Cast iron skillets can seem a little intimidating. You may have heard they require extra maintenance, such as oiling, seasoning, and careful cleaning. Conversely, you may have heard about cooks who never clean their cast iron pans. That can sound a little scary if you are accustomed to thoroughly scrubbing, sanitizing, and rinsing your dishes. Cast iron skillets allow for excellent heat conduction, non-stick cooking, and flavor. You may be considering using a cast iron skillet, or perhaps you just want to make sure you are properly using the one you already have. If so, check out these tips.
12. Purchase a Pre-Seasoned Skillet
It is critical to start off with a well-seasoned pan. Some companies pre-season their cast iron pans before selling them. Seasoning refers to allowing cooking oil to bake into the surface of the pan or skillet. This process prevents rusting and forms a smooth, protective surface on the pan. Pre-seasoned pans come with a layer of polymerized oil already lining the pan. Purchasing a pre-seasoned pan gives you a head start when cooking with this versatile tool. However, if you have purchased a skillet that requires seasoning, you can easily perform this task at home.
11. Season Your Pan Correctly
To season your pan, Field Company recommends heating the skillet on your stove for five minutes while preheating your oven. Next, pour a teaspoonful of vegetable or grapeseed oil into the pan. Use a paper towel to rub the oil into the pan, including the cooking surface, bottom, and handle. Then, use a clean paper towel to wipe away any excess oil from the pan. Martha Stewart then recommends baking the skillet upside down on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350 degrees. After one hour, turn off your oven and allow the skillet to cool to room temperature in the oven.