Sunday, January 25, 2015

Reclaiming Your Cast Iron

I get a lot of emails asking for a video showing how we clean and season our cast iron pans. One of these days, when I burn whatever I was supposed to be filming, I may do that demo, but in the meantime, check out this great article by Noel Christmas from Allrecipes. This is pretty much the exact system I use, and I've never had a problem with rust or food sticking. Enjoy!

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14 comments:

Jim Dowell said...

Thanks Chef! I've had one for years and its just about the same thing i do to mine after i make just about anything in it. Huge thanks for all your videos! it's what's kept my gf around so long! haha Cheers!

Jackie Smith said...

Hi, thanks for the article! I did see your beautiful cast iron pan in a video recently and wished mine was that nice! I can do the steps he outlines, but then what, how do you keep it looking so "hot"!?! You clean with hot water and a spatula? Do you use soap? Do you cook acidic foods in yours then re-season?

I notice you mostly use a stainless steel skillet. Is there any trick to making that nonstick, like a seasoning process? Our you just use a high quality/heavy pan and cook with oil to keep food from sticking?

If you're still reading and inclined to answer, thanks!! If not, thanks anyway! I enjoy lurking around your site, trying to figure out ways to make people think I can cook lol!! Actually, I think I'm accidentally learning quite a bit, so thanks for that, too.

Chef John said...

We clean our cast iron the same way every time. Soap, water, dry, oil!
You can make SS non-stick, but with proper technique you don't have to. :)

Chibby said...

I use a similar method on my wok :)

Darcy Thomas said...

I use cast iron all the time. Invest in a pot scraper folks! (Little 2" square piece of plastic that costs under a dollar.) My cast iron pans' best friend. Use, soak w hot (tap) water while you eat, empty, scrape out whatever you cooked, dry, oil. Easy peasy. For those who are soap-averse, the hot (tap) water, scraper approach will save the day. Not sure if it is just me but the pics on the link are all upside down....

Leach said...

If you want advice from a cast iron expert, who has over 100 vintage skillets, check out the culinary fanatic on you tube. He does a video of cast iron maintenance from start to finish that I will share in a link. Chef John if you haven't tried the vintage cast iron like griswold or wagner you should. Significantly better than the modern stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6Tz3HnnCFs

Toshiko Suisei said...

Since everyone's sharing ^.^ I put on a rubber glove, use really hot tap water and some kosher salt to scrub. Rinse well then dry well on burner or in oven, then coat with a very light wipe of veg shortening. Happy pan with a beautiful black seasoning!

william tanaya said...

I though after you clean your cast iron pan with a soap you have to cure (season) it by coating it in oil and put it in hot oven for couple of hours?

Is it true or is it just a myth?

I remember watched it on Good Eats and that's how he do it.

Chef John said...

That's just for a new one. You just wash, then heat on stove a few minutes until dry, and rub with oil.

Ahimsa Kid said...

No, it's not just for a new one. If you bring the iron past its limits, say 600° for a while (perhaps reddening in spots) you'll have to take it to a slow oven with good grease. And no soap . . .ever!

John G said...

Once it's cleaned and reseasoned. Coarse salt. Only coarse salt.

Ctrl Alt Eat said...

I get that after use you wash, heat and rub with oil before storage. But what if you have it sitting around for weeks - that oil is going to go rancid. How do you prep the pan before use?

Chef John said...

The oil doesn't go rancid. It's a tiny microscopic layer once you rub it into the hot, dry pan. I just pull it out and start cooking.

Unknown said...

Another great detailed article.

http://www.aftertastes.co/how-to-season-a-cast-iron-skillet