What is the proper care for a cast iron skillet? How do I "season" one? Do I coat them with oil then bake, and if so at what temp? Is it true that cast iron skillets should not be washed? Any advise would be greatly appreciated!
By Claudette from Kent, WA
I commented yesterday about cast iron:
My mother would never let me scrub an iron skillet. She said food would stick. Well, years later someone told me I could scrub all I wanted just don't use dish washing liquid. I've been washing with hot water and scrubbing if I have to. Then I dry with paper towel. I haven't had anything stick to mine and they are used all the time.
I season them with Crisco shortening. I take a spoonful and place on paper towel and rub into skillet. Place in 450 degree oven for 30 mins. I do this in the spring so I can open windows, because it smells like something burning. (07/08/2009)
I actually researched this a while ago for my job. I agree with washing. Here's what my notes say (based on the numerous websites I'd visited):
Hand wash in hot, soapy water
Cookware can be heated over a low setting to evaporate all moisture
To re-season, scour pan, rinse, dry, coat inside with unsalted fat. Leave in moderately heated oven for 2 hours. Remove and wipe away excess grease
Not for use with acidic foods, which could remove the seasoning (07/09/2009)
I always have to 're-google' the directions to season them, but I do know, from grandmother's grandmother, to only wash the iron skillet with hot water, NOT soap. (07/09/2009)
I grew up with my mother and grandmother using these types of pans and they always washed with hot sudsy water then seasoned them. (07/10/2009)
By Teresa Tart
I used cast iron for years, including my grandmother's frying pan. Heat the oven to 250 degrees, rub Crisco or lard on the inside and outside of the pan, heat for 20-30 minutes. After cooling, wipe off with a towel. After cooking or frying, and while the pan is still warm boil off any stuck on food, wash with light soapy water and rinse.
Place on a burner to dry using low heat. Don't forget it! Been there and done that! You shouldn't have to re- season after each use, if you are careful to clean the pan right away. Don't use heavy duty cleaners, a light coating of Pam or other spray on should help keep them seasoned. (07/10/2009)
I have been using this method for 35 years or more and in that time have only had to re-season my grandmother's cast iron cookware only twice. I responded to another request with detailed info. The link is: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf14165358.tip.html (07/11/2009)
When I wash my skillet, I dry it with a paper towel then sit it on the burner until it gets really hot, that's about 4 to 5 minutes and my skillet never sticks. I can soft fry eggs and they come out the way they are suppose to. If your iron skillet gets rusty make a paste of salt and cooking oil.
I use one of those green cleaner pads in the same aisle as the brillo pads, don't use the wire pads. Anyway, take the paste of salt and cooking oil and dip your pad into it and scrub it really well, continue until all of the rust is gone then wash it with hot soapy water, rinse it out then add some shortening (not oil) with a paper towel, then put it into the oven set at about 350 degrees and leave it in there for about 10 to 15 minutes and turn off the oven. Leave it in there until the oven cools and you won't have any rust on it, and it will be as good as new. (07/12/2009)
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