Cast iron skillets are an indispensable kitchen tool that many beginner chefs are intimidated by. They require special care and are often treated as family heirlooms. The risk of ruining my great grandmother’s skillet is not worth cooking an omelette, right?
The truth is that cast Iron is tough and, unlike copper or teflon cookware, it gets better with age. All you need to know are a couple of basic principles. After that, you will be set for a lifetime of great cooking. This really is the only skillet you will ever need.
The Cast Iron Basics
1. Hand wash and dry thoroughly with a towel then over low heat on the stove top or oven to remove all lingering moisture
2. Cover with a thin layer of canola oil and wipe off all the excess after each use to protect the skillet
3. To season, put the oil-covered skillet upside down in your oven for one hour at 450-500 degrees. This will break down the oil and allow it to bond to the skillet protecting the iron from rust and gives the pan a non-stick surface.
4. Always preheat your skillet before cooking with it.
5. Clean with hot water, salt, and a non metal scouring pad.