The savory aroma of dinner sizzling in a cast iron skillet intertwined with the smoke from a campfire is a fitting end to a great day outdoors. Cast iron cookware is durable, easy to use, and adds special charm to any camp or outing. Here are a few tips to help it last a lifetime:
Use Your Cast Iron Skillet Often
Neglected cast iron can develop rust. While using cast iron cookware often is not a problem for most folks, keeping it in an easily accessible and visible place is insurance that you won’t forget it on your next trip. Plus, the more you use it, the more you will love it.
Clean Cast Iron After Every Use
Cleaning cast is very simple. Wash it thoroughly with hot water while it is still warm. Any food particles and grease will come off easily.
Tip: Watch this video to learn how to clean cast iron by Lodge cast iron. Click here to shop Lodge cast iron at Bass Pro Shops.
Never Use Soap on Cast Iron
Soaps will break down the cure on your cast iron ware—as will over cleaning. Never place it in the dishwasher. The continued water pressure can destroy your cure.
How to Scour Tough Grime on Cast Iron
If your cast needs a thorough cleaning, use coarse salt, like Morton’s Kosher Salt. Use a paper towel to rub the salt around the pot to remove tough food particles. A stiff bristle brush will take care of most tough sticks. If you are still having problems, boil water in the pan before scrubbing.
How to Dry Cast Iron Quickly and Thoroughly
Wipe the pan completely dry after washing. Heat it on low temperature for a few minutes to open the pores of the iron. Then apply a thin layer of vegetable oil with a paper towel or soft cloth.
How to Store Cast Iron
Place your pans in a cool, dry place. It is wise to add paper towels to separate cookware from lids. The air flow will keep the pans from souring.
How to Beat the Rust on Cast Iron
Unfortunately, cast can sometimes be forgotten in the pantry for long periods of time. The result is rust. Rubbing with steel wool will loosen most rust. For tough jobs, use an air or sand blaster.
How to Re-Season Cast Iron
Re-seasoning will bring your cast iron back to life. Wash your pots with warm, soapy water—just this one time. Then dry very well. Rub vegetable