Basic guide to caring for cast iron pans Leave a comment

Choosing a good frying pan is not an easy task and can be something very personal, but it is clear that a minimum investment is essential to achieve the best results. But if cast or cast iron survives modern fads and innovations, it will be for a reason; the so-called “pans of a lifetime" are a safe bet, as long as we take good care of them.

Curing protects the pan and creates that non-stick film that will allow us to cook without problems. It is very simple and it will hardly take us time:

  1. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place it on the lower level of the oven.

  2. Preheat the oven to 250ºC.

  3. Clean the pan with hot water and a little mild soap, with a soft sponge.

  4. Rinse and dry the pan very well with a cloth that does not leave traces of thread or lint.

  5. Generously grease the entire surface with vegetable, sunflower or olive oil, including the handle, the handles and the back. It’s easier with kitchen paper.
  6. Place skillet upside down on a rack on the middle level of the oven.
  7. Bake for 1 hour.
  8. Turn the oven off and let it cool completely, at least 3 hours. Remove any possible remains of dirt with kitchen paper.

From this moment we can use it. And the more we use our iron pan, the better results it will give us, without forgetting the basic cleaning rules.

How to clean and scrub a cast iron skillet?

After cooking with it, when it is cold to the touch, it is convenient to remove the solid remains of food with the help of kitchen paper, if necessary. For stubborn dirt, it is best to scrub them directly by hand and not use the dishwasher. We can pour water while they are still hot – something that should never be done with pans that do have non-stick coatings – to rinse off the first layer of dirt. We will not need detergent if we cover the bottom with salt and rub with a sponge; When rinsing it, we will see how it should come out clean. If it doesn’t work or we don’t have as much salt on hand, they can also be scrubbed with a neutral dish detergent, rubbing fearlessly with the softest part of a non-aggressive scouring pad.

They should always be rinsed very well and dried immediately to avoid rust. The most effective thing is to use the own fire of the kitchen or the oven, if we have it on. Otherwise, a good absorbent cloth or kitchen paper.

Once clean and dry, it is time to reapply a small layer of oil all over the surface; It does not have to be very abundant, a teaspoon well spread with paper is enough. It is an especially important step if we have scrubbed it with detergent, since the soap can remove the previous cure.

Frequent mistakes to avoid

I insist that good maintenance is essential to enjoy our cast iron pans for a long time, they can even pass to our heirs. There are cheap brands, but if we also wanted to invest in a more expensive model, it would be a shame if it broke down after a few years.

These are the main mistakes that are usually made with these pans, mainly due to laziness or laziness, and that we must always avoid:

  • Not doing the first cure correctly. Typical error if the peculiarities of this material are unknown; and don’t skip any steps.

  • Cook with too large a heat source. These pans will allow us to spend less energy if we have a minimum of patience to wait for them to heat up, it does not make sense to use the largest fire in the kitchen or use the maximum power.

  • Take the handle without protection. It is easy to get carried away by habit, but beware: iron burns, a lot. Have a washcloth or cloth handy.

  • Use sharp utensils for cooking. Iron is very strong, but we don’t want to try our luck by stirring food with sharp forks or knives, which could also spoil.

  • Do not clean them after each use. It is advisable to get into the routine of cleaning the pan early once we have finished using it.

  • Let them soak. Never resort to the trick of soaking the dirty container, much less with a greaseproof detergent.

  • Don’t dry them well. Iron rusts: never forget to drain and dry well.

  • Do not renew the fat layer. Over time, we may be able to skip this step if we use it frequently, but it never hurts to re-grease the entire pan with oil.

  • Forget about greasing the outside. The only exception is vitrified iron pans, which do not need it.

  • Put them in the dishwasher. Never more. They are always cleaned by hand.

  • Save them in any way. Our kitchen utensils should also be pampered in their storage: order, without stacking, with protectors between one pan and another -if we stack them-, and in a clean place, without humidity or heat sources, and without dust.

Cast or cast iron pans are one of my favorites at home and I love to use them for all kinds of recipes, especially combined with the fire with the oven. Using them well they will give us many delights for many years, without forgetting that they look very beautiful. They can be a great gift for any hobbyist.

Source: Directo al Paladar

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