Cast iron skillets are one of the most popular kitchen tools and at times, intimidating. Cleaning, seasoning, and proper maintenance can be overwhelming and time consuming. The reward in proper cast iron care, is very fulfilling. Especially when the cast iron is handed down to the next generation for memories.
To maintain cast iron, a few extra steps are needed to protect the seasoning.
1: Don't use cast iron for acidic baking
Acidic foods can cause the seasoning to peel off or weaken the seasoning. When using acidic foods, enameled cast iron is the better option. Enameled cast iron should be used for boiling water, recipes that contains large amounts of brown sugar or sugar, and boiling water. Having an assorted variety of skillets and enameled cast iron is very beneficial.
2: Avoid using high heat
High heat can scorch the seasoning. Not to mention, high heat can warp cast iron. Cast iron skillets can maintain heat pretty well.
3: Wash your pan well
Use a dab of dish soap to clean the cast iron skillet.
Soap will not strip your cast iron seasoning. Several years ago, soap contained lye. Today, soap no longer carries the ingredient lye. Use hot water and soap to scrub your pan clean. After scrubbing your pan clean, rinse off with cold water to prevent your cast iron from flash rusting. Dry your pan off by using a kitchen towel.
4: Oil it down
After drying off the skillet, spray PAM cooking spray on the pan and rub off the excess oil. This will help maintain the durability of the skillet's seasoning.
5: Place in a moist free environment.
Never place the cast iron underneath the sink. Moisture is not a friend to cast iron. Place the pan in a place that is away from water pipes. Placing a rag inside the iron skillet, will help keep the pan's surface from rusting.