How Do You Maintain A Cast Iron Skillet?

Cast iron skillet
Updated on 26 Jul 2023
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Used by many chefs, also used by me: The cast-iron frying pan. Such a pan can last for more than a generation, you can fry anything with it and it is basically appropriate for any heat source. They also withstand high temperatures very well and are also suitable for cooking on induction. But how should you maintain such a cast-iron skillet to take maximum advantage of that durability?

Cast iron skillet types

There are a number of types of cast iron skillets you can buy. To be exact, there are 3 types. There is a cast iron skillet that you still have to sear yourself. This is also called seasoning. There is a cast iron casserole that is pre-seasoned and an enameled cast iron pan.

Seasoning a cast iron skillet

This is a cast iron skillet that is often a bit cheaper because you still have to make it ready to use yourself. You can’t just take it straight from the store and start cooking with it. If you do, the food will stick to the pan. A cast iron pan needs to be coated with oil.

The more often you use the pan, the more flavor you get in the pan. This, in turn, will end up in your dish. Don’t mind a little chore and prefer to be a little cheaper? Then buy a cast iron skillet that you still have to prepare for use.

Preparing for use

This is how to prepare it for use (in the oven):

  1. Clean the pan with water and soap. Make sure you dry the pan well and then spread neutral oil in the pan. This should stand up well to heat; peanut oil is a good example. 
  2. Also cover the bottom and handle of the pan well with oil and spread it all over. Take an oven tray covered with aluminum foil and then place the pan on a grill plate sitting above. This is because the foil will cause the drips of oil to collect. 
  3. Let the pan roast for about an hour at 200 degrees Celsius. Let the pan cool down and repeat this process around 1 or 2 times. 
  4. Now the cast iron skillet is ready to use!

After use, dry the pan well and grease it with a layer of neutral oil. Then the pan will last a lifetime!

Pre-seasoned cast iron skillet

Don’t feel like the hassle and just want to be able to use the pan right away? Then buy a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. You can easily get these in the Netherlands, either in stores or online. As the name suggests, the whole process of seasoning is already done.

The only thing left is to get started with the pan! Because you use it a lot you will have less and less trouble with food sticking to your pan each time. Also for this pan, simply dry it well after use and rub it with a layer of neutral oil.

Enameled cast iron

A cast iron skillet that is enameled also does not need to be burned in. The problem with cast iron is that it will rust if the pan is not properly dry. A cast iron skillet with enamel on the inside and outside does not rust as easily and is easier to clean. You can also use these right away and do not need to treat them. If the pan does not have a wooden handle, it can also be put in the oven. In the dishwasher it is strongly discouraged.

Tips for maintenance

Finally, some bonus tips for maintenance:

  • Make sure you always dry the pan thoroughly. Otherwise, cast iron can rust easily so put it back in the cupboard dry. 
  • If necessary, be sure to oil the pan before putting it in the cabinet. Use kitchen paper for this, a thin layer is enough.
  • When using the pan, first put it on without butter or oil. After 2 to 3 minutes you can then use the pan without any problems.
  • Do not fry acidic ingredients in the pan such as tomatoes. The natural non-stick coating is very sensitive to acid. The more you use the pan, the more you can work with tomatoes because the coating is now resistant to acidic ingredients.
  • NEVER put it in the dishwasher. It is too rough for this, this damages the pan and it dries it out.

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Cast iron skillet

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