How to maintain and clean Cast Iron Cookware?

Cast Iron Cookware is a must-have in any kitchen. A vital advantage of this type of cookware is its high durability, which lasts for several years or even decades. However, there are many different types and brands of cast iron cookware available today at different price ranges. In addition, keeping your cookware clean and well maintained can be a considerable challenge because it should be seasoned before its first use. Also, proper and periodical cleaning is essential to ensure that your cast iron cookware stays rust-free and well-seasoned.

Cast Iron Cookware is highly durable, which can be passed down from generation to generation. However, it is vital to maintain this type of cookware properly. Doing so will help you avoid the risk of rusting, which would permanently damage your cookware.

Tips for maintaining and cleaning Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Cookware is an essential kitchen item that will last a lifetime. However, just like any other type of cookware, Cast Iron needs to be maintained and cleaned to look its best and work at optimum efficiency. Here are some tips on maintaining your Cast Iron Cookware you should be aware of when you buy it from any kitchenware shop be it offline or online store like so you can enjoy cooking with it for years!  

Clean your cast iron after cooking: The first rule for maintaining and cleaning a cast iron cookware is to wash it after every use. By doing so, you will prevent any food residues from sticking to the surface of your cookware. Since cast iron is porous, these food residues are likely to stick inside the pores of the metal, which makes it harder to clean. In addition, if your cast iron is not cleaned correctly after cooking, then the food that sticks on the surface will eventually start to burn and turn into a sticky substance. This sticky substance can be challenging to clean without using solid products such as oven cleaners.

Clean your cast iron with water and salt

Another way to clean your cast iron cookware is to use a mild abrasive. Please note it has to be mild abrasive and not corrosive. For this, you should mix one tablespoon of salt and ½ cup of water. Then, use a sponge or a kitchen brush to apply the mixture on the surface of your cookware while gently washing it in circular motions. If there are still leftovers of food and grease on the surface, you can add more salt to your mixture. Finally, rinse it with warm water before using a cloth to dry your cookware.

Rub the surface with oil

Another way to cleana cast iron cookware say a cast iron skillet easier is by rubbing its surface with vegetable oil before putting it away after use. This will prevent rust from forming inside the pores of your cookware. However, if rust has already formed on the surface of your cast iron because of long non-use, you can use coarse salt or sandpaper to remove it before applying oil. It is advised to first clean the cookware rust and then use it.

Never use a cast iron cleaner for stubborn stains.

If you are the immaculately clean type go for natural cleaning substances instead of choosing some cast iron cleaners available in the market. Those are not for cookwares.

Season your cookware after cleaning it

Seasoning of your cast iron cookware is essential before using it. Watch our video which shows a step by step procedure to season a cast iron cookware.

Store your cast iron cookware in a cool and dry place

Last but not least, to prevent rusting from happening or to maintain the smoothness of your cast iron cookware for a long time, it is best to store them in a cool and dry place. Wrapping them in a kitchen towel or paper is a good option before putting them away in the cabinet, drawer, etc.

How to clean cast iron cookware after cooking?

Cooking with cast iron cookware is an ideal option to save money and cook healthier. Not only do you not have to worry about using oils, but the food tastes better as well! Cleaning can be difficult, though. The pan has already been seasoned, and cleaning it will take away some seasoning, so how should we clean cast iron? Here are a few easy steps: 

  • Let your cast iron cool down first before cleaning it

This should be the easiest thing to do since you will need an hour or two after cooking to cool off and let it rest. If you are planning to clean your cast iron as soon as possible without any plan to wait for it, then you can add some water on its surface and let it sit for 1-2 minutes before scrubbing. This should help clean off food scraps without causing too much damage to the seasoning.

  • Scrub your cast iron skillet gently but firmly with a plastic or nylon scrubber, hot water, and dish soap

After waiting for your iron pan or skillet to cool down, you can finally get started washing it up! First, remove any food scraps by scrubbing them gently but firmly with a plastic or nylon scrubber, hot water, and regular dish soap. Some people also choose to add salt to remove food scraps without having to use any abrasive tools. If you need to add some oil for your cast iron, then go ahead and do so; make sure that it is not done too often since this can cause the surface of your cast iron to be damaged. Remember that using a nonstick spray or oiling your cooking surface before each use is unnecessary and takes away the seasoning!

How to clean rust from cast iron cookware?

Rust can ruin the seasoning of your pan if not dealt with quickly. The following are some ways to remove rust from your cast iron cookware:

  1. Use coarse salt to remove stubborn rust spots

If your iron tawa has rusted areas despite cleaning and scrubbing it, then you can use coarse salt and a rag or sandpaper to make the process of removing rust easier. 

  1. Apply some cooking oil on the rusted areas of your cast iron

It is helpful to apply some cooking oil on rusty areas of your cookware since this can secure it from future rusting while preparing food at the same time. Make sure that all parts are covered with a thin layer of oil for protection against rusting.

How to maintain cast iron cookware?

It's essential to know how to maintain cast iron cookware because once you've bought one, they'll last forever - provided they're properly maintained! So, let's check on some of the tips. 

  1. Store it in an oven-safe container after using it

Don't forget to store your cast iron pan or skillet inside an oven-safe container (you can also use aluminum foil). It is especially when you are cooking with this type of cookware for the first time or if you aren't planning to use it again for the next few days.

  1. Don't leave it out or uncovered for too long during storage.

Don't forget to put the cover back on your cast iron pan after using it and before storing it if you don't want rust, dust, dirt, termites, or ants to find their way inside. Leaving cast iron cookware uncovered for too long will attract insects like ants and termites that might want to make their home in your beautiful pan or skillet.

