Iron skillets are the best I adore cooking with them, I even have a cast iron wok which is my pride and joy. However I hate other people using them because more often than not people simply do not know about the maintenance of cast iron.
Here's what you can do:
Clean your skillet immediately after use when it still has heat in it. (Not loads just some)
Put the skillet in clean, warm water. Use a small plastic scraper, stiff brush or sponge to remove stuck on food. You can also make a paste of salt and water, then scrub the paste on the bottom of the pan to remove stuck on food. If you have stubborn food residue that won’t come off the skillet, try boiling some water in the pan to loosen the food.
Once the skillet is clean, towel dry the inside. You can also put the skillet on a stove burner on low, but do not leave the pan unattended.
After the skillet is dry, pour a small amount of vegetable oil or melted shortening in the skillet and rub it around with a clean paper towel. This is to re-season the pan.
If you have rust in your cast iron skillet, you can use a bit of steel wool, but you will have to re-season the pan afterwards. You can also clean the rust by rubbing the cut side of a potato and a sprinkle of baking soda on the bottom of the skillet. Rinse well with warm water the re-season the pan.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do wash your cast iron skillet after use, when it is still warm.
- Do store your skillet in a dry place.
- Do re-season your cast iron skillet as needed.
- Don’t use dishwash liquid.
- Don’t soak your cast iron pan in water. (This may cause the skillet to rust.)
- Don’t put your cast iron skillet in the dishwasher.
- Don’t use steel wool as this may strip the seasoning from the skillet.