Cooking in a cast iron is a healthier alternative to using other types of pots and pans and this is because it can help add iron into your food, which is an important mineral for the body. It can also help cook and heat up your food evenly and can be easily used on stove tops, oven and grills.

How to Cook and Care for Cast Iron

Benefits of Cast iron – Cooking on iron utensils is good for your health. Cooking in cast-iron cookware can boost the iron content of foods. Also, a cast iron pot or pan is affordable to buy and will last you for really long! So yes, it will actually last for the next generation and the generations to come! These cast iron pots and pans are non-stick in nature, if well seasoned and it is very easy to cook in them without food particles getting stuck to the bottom.

In the past, the usage of heavy-bottom skillets and cast iron dishes, pots and pans were very commonly used. Using them can make your cooking process super easy and healthy. But it is essential that these cast iron skillets are well maintained for them to work well. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about cooking in a cast iron skillet and how to care for them to turn them into a nonstick cookware.

How to remove rust from cast iron pots and pans?

Soak the cast iron in a solution of 1 part of water and 1 part of white vinegar for not more than 15 mins. Drain and scrub the pan with a steel scrubber. Next, wash the cast iron pan.

How to wash your cast iron pots and pans?

Cleaning a cast iron pot or pan is super simple. Make sure the cast iron is cooled off completely before you wash it off. Scrap off the food particle using a wooden spatula and rinse it off. Then use some kosher salt and a potato to scrub off the gunk or any food that is stuck to the pan. Cut a white potato in half and use the cut side to scrub the salt around the pan surface. In addition to the moisture in the potato, there is a natural oxalic acid that dissolves any rust or burned bits. Rinse off with water.

Heat the pan on low flame for 1-2 mins to dry off the pan completely. Once the pan is dry, apply oil on the top and bottom of the pan and store it in a cool dry place.

Note: You must avoid using abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool to clean your cast iron pots and pans because they can get rid of the seasoning done and your cast iron will require to be seasoned again or sooner than required.

How to season a cast iron pot or pan?

Seasoning a cast iron pan for the very first time when it is bought and also from time to time after usage, is very essential. This is because it can help make the cooking process much easier and will also help prevent food particles from getting stuck to the pan, making it completely non-stick. Also, it can prevent your cast iron pot or pan from getting rusted.

Things you will require:

  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Paper towels
  • soft sponge

The seasoning process with oil :

Step 1: Washing the dish – Start off with washing you’re the dish with warm soapy water and a sponge.

Step 2: Drying the dish – Rinse the pan and wipe it dry with a paper towel or cloth.

Step 3: Seasoning the dish – Heat up cast iron dish on medium heat. Then, pour in half a tablespoon of oil ( I use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil) or smear oil all over the pan. Let it heat up until it begins to smoke. Turn off the heat and use a paper towel or cloth to remove off the excess from the pan and leave the pan aside to cool down completely. After the pan has completely cooled, you will have to repeat this process at least 2 to 3 times (waiting for the pan to cool each time after it gets heated) for it to be well-seasoned.

Caution: Since the pan is very hot, make sure to wear heat-safety mitts while rubbing the oil with a paper towel, to avoid burning your skin.

Note: You will have to repeat this process once in a few times to keep the cast iron dish well-seasoned. You will know when your cast iron requires seasoning, as food will begin to get stuck to the bottom of the dish.

Make cast iron non stick with rice water – ( optional )
After you season with oil if the food still gets stuck to the pan then try the rice water method. After you cook the rice, save the water and pour it on your cast iron pan. Let the rice water soak for 2-3 days ( rinse and pour fresh rice water everyday) After 2 days, wash the cast iron with soapy water, dry and apply oil to season the pan.