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Care of Cast Iron Pots and Pans

Admittedly there is some care that goes into maintaining cast iron pots and pans. New cast iron pots and pans often come with a waxy coating or shellac that should be removed with hot soapy water before seasoning. Seasoning involves lightly coating the entire pan (inside and out) with vegetable oil. Put the pan in the oven at 300 degrees (F) for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven after it cools. If there is a lot of excess oil on the pan remove it with a paper towel. Now your cast iron pot or pan is seasoned and ready for use!

My experience is that seasoned skillets and baking implements seldom, if ever, need to be re-seasoned if used for frying or to saute. However, boiling water, soups, or sauces in a pan without frying something in between as well as scouring the pan can cause this to be necessary. To re-season you can follow the same procedure above, but in this case scour the pan first.

When washing a cast iron pot or pan simply use slightly soapy water. An abrasive pad is okay to remove crusted on food particles, but it is best not to apply the scrubbing device too vigorously. You may soak cast iron for short periods. Do not to let this go on for more than half-an-hour or so, as it will remove some of the seasoning and may cause the pan to rust.

Hand dry the pan immediately after washing. Cast iron should never be washed in the dishwasher.

Never dip a hot pan in cold water (it may crack).

Next Page: History of Cast Iron Cookware

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