These are just a few tips about how to take care of cast iron skillets and cookware that I learned from my mother. I inherited my skillet from my grandmother and there is no telling how long she had it before me. My favorite for making cornbread is her 12 inch cast iron skillet. The one that I love and use the most though is a round cast iron griddle.
Seasoning Cast Iron Skillets and Cookware:
If you are buying a new skillet, check the label to see if it is pre-seasoned. If not, it’s easy to “season” your cast iron cookware before using for the first time.
1. Wash your cast iron in warm sudsy water and rinse well.
2. Make sure to dry the cast iron very well.
3. Take a paper towel and coat the entire skillet or pan with lard. (inside and out) It is best not to use vegetable oil as that will make your cast iron sticky.
4. Place in a preheated oven at 300° oven for one hour.
5. Remove and wipe off any excess grease with a new paper towel. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for another hour.
Washing Cast Iron Cookware:
Never wash you cast iron in the dishwasher!
After cooking in your cast iron, rinse in warm water. You may use a small amount of soap but harsh scrubbing and detergents will remove the seasoning. If for any reason your food is sticking to the pan and you have to scrub or you have rust in your cookware, re-season your pan.
After you have rinsed the skillet or pan well, set on a hot burner for a minute to make sure all water is gone. Let cool on burner and store as usual.
Cooking with Cast Iron:
After many uses, you cast iron skillet or pans will turn black. This is a good thing! This means you will now have a non-stick surface to cook in.
I have done almost everything “wrong” with my grandmothers skillets, including putting them into the dishwasher. It’s really best not to though because then you have to season it again to prevent rust. The good news is that a cast iron skillet is fairly indestructible and will last forever.