Cast iron calamity: use and maintenance of cast iron cookware

Country-style bacon.

To cook with cast iron is nominally no different than using anything else just use a little oil, lard, Crisco or whatever to keep things from sticking and try not to cook any thing acidic in it like tomatoes or frying up some lemons.

Pour off the oil.  Don’t pour it down the sink!

Once done cooking heat the pan to a medium medium high heat poor off the exter fat or oil, and sprinkle a little water on it anything stuck to the pan should come up real easy if not add a little more water and give it a little scrape with the spatula,

Deglaze with a little cold water, if necessary.

Poor the water and crud off and give the pan a quick rinse Most times this should be all you need to do to clean the pan.

Ready to go again.

However if you find some sauce or what nut stuck on use very little soap and an abrasive pad like a brillo or scotch brite type pads to scrub the yuck off, once you wash with soap and water the “seasoning” will be removed so toss it back on the stove and turn the heat up to medium and let the water “burn off” once Pan is dry get a paper towel and you’re favorite veg oil put a drop or 15 in the center of the pan and give it a quick paint job with the paper towel as your brush, the pan will be hot so be careful and don’t cook your fingers, if you do cook your fingers don’t lick them you might like what you taste like and that’s just kinda weird, once pan has got a little coat of oil all over turn the heat off and let cool on the burner.

One note a super hot pan and cold water can be dangerous. If the old seasoning is burning off and you’re getting down to raw metal it is best to add just a drop of water at a time so it can cool off a little before putting a little oil in the middle to re-season on the fly, The water dancing on the oil is what makes a cast iron pan so easy to clean when properly seasoned. Tossing a little water in the first time on a hot pan is always a little scary but sure beats scrubbing the bastard for three hours, New pans should come with directions for seasoning the first time ( I have never bought a new one).

Breakfast is served!

— Matt


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