How to Make Your Cast Iron Last Forever

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Last Updated on July 27, 2022 by Share My Kitchen

Cast iron lasts forever. It is a must-have for any home chef. If you are looking for savory and smoky flavors with a crispy texture, especially when you sear food, you might be looking for a cast iron pan. Did you know that this metal gets better with age? 

Care Tips to Make Your Cast Iron Last Forever

Some families have passed them down through generations. However, you need to care for it if it is to last. Fortunately, you have stumbled upon this guide that will help you manage your cast iron to ensure it lasts a lifetime.

Keep It Seasoned

Purchasing a pre-seasoned cast iron pan is the fastest way to have one heating up on your stove. However, don’t be alarmed if your cast iron wasn’t pre-seasoned. Cast iron is easy to season, which makes it unique compared to other pans. It can be seasoned once, and it will last for many decades.

Here are some tips for seasoning a cast-iron pan:

  • Use hot, soapy water to scrub it, then rinse with warm, clean water.
  • After rinsing, thoroughly dry with a cotton towel or paper towel.
  • Apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to cover the surface.
  • Turn it upside down in the middle of the oven rack, and place foil underneath to catch the oil that drips.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 375°F.
  • If a few patches on the pan look dry after cooling, you can repeat the process for the remaining dry spots.

Clean it properly.

Cast iron can rust. Therefore, routine care is essential.

  • Add room temperature water into the pan while it’s hot after cooking. (Note: if you allow the pan to cool after cooking, heat it on medium heat until it is almost smoking.)
  • To help break down sauces or food residue, ensure the water sizzles.
  • Scrape any remaining bits, like you are deglazing the pan, then discard the dirty water.
  • Use a wadded paper towel to dry the pan properly.
  • Apply a little oil if necessary (the pan should be glossy, not dry).

If your pan is in dire need of some added attention, all you have to do is grab some kosher salt:

  • Pour 1 cup of coarse kosher salt into a still-warm pan to remove any remaining stubborn food bits.
  • It would be best to use a folded kitchen towel to scour.
  • Remove the salt, and rinse the pan with hot water.
  • To evaporate moisture, dry immediately with a kitchen towel or heat a skillet on a medium-low flame.

Use it often.

Cast iron will perform like a well-oiled machine if it is kept clean and used every few days. Its oily nature helps prevent rust and adds non-stick properties to the pan. It also enhances the flavor over time.

However, the oil soaked into the metal might get old and create an unpleasant odor if the cast iron is left unattended for too long.

What Not to Do with Cast Iron 

  • Leaving your cast iron soaked in water or remaining wet.
  • Letting it dry out too much.
  • Use high heat if the cast iron is used on a stovetop as it might overheat.
  • Shocking the metal with abrupt temperature changes, it will crack.

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