When it comes to whipping up a hearty meal, stir-fries, casseroles, pasta, and more, nothing quite compares to the effectiveness of a cast iron pan. Sturdily built and able to withstand pounds of food, as well as high temperatures as it’s transferred into the oven, your cast iron skillet can take a beating over-time.
That’s why it’s so important to season the pan. If you neglect your pan as residue and leftover food/oil scraps build up, it will lose its effectiveness and beautiful appearance after just a few months.
We’re going to look at the easiest way to pre-season (or re-season) your cast iron pan:
- Soapy Water:
For starters, make a hot soapy water concoction in the sink. Grab a hardy sponge, or any kind of abrasive tool, and start scrubbing the pan. Take your time and really get in there, covering all spots on the inside and outside of the pan. Once you are done, dry the pan thoroughly. Let it air dry for a couple of minutes as well, ensuring that no moisture is left on its surface.
- Vegetable Oil:
Now that it’s clean and dry, grab either a thin layer of melted shortening or some vegetable oil. Spread it over the pan using a paper towel or cooking mitt, and really work it into the pan. This may seem counterintuitive to cleaning the pan, but it’s an essential part in baking off the built-up residue that will not be removed from just plain wiping and cleaning the pan.
- Oven Time:
Place the skillet upside down on the middle oven rack at 190 degrees Celcius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s wise to place foil on the lower rack to catch the dripping that is going to ensue from baking the pan. Place a timer for 1-hour and walk away while your pan bakes off the built-up crusts and food scraps.
- Wipe It Down:
Once it’s done, take out the foil and the newly cleaned pan. Wipe it down without adding any more soap or product. Let it cool off, place it back in the cupboard, and voila! You have a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet.
Here at Chef’s Quality, we like to provide you with tips and tricks for keeping your kitchenware properly protected and preserved throughout time. We know how difficult it can be to tackle the monstrosity of a cast iron pan, which is why we want you to know how easy and low maintenance maintaining the pan can be for you or anyone in your household.