One of the pieces of cooking equipment I try to use as much as I can is the cast iron skillet. A few months back I found a three pack of outdoor camping skillets that have found their home in my cooking. I have a 16″, 14″ and a small 8″ skillet. Notably, my family doesn’t do much camping right now, so I can use these skillets for almost every day use.
I’ve made lots of food in my cast iron skillets; from eggs, cheeseburger Mac n Cheese, to taco bake. These cast iron skillets are so versatile. One of the biggest struggles I have with these skillets is the clean up. Scrub too hard and the finish comes off. Which scouring pad do I use? How much elbow grease do I use to clean up the pan? Do I soak water in the cast iron skillet for the really stuck on food left behind?
Well here’s some answers to the those questions as well as how to season your skillet to get it good and new again.
Scrubbing off the Food
When food is left behind on your normal pans, its ok to soak them in water over night. However, with cast iron skillets it is NOT okay to soak your pans in water. When you add water to your cast iron skillet it starts to rust. Never put water in a cast iron skillet and let it soak. Scrubbing food off your cast iron skillet may take some elbow grease. I’ve used scrubbing pads, scouring pads, basically anything to get the food off. Don’t be afraid to get in your skillet and give it hell.
Seasoning/Reseasoning your Cast Iron Skillet
After you have given your cast iron skillet the cleaning it deserves here are some steps to season/reseason it.
- Scrape and clean all excess food off and scrub (like you already have done)
- Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel to remove all excess water
- Take some vegetable oil or even olive oil and coat the inside of the pan, handle and bottom of the pan
- Turn oven on 350
- Insert cast iron skillet upside down in the oven for 1 hour.
- After an hour turn off the oven and allow cast iron skillet to cool down.
- Return to cooking delicious food in your cast iron skillet
Using cast iron skillets are a wonderful way to enhance your cooking. Cleaning them the proper way and seasoning occasionally will make your cast iron skillet stay around a lot longer then your regular Teflon pans.