Care and Feeding of Cast Iron Pans

(@CubanBarbie) #41

I do the same most days…but 2-3 times a week I use water. Gotta let go of that!

(Brenda Zorn IDM Educator) #42

Just remember, they are porous. And hold high heat for a long period of time.

They will crack and warp if exposed to extreme temperature changes. Many years ago a girlfriend of mine slipped a hot cast iron skillet into hot dishwater right from the stove top. This was AFTER we had eaten, but the cast iron was still hot.

It split in half.

(Marc) #43

I got a cast iron pan from a deceased relative. I’m guessing the pan would have been about 60-70 years old. I never had an easier pan to cook with. The finish on that pan was amazing.

(Guardian of the bacon) #44

Awesome piece if anybody in Eastern MI.

(melinda) #45

We’re lazy around here so we usually leave the pan sitting on the stove dirty until the next time we want to use it. Then it gets scraped out with a plastic spatula, maybe some warm-hot water to get the top layer of debris off and then back on the stove to cook some more!

Eta: we generally only use it for fatty meats these days.

(jketoscribe) #46

My CI is the BEST for eggs! It’s nicely seasoned, and eggs just slide around.

(Brenda Zorn IDM Educator) #47

I ain’t got time fo dat

(Ross Daniel) #48

I just simply scrape mine out with a stainless spatula. Why stainless and not plastic? Well, over time, the hard stainless (which is harder than cast iron) will smooth out ridges.

(Dana Schneider) #49

Hi there. Cast iron newbie here and completely ignorant. I obviously did not read anything before trying to use mine for the first time and obviously everything stuck. Then I see all of these comments about “seasoning.” After getting all of the stuff unstuck… what should I do?? Heat it up until smoking and then rub any kind of oil into it? Any tips are welcome and appreciated! Thanks!


Mostly I use coarse salt (sea salt, kosher salt, whatever is on hand). Let it sit, mix it around, sometimes I put some heat on with the salt in, whatever. No need for scrubbers, that’s what the salt is for.

(Jennifer) #51

I have a cast iron addicting. Always hunting for the next piece…

My favorite pieces are the Pro-Logic chef pans. They are a little different design, more smooth sided - the 12 and 10 inch sit on my stove full time.

(Danielle) #52


After you take the nasty bits off and cleaned it with soap and water, dry it out.

Rub fat (lard, tallow, bacon) all over…inside and outside. Cover it completely with fat.

Stick in your oven. Put aluminum foil on lower rack to catch any drippings. Bake at 350 deg F for about an hour. When done, keep oven door open with wooden spoon to cool down. Remove from oven next day.

Seasoning done.

(Bob Weiman) #54

I inherited a cast iron pan of unknown age from a family member. The inside is mirror smooth from decades of cooking but the bottom (surface that contacts our stove top) is crusty and uneven. I know it was used on gas stoves for most of it’s known life so I’m assuming it is tied into that. My question is, if I’m using it on a glass cooktop, should I do anything with the bottom to smooth it out, use it as is, or retire it until it can be used on another glass stove? In particular, is the somewhat irregular contact with the heating surface adding undue thermal stress (and danger of cracking)?

(jketoscribe) #55

Ugh, I have a little 8" skillet (good for quick eggs for 1 in the morning) and I had to leave in a hurry so I left it on the stove to clean when I got home. It only had one little bit of egg stuck on it.

This pan is not in good shape. The seasoning is flaked and cracked, but with TLC it’s still been good when I use it. I’m waiting for BBQ season to strip it and re-season it on the grill, as I can’t really use stuff like oven cleaner or create smoke in the house. This is not good quality stuff, either. It’s made in Taiwan a part of a set my husband had since maybe 10 years before we were married. But I like the size and shape and want to use it.

Well, my husband was being “helpful”, so he washed the pan with soap and water and put it in the dish drainer. By the time I got home the bare spots were rusting, and when I scrubbed off the rust some more of the seasoning layer came with it. :o(

I put in a generous amount of coconut oil on the heat and let it smoke a bit, then sit overnight and I wiped out the excess in the morning. I’ve done this a few times, and repeat each time I use the pan. Despite the flaked seasoning and bare spots, it still goes a great job with eggs cooked properly in a generous amount of ghee.


It depends what sentimental value you have in the pan. If it is something passed down generations in the family that you want to keep, caution with use is warranted. If you are not concerned and want to make use of all kitchen tools, then go for it. Keep in mind that if any moisture is trapped in a dimple on the bottom of a pan will expand very fast on a flat glass cook top, which will create a high-pressure steam pillow that is strong enough to lift or shift the pan on the stove.

(Cathie Condon) #57

I bought a set of Lodge pans last year. I watched a few YouTube videos on seasoning. I bought a little plastic scraper, a chain mail for baked on scrapping and a tube of cleaner/conditioner to use on bad days. I love that they are inexpensive, last for generations and add needed iron to my diet.

(Eric Andres) #58

I’m gonna put on my “Show me the science” hat in regards to soap on cast iron. If you’ve got a good seasoning, it’s no longer fat/oil on the surface of the pan, but a polymer, and thus is not susceptible to soap. I’ve been cleaning with soap for months on mine, and the seasoning has only gotten better. No more mysterious blank gunk stuck to the pan.

(cj higgins) #59

I have an old cast iron pan that I would love to season in the oven but it has a wooden handle. So on the stove it goes, but the bottom never gets seasoned.
Is this a problem?

(Jane Reed) #60

How to remove many years of knobbly crust from the inside walls of my skillet? The bottom surface is no problem but I’d like to smooth out the sides.

I’ve read that time in the oven on the “oven cleaning” setting will turn all crust to ash, but I don’t have that setting on my oven. In fact, I can’t seem to get my oven to get hotter than 425 degrees F.

If I had a fully equipped tool shop I could probably figure out something, but I’m limited to basic hand tools and an electric drill.

Any ideas?