Lodge Cast Iron cookware, it will remove the seasoning layer that protects your pan. So avoid soap when cleaning your cast iron, unless you intend to re-season it before your next use.
What You’ll Need to Clean a Cast Iron Pan
- Non-abrasive sponge or brush
Step #1: Wipe and clean while warm:
It’s easiest to get the grime and food particles off the pan when it’s still warm from cooking. So we first use a paper towel or rag to wipe out food and grime.
Step #2: Scrub with a nonabrasive brush:
Once, we’ve got most of our grime off the pan then we run it under warm water while scrubbing with a non-abrasive brush or sponge. Don’t use a metal sponge or brush because it is too abrasive and will definitely remove some of the seasoning and leave your cast iron vulnerable to rust.
Step #3: Reheat to get the stubborn food particles and grime
If there are still bits of stubborn food particles stuck to our pan, then we recommend putting an inch or so of water at the bottom of the pan and then heating it to a simmer on the stove. The heat should help unstick the leftover bits and make it easier to scrub off with a sponge or non-abrasive brush.
Step #4: Re-season
Although it’s not necessary, many cast iron aficionados like to season their cast iron after washing. It won’t require much since this is just maintenance of the seasoning layer, so lightly oil your pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 450°F.
Watch our Step-by-Step Tutorial:
That’s it! Good luck with your Cast Iron Pan!
If you follow the steps outlined above or in the video, then you’ll take good care of your Lodge Cast Iron cookware and it will last a lifetime! We hope you have fun with this project. If you need help to find any products for your new bidet, our team at HomCo is here to help if you have any questions. Don’t forget to share your experience on Facebook or Instagram and tag HomCo. We hope this will help you through the toilet paper shortage!