Okay okay, while it may not be THAT bad to be a cast-iron newbie, there IS an easier way! It turns out that using a cast-iron skillet is an art. Here I thought that soap and water was the only way to lead a healthy life and it turns out that you aren't REALLY supposed to use soap! First, let's talk cast-iron know-how.
- Cast-iron can improve your daily iron intake (obviously)
- These skillets are versatile (you can use them stove-top and in oven!)
- They are easier to properly execute recipes in
- If well cared for, they can last a very long time
It turns out that every complaint I had was easily addressed with proper care! After today, you shouldn't have any complaints about it either.
Coarse salt (a natural abrasive)
The method we will be using is called "scouring" or using a wet towel on a hot surface to more easily remove debris. Your next step is wetting the towel to dripping (think a steady drip but not stream) and prepare to place it in the pan.
You may notice at this point a strange burning smell coming from the skillet. You are essentially cooking salt and it doesn't smell very good, but all I had to do was turn on the overhead fan and it kept the bad smell to a minimum.
After you have successfully scrubbed the skillet with salt, you will place the towel in your sink (or somewhere heat resistant) and allow the heat to evaporate the remaining water in the pan. The pan won't look pretty right now!
Pictured here you can also see my handy cleaning toothbrush (which I thought I might need but didn't) so say hi!
Most of the wonderful benefits of using cast-iron comes from a well cared for skillet. When seasoning a skillet, heat the pan over low heat again and measure out some oil. I used roughly a tablespoon of olive oil, although you could use just about any type except coconut (which might harden strangely when cooled and potentially flavor your food poorly).
This post was suggested by one of my lovely readers, Mom the Great! Do you love your cast-iron? I would love to hear some of your favorite recipes and potentially feature one!