Cast Iron Care and Maintenance

Guide to Cast Iron Care

Read on for what basic cleanup of a cast iron pan looks like:

1. Rinse with warm water and use a brush or scraper to remove stuck-on bits.

  • If you used enough fat for cooking, you might not need more than a quick rinse with warm — but not soapy — water and a gentle scrub. You can also use a gentle brush or plastic pan scraper to remove stuck-on food.

2. For really stuck-on food, scrub with salt and oil, rinse and wipe clean.

  • If rinsing and scrubbing aren’t enough, pour a few tablespoons of canola oil and a few tablespoons of kosher salt into the pan and use a paper towel to scrub the pan with this mixture until it comes clean, then rinse.

3. Dry the pan and coat with a thin layer of oil.

  • Dry the cast iron with a clean towel and then place over low heat. Add a thin coat of more oil, but make sure the oil doesn’t pool anywhere — one teaspoon wiped across the entire cooking surface is just right for most pans.

4. Store until ready to use.

  • Cool the pan and store until ready to cook again.

Cast Iron Maintenance Tips

Follow these tips to maintain your cast iron cookware.

  • Cook over low heat to avoid damage to the pan.

  • Use plastic or wooden cooking utensils to prevent scratching.

  • Remove acidic foods from your pans immediately after cooking and wash promptly to prevent damage to the seasoning.
  • Do not store foods in cast iron as this can break down the seasoning.

  • Never fully submerge cast iron in water.
  • Never put cold water in a hot pan; this can cause the pan to crack or warp.

  • Do not wash cast iron in the dishwasher.