  1. Clean it with mild abrasives and oil while storing

When you are done using your cast iron dosa tawa, make sure to clean it first with mild abrasives to get rid of any cooking residues. After the cleaning process, apply a thin layer of cooking oil before covering it or inside oven-safe storage.

  1. Store it in a dry place to prevent rusting

Store your cast iron pan or skillet in a dry place to prevent rusting since moisture can speed up this unwanted phenomenon. If possible, store your cookware inside a kitchen cabinet or in a place where it can be covered with an oven-safe cover.

  1. Use only mild soap to clean cast iron.

If you plan to reuse your dutch oven or skillet after cleaning, then make sure to use only mild soap and water since harsh detergents can strip away its protective layer of oil, leaving it exposed to rusting.

How to clean black residue off from cast iron?

If you have just taken your brand new cast iron pan or skillet out of its box, then it might already have black residue on its surface. Three methods can help you clean this type of dirt easily.

  • Use a damp cloth to rub the black spots off.

Using a soft, damp rag or dishcloth, rub the surface of your cast iron to remove the black stains. Make sure that you are not pressing too hard on it so as not to scratch its surface.

  • Use a mild abrasive and baking soda for stubborn spots.

If the first method was not enough or you have stubborn black spots all over your metal cookware, you can also use a mild abrasive baking soda to remove the stains. Make sure to use only baking soda without any lemon juice or vinegar since this can corrode your cast iron, in addition to removing black residue from it.

Do I have to wash cast iron every time?

After cooking delicious steaks, fish, or pork chops in your cast iron skillet, do you just put the pan back to its place without washing it? Yes, you can save time by not doing what most people do, cleaning their cast iron Kauai after every use. However, if you want to maintain this type of cookware for an extended period, you should clean it after every use.

Which oil is best for seasoning cast iron?

There are several types of cooking oil that you can use for seasoning cast iron. Some of the most common ones include vegetable, peanut, and flaxseed oils. Just make sure to apply a thin layer of oil (all over the pan) before storing it in your kitchen cabinet after using it.

Does cast iron scratch?

Yes, cast iron get scratches if you use it without seasoning it first since the metal underneath is not covered with a layer of oil. Putting a thin layer of oil on its surface will prevent scratching. You can also avoid scratches by using wooden or silicone utensils while cooking in your cast iron pan for the first time.

Can baking soda be used to clean cast iron?

You can use baking soda as a mild abrasive to remove stubborn debris from your cast iron tawa or skillet. However, make sure that the metal surface also has a layer of oil on it before cleaning it with baking soda. The latter will not generate scratches if you do this step first.

Why does my cast iron skillet turn food black?

If your food turns black after cooking it in your cast iron pan for several minutes, then you might be using too much heat. Cooking the food constantly at high temperature without either stirring it occasionally so as to avoid the vegetables or the cooking ingredients from settling  at the bottom or at the surface would result in such residue coupled with the absence of sufficient oil or water   that has boiled off  during cooking. This is why small pieces of meat or vegetables turn black inside a cast iron pan. This residue would affect the heating efficiency or the evenness in the cast iron cookware to distribute heat throughout.

How long should a cast iron pan last?

A cast-iron pan should last for a lifetime or at least 30 years under regular use. This type of cookware is known for its durability, and it can be passed on from generation to generation without ever having problems with rusting, flaking inside, or sustaining warps. The only downside about owning cast iron is that it requires regular maintenance to ensure it is in top condition for a long time.

What temperature do I season my cast iron?

Before using your iron dosatawa for the first time, you need to apply a thin layer of cooking oil at medium-high temperature. Ensure that it is not too hot or too cold when applying oil; otherwise, this might create problems with sticking later on, and in addition, there will be no layer in the pan after use which means that you cannot avoid rusting it.

Can you use aluminum foil to clean cast iron?

No, you should never use aluminum foil to clean your cast iron pan because the latter is reactive to some types of metals. If you want to avoid scratching your cast iron cookware, then switch to wooden or silicon utensils when cooking with it. Aluminum foil can also be abrasive, which might scratch its surface once they rub against each other during storage.

How do you polish cast iron?

Polishing your iron Kadai cookware is an easy task. Just use a piece of dry cloth, paper towel, or folded rag and wipe the metal to remove any surface residue after cooking. You can also clean it with warm water and liquid soap but make sure that you don't apply too much pressure on the pan because you might end up scratching its surface.

Does cast iron stick?

No, it does not stick because of the layer of oil that you apply on its surface before cooking and with all the seasoning with it for the first time. If food gets stuck to your cast iron pan even after oiling, then this means that there is not enough oil in it or it has to be re-seasoned well, which means that you should add some more before cooking again. There could be instances where you would use the cookware for a particular dish say Roti and then use the same again for Dosa. When using the cookware for dosa it could happen that you could not turn it or it could get stuck. This is nothing but the first set of dish would have stripped off the oil and the continuous heat would have shot up the temperature. You could just let the cookware cool off or apply oil on the surface could just rub the heated surface with onions.

Cast iron cookware is an excellent choice if you want to invest in a product that will last for decades without rusting, flaking, or warping. The only downside or could say the effort involved is that it requires regular maintenance to keep its surface smooth and shiny looking. However, these kitchenware products are highly versatile for cooking, and you can use them for frying, sautéing, and roasting, among many other tasks.

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