How do you care for your seasoned cast-iron pan? The simple answer is:
Use it, clean it (avoid abrasives), dry it, re-oil it occasionally, and use it again.
For the most part you only need to wipe out your pan, or use a small amount of coarse salt and a damp dish towel to rub away any debris.
Using mild soap and water and not scrubbing too hard is fine, but only once in a while. Your pans always need to be dried thoroughly after washing to avoid rust.
What Not to Do
Cast iron is so easy to use, but there are things to avoid:
Do not ever put cast iron in the dishwasher.
Do not ever put cast iron in the microwave.
Do not store food in cast iron.
Do not freeze food in cast iron.
Do not use utensils that will gouge the seasoning.
Do not clean cast iron with copper or brass scrubbers.
Avoid using cast iron to boil water because it will degrade your seasoned coating. Avoid simmering highly acidic foods, such as wine and toma-toes, for prolonged periods, unless the pan is well seasoned.
Acids react with the iron, causing discoloration and off-tasting food. If you use too much acid, it can cause pitting, too.
- Cast iron may pick up flavors from time to time - fish in particular - so avoid baking or making vegetarian dishes in the same skillet used to cook meat dishes.