If you’re new to the world of cast iron or an old pro, a few simple techniques will ensure your cookware will last a lifetime of home-cooked feasts and KOA camping trips. While instructions for the best way to clean your cast iron can be divisive – and include more than a few don’ts – our tips inspired by the experts at Lodge are sure to keep you cooking like a pro.
When you bring home a new (or used) piece of cast iron it’s okay to use mild, soapy water for a first washing. In fact, it’s suggested to wash before your first use. Then it’s time to season your cookware to ensure food doesn’t stick and cooks to perfection.
To Season Your Cast Iron
While the advice to clean with or without soup can lead to heated debates, cleaning your cast iron is a fairly simple process. While soap can be used – outlined below – it’s not necessary.
If you’re stay on top of maintaining your cast iron, your seasoning should stay in good condition for many years. However, if your pan becomes rusted, especially dirty or if food begins to stick, it might be time to re-season.
While the experts suggest avoiding soap outside of the first wash, mild soapy water is fine to use as long as you immediately dry and oil your pan. Lodge, however, reminds you that cast iron heats to 400ºF in just four minutes on medium heat; pans are sterile at 212ºF suggesting soap isn’t always necessary.