How To Clean And Maintain Your Cast Iron Cookware

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I’m thinking most of us grew up with cast iron cookware. Did your mom or dad cook eggs, or fry sausage in them? My mom used to make biscuits in one of her pans. I never really thought about it until I started cooking outside with my Dutch oven. My friend had just gone to help someone move and they wanted to give her a Dutch Oven because they no longer wanted it. She called me and asked me if I wanted it, she also mentioned it was rusty and dirty. I said, “Kathleen does it have a lid with a lip?” She said “yes,” and I said, “Do not get rid of that!” I told her we may need all the cast iron cookware we can get if we have a disaster. Here’s the reason why: we can cook outside with a few pieces of charcoal on the lid and underneath the pot. I told her not to worry about the rust or dirt, I would show her how to clean and restore it. Cooking chart: Dutch Oven Temperatures

Here’s the deal, you can go to thrift stores and hopefully find some cast iron cookware. I realize everyone is now on the lookout for cast iron cookware at garage sales, thrift stores, and antique stores. In most cases, you can scrub the rust off with a scrubber and then use some fine steel wool to make the cast iron smooth again. Now, if it’s really “flaky” I guess I would say it may be more money to have it sandblasted than buying a brand new one. Don’t you just love cooking outside with the smell of bacon and eggs in the air? I love it! Remember, some cast iron cookware is seasoned when you purchase them, yay! Then all you have to do is wash them with warm soapy water (I know it says not to this, but I need to know they are clean). Then you lightly rub some oil on them after heating them in the oven the FIRST time. Then store with some paper towels between the lid and the pan. I use bags to store mine in as well, except the ones I use every day.

Cast Iron Cookware

Here are the instructions on how to season used or old cast iron cookware:

  1. Scrub the used cast irons pans to get as much debris off of them as possible, sometimes you will see some black residue, that’s okay.
  2. Lightly sand the pans and lids with fine steel wool.
  3. Wash the cast iron cookware with warm soapy water and pat dry.
  4. Coat the pans completely with vegetable oil.
  5. Place a large piece of foil in your oven and place the lid and pan upside down to catch the drips from the oil.
  6. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake your cast iron cookware for 60 minutes.
  8. Turn the oven off after 60 minutes and let the pans sit overnight, or until cool.
  9. Remove the pans and lids and wipe off any excess oil with a soft old cloth.
  10. I place paper towels between my pans and store them in bags, or at least the ones I don’t use often like this one for my 6-quart Dutch oven. My kitchen is so small I store most of my cast iron cookware in the garage. 12″, Dutch Oven Tote Bag

The largest Dutch oven I have is the 6-quart one because once you get to the 8-quart size the diameter is the same but they are deeper and heavier. I can’t lift an 8-quart Dutch oven full of food. Just giving you the heads-up here. What’s your favorite thing to cook in your cast iron cookware? I love to hear your ideas!!

Here’s a PRINTABLE on how to clean them: Clean and Restore

Here’s my post on how to make pizza with cast iron cookware: Cooking Pizza In Minutes

My favorite things:

12″, Dutch Oven Tote Bag

Lodge 6 Quart Cast Iron Camp Dutch Oven

Lodge Original Finish Camp Dutch Oven Lid Stand

3 thoughts on “How To Clean And Maintain Your Cast Iron Cookware

  • June 7, 2017 at 7:40 am
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    Linda, I have wasted so much money on “nonstick”pans: no matter how much I baby them, they always stick & chip within a year. My favorite thing to cook in cast iron? Two eggs in my 6” Lodge skillet! I am saving up for a wok…

    Reply
  • June 7, 2017 at 7:41 am
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    I was always taught that when you need to season your cast iron is when you have a fire or build
    on for it, to put the cast iron in the bottom of the fire and let it go. When the fire is over and the skillet
    or whatever is cool then you take it out and clean it and it’s done. My mom and grandma had done this
    for many many years. I have all my mom’s cast iron items and they work great.

    Reply
    • June 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm
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      Hi, June, that would be even easier! I live where we have fire restraints due to the high heat temperatures in the desert. I have to use my oven to season them. They last forever if we keep them seasoned! Yay for cast iron, Linda

      Reply

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