When it comes to cooking tools, a good cast iron pan is one of the most important ones to have in the kitchen. It is used by at-home cooks and professional chefs for its ability to cook food evenly and provide a great flavor.
If the cast iron pan is treated correctly, it can last much longer than an average pan. You will never have to buy another cast iron pan again in your life if you take care of it. Well, unless you want different size ones.
By nature, a cast iron pan isn’t non-stick. It only becomes non-stick after it is seasoned properly. While we will cover the basics of seasoning in this article, you are able to go here for more information.
Why Does Food Stick To A Cast Iron Pan?
The main reasons why food sticks to a cast iron pan are either through a lack of oil or seasoning. When cooking food on your cast iron pan, it is important to put a layer of oil down and heat it up first, so your food doesn’t stick.
A newer cast iron pan may need multiple layers of seasoning for it to become non-stick.
How To Remove Stuck On Food
Even the most well-seasoned cast iron pan will occasionally get food stuck to it. This could be because the food was left on the heat for too long or it has high sugar content. Foods that are high in protein are also known to commonly stick to cast iron.
To fix this, all you need to do is scrape the food off of the pan before cleaning; if it is too hard to scrape off, boil some water in the cast iron for about 5 minutes before trying again.
Once it’s clean, make sure you dry it thoroughly before seasoning your pan again.
How To Remove Rust
When exposed to moisture for an extended period of time, cast iron can rust. This is easy enough to fix as you just need to scour off the rust before cleaning it again. When the cast iron pan is clean, make sure it is dried properly before being seasoned again.
How To Remove Flaking Or Black Residue
Sometimes you may see flaking on your cast iron pan or some black residue being left behind. This is completely harmless and is just the seasoning breaking down.
All you need to do is scour off the flakes and residue before cleaning your cast iron pan. Once the pan is clean and dry, you will need to reseason your cast iron pan.
How To Clean A Cast Iron Pan
How to clean your cast iron pan is a hot debate. People will tell you that there is a certain way to clean your cast iron pan and that you must avoid certain things. In actuality, there is only one thing you shouldn’t do to your pan, and that is put it in the dishwasher.
Feel free to use soap, salt, metal tools, and non-scratch brushes to clean your pan. As long as all the soap is washed off with water and your pan is bone dry at the end, you are fine. We recommend hand drying it, so it gets completely dry quickly.
To season your pan, apply a thin layer of oil to the whole pan after it is dry. Then bake it in the oven for an hour at 375 degrees. Put some foil on the bottom of the oven to catch any oil drippings. Leave the pan to cool down completely in the oven, and then reapply a thin layer of oil to the inside of the pan.
What Oil To Use
When selecting what oil to season your cast iron pan with, you need to select one with a high smoke point. This is to ensure the seasoning can withstand high temperatures and last a long time. Some good choices are vegetables, canola, and sunflower.
Some foods are more likely to stick to cast iron than others. This is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean you need to buy a whole new pan. As long as you take care of your pan, it will last you your whole life.
Just make sure you clean it after every use, keep it away from moisture, and season it regularly. The more your use your cast iron pan, the better taste it will bring to your food