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How to Use a Cast Iron Skillet

  • Seasoning - Make sure your skillet is properly seasoned before using. Most skillets come pre-seasoned from the manufacturer

  • Don’t Use Metal Utensils on Cast Iron - Metal utensils will scrape of the seasoning finish, use plastic, silicone or wooden utensils.

  • Don’t Start Cold - Always add something to a hot or warm pan. You never want to put something onto a cold pan and then heat it up—if you do, it will stick. Cast-iron skillets don’t heat as evenly as nonstick or stainless steel pans, but they keep their heat very well. Preheat the skillet on low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until it’s evenly heated.

  • Is it Hot Enough - You can carefully hover your hand over the pan to feel when it’s hot enough to go. 

  • Let the food sit. Don’t move it around too much - After the pan, has preheated, add your fat or oil. Then add whatever food you’re working with. If you’re searing something like a steak, or burgher resist the urge to move it
    around! You want to let it sit and wait for a caramelized crust to form. When you will see, that crust forming around the edge, it’s ready to flip. If you’re trying to flip it and it’s sticking, that just means it’s not ready. It will self-release when its ready to flip.

  • Don’t wait too long to wash your skillet - You want to wash the skillet soon after you’re done cooking. If you let it cool down too much, the food will stick to the pan. If you wash your cast iron while it’s still warm, you’ll avoid that!

  • Wash the skillet by hand - Using hot water and a sponge or stiff brush. Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan's seasoning. To remove stuck-on food, scrape the pan with a plastic scraper or scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water.

  • Oil Dry Pans - Seasoning a pan is part of kitchen cleanup. Sometimes it will look dry, but sometimes you can tell that it really doesn’t need more oil. Use just a teaspoon or less of neutral oil, like flaxseed, for a 10- or 12-inch skillet.

  • Store them Properly - If you’re seasoning your pan, heat it up and let it come to room temperature and absorb all the oil. Once your pan is completely dry, if you’re not oiling it, stack it with paper towels. You never know if that other pan above or below it is wet! And it can always help if there’s a little too much oil on your cast iron. Always keep pans dry to avoid rust.

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