Cooking with cast iron is one of my favorite parts, but also took a few years to master the daily maintenance of cast iron. When cast iron is set up correctly it's a game-changer allowing you nearly use it in 90% of your daily cooking routines. When not properly maintained it's a nightmare and often shoved back in the cabinet. I put together some key tips to ensure you make the most out of your cast iron! Here goes my top tips when cooking with cast iron.
Cast Iron Maintenance Series:
- Restoring Cast Iron (Coming Soon)
- Reseasoning A Cast Iron Skillet
- Cast Iron Daily Care
- Fixing Cast Iron Seasoning (Coming Soon)
- The science behind the best oil for Cast Iron Seasoning (Coming Soon)
Clean Your Iron Hot and Fast
Right when you finish cooking, turn off that burner and crank your water to the highest temperature. Once you have that water smoking hot, grab your brush and cast iron and run it right under the water to use that steam effect. Use your long arm cast iron brush and finish it off.
This is the BEST part of using cast iron, it's just so dang tough. But remember to immediately dry off the pan before you move forward with your oiling.
Oil After Every Use
AFTER EVERY USE I take my pan right from the sink RIGHT BACK TO THE BURNER. I REPEAT EVERY USE 🔥. I can not stress enough how important it is to oil your pan right after, it helps build up and maintain your coating from cook to cook. It's what makes cast iron get better every time. Here is my workflow:
- Clean cast iron and dry
- Place on burner on high
- Wait 1-2 minutes till the edge is hot enough you cant hold your hand there for more than a second
- place a dime to quarter size drizzle of oil in the pan
- Use a non-lint cloth or if in a pinch a folded up paper town and coat the entire surface and edges
- Turn off the burner and wait to put away the pan
- Drink a beer.
Use The Right Oil
While any oil will work I highly suggest the following oils for your daily use as they are versatile and almost always near every cook's stove:
- Grapeseed oil - Leaves behind no flavor and a very high smoke point at 420°F
- Olive Oil - Leaves behind very little flavor and a moderate smoke point at 374–405°F
Avoid These Things
- Don't boil water to clean or cook in your skillet. It will destroy your seasoning
- Try to avoid metal utensils until you have a very good coating setup
- Don't ever store your cast iron wet
- Storing your cast iron in dark places with a daily coat of oil for long periods of time (Oil can go bad)
Own The Right Tools
Here are a few of my key suggestions that will make daily use of your cast iron more enjoyable. If you have the right tools you will find the love-hate relationship with cast iron a bit more focused on love.
Earlywood 10 inch Handmade Wood Cooking Utensil
When it comes to cooking on cast iron half the battle is owning the correct cooking utensils. I highly suggest Earlywood Mapple wood scraper, it allows you to easily cook and clean your iron without the fear of ruining your precision seasoning. I personally find the maple holds up the best and rate these at 5 stars!
Lodge Care Scrub Brush, 10 Inch
When it comes to cleaning its KEY you have the right tools to clean your iron. I find a good scrub brush is a must-have by your sink at all times. Make sure you have this handy for when the iron is smoking hot and you're trying to clean.
Knapp Made Original CM Scrubber 4" Chainmail Scrubber
When it comes to cleaning your iron sometimes you get that nasty caked-on extra bits. THIS WILL save you not only time but make the experience more enjoyable. It's a must-have if you own cast iron cookware.
What are your top tips we should know about? Let us know!