Best Way to Season, Clean, & Maintain Your Cast Iron Pans

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Cast Iron Care and Maintenance

Cast Iron Pans Care and Maintenance

The thought of owning cast iron pans can be a little intimidating. They require a different kind of upkeep than your average pan. The benefits of having a cast iron pan make it worth investing in at least one. They are incredibly versatile and can be used for all sorts of different meals. You can use them to cook both on the stove top and for baking in the oven. When seasoned properly they are nonstick, so you do not have to worry about non-stick chemicals leaching into your foods. Here are some of the best tips to help you maintain your cast iron pans.

How to Season Your Cast Iron Pan

Many cast iron pans come pre-seasoned, but if not, do not worry. It is simple to season the pan at home!

  • To begin, simply scrub it down with hot soapy water.
  • Once it has completely dried, drizzle some vegetable oil or melted shortening into the pan, and spread it all over the entire surface.
  • Bake it in the middle rack of the oven at 375 degrees for one hour. Make sure to place it upside down, in the oven, while seasoning.  
  • Place foil on the rack underneath, to catch the drippings, or you will have quite a mess to clean.
  • Let it cool in the oven and then “ta-da.”You now have a seasoned cast iron pan.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Pan

It is super important to remember not to use dish soap while cleaning your pan. Simply scrub the pan under running water, while it’s still warm. You can use a Cast Iron stiff-bristled brush to scrub with or a Stainless Steel Chainmail Scrubber works wonders too!. For those extra tough, baked on stains, pour a little Kosher salt on the pan to help you scrub them away.  Oil and Kosher salt will clean a pan better than soap!  Dish soap can erase all the hard work you did seasoning it. I only use soapy water when I season the pan in the beginning.  Oh, and don’t let your cast iron pan sit in water for an extended period of time. Cast iron pans can rust when in water for long periods of time.

Making Your Cast Iron Pan Last

Most people, who own cast iron pans, have them for many years. There are several ways you can make your cast iron pan last.  

  • Take great care of your pan by not leaving it in water for an extended period of time, this will give it the most life.
  • Re-season your pan when necessary, follow the same tips as above. Almost any type of oil will work for seasoning your cast iron pan.
  • Always leave a little oil in your cast iron pan. You don’t want to clean it to a point where the seasoning is coming off.
  • If your pan is seasoned well enough, the food shouldn’t stick, which will mean less clean up for you later!
  • If your pan looks dry, right before you’re about to cook with it, add a teaspoon of oil to help get it going again.
  • You can clean with a scrubby, just make sure it’s not too abrasive.

After all, is said and done, make sure you store your cast iron pot carefully. You will want to store the pan properly. Store the cast iron pan in a dry place that cannot easily get wet. Any amount of wetness can cause it to rust.

Are Cast Iron Pans Non-Stick?

I get asked this a lot.  If you get a brand new seasoned cast iron pan you will need to use oil to coat the pan to prevent sticking.  The longer you use your pan the more non-stick it becomes.  I have a few pans passed down from Grandma that are the best non-stick pans ever!  Time will help in this situation.  Doesn’t give up if your pan is brand new and it doesn’t clean just like your coated frying pans.  If you ever see cast iron pans at a garage sale that are well-loved, I would snatch those up in a heartbeat!  Those well-loved pans are usually the best non-stick cast iron pans because of all the use and wear.

I cook all the time with cast iron pans!  They are my absolute favorite!  Just look at these delicious Creamy Keto Skillet Eggs Recipe!  DELISH!

These cast iron pans can go from the stovetop to the oven and this recipe is the perfect example of that.

The BEST Creamy Keto Skillet Eggs Recipe


Do you have any cast iron pan care tips to pass on to the rest of us?  Maybe a tip Granny gave you?  I would love to hear about it.  

We also have a few Tips f Effective Deep Cleaning that you might find helpful too.


Tips for Effective Deep Cleaning

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One Comment

  1. After scrubbing with tons of salt, mine is still covered with rust and thick gooey and sticky patches. Tempted to just throw away!!!

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