I think it’s safe to say that a cast iron pan is one of the best things you can cook with. It’s sturdy, it’s oven safe and it requires very little maintenance to take care of. But you do still have to take care of it. There is nothing worse than a rusty cast iron. If your pan has seen better days or you picked one up at a yard sale and want to spruce it up, here’s what you do.
Seasoning a pan is what keeps it looking shiny and prevents rusting. Here’s what you need to season your pan. First, soak the pan in hot water but no soap. Take a plastic scrub brush and remove any rust that you see. Take some vegetable oil and coat the entire pan with some paper towels. Place into a 350 degree oven for an hour and let cool inside the oven completely before removing. Once removed, wipe away any residual oil with a paper towel. That’s it, your pan should look like your just bought it and it’s ready to use for cooking.
Caring for Your Pan
Now that your pan is back in action, don’t let it get rusty again. The biggest tip for using your cast iron is to never use soap! After using it, wipe it out the best you can and then wash away any lingering particles with hot water and a gentle scrub. Once it’s clean, take a paper towel and dry it the best you can and then let it sit in a drying rack until completely dry. This will prevent rusting and keep your pan useful for years to come.
One of the greatest things about a cast iron pan is that it’s made to last for a long time. A well cared for pan can be passed down to generations. Imagine knowing that your grandchildren can cook your recipes in your pan, that kind of family history is something to cherish.