I am so truly excited to have you over to my tiny corner of the world. I am a 40 something year old living in the country with my high school sweetheart, turned husband and our miracle baby thru adoption, Norah Kay.
When I ask folks if they’re cooking with Cast Iron, the answer is typically along the lines of, “I want to, but I don’t know how to use it”. It can be intimidating, for sure. There are two things to learn and understand. First, how to clean it, and second, how to season your Cast Iron. I’m going to share with you 4 easy steps to clean and maintain your “seasoned” Cast Iron skillet. We will share how to restore and bake cast iron cookware in another post.
What does “seasoned” mean in regard to Cast Iron cookware?
A “seasoned” skillet is one that has been properly cleaned, dried, oiled, baked and then repeated one to two additional times or more, until the final result is achieved. The goal in “seasoning” is to achieve and very importantly to maintain a cast iron skillet that is capable of cooking something such as an over easy egg, without the egg sticking and/or tearing, on the flip. You must always season and maintain with a high smoke point oil, such as Flaxseed, Canola, Olive, or Grape-seed. It protects the pan from rust and creates an easy-release surface. It also adds dimension to your flavor profile.
4 Easy Steps to Properly Clean your Cast Iron Skillet – post meal.
Wipe away any food with a damp rag (lint free if possible, but not necessary) and a small amount of quality dish soap, such as Mrs. Meyers, if needed. Modern quality dish soaps do not adversely affect a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Rinse the skillet with warm water. Don’t be afraid if you see brown or black color deposited/released during the rinse. This is the washing away of some of the baked on oils from food or seasoning that you’ve used, which is to be expected.
For baked on food that won’t wipe off via step one, use steel wool or a Cast Iron Cleaning tool like this. You can pair either of these with a small amount of warm water and soap. Rinse. For a deep clean, use any coarse grind salt with your steel wool or a rag. You can also use products created specifically for cleaning your skillet.
Once your skillet is clean and smooth, dry completely. This is an important step. Be sure not to leave any wet spots behind. Even the smallest spots of moisture lead to rust. Top quality Vintage/Heirloom skillets like the Griswold pictured here, really need to be dried completely before storing.
Now that your pan is dry, pour a tablespoon of oil (one with a high smoke point, as mentioned) to your skillet. Gently wipe the oil in and around the skillet, making sure to coat the entire surface, inside and out (due to the entire skillet being exposed to water). Once you’ve finished wiping the oil in, your skillet should have a smooth light sheen (as pictured). You may find that your skillet is still wet to the touch. If this happens, simply continue the process until you’ve worked the oil into your skillet. You will get the hang of it, after a couple tries. Then, set aside (hang) for your next use.
That’s it! Now that your Cast Iron Skillet is clean, lets bake something! Need an idea, how about a Delish Blueberry Crisp.
Great tips! My cast iron needs some attention!
Yay, I’m so glad you liked it!
Can’t wait to try this on my old skillet. Seems to continue to stick. Did you make the coarse salt mix?
Love your sweet heart.
Yes, you can make it easily. Make sure to season really well, possibly multiple times if you’re seeing food stick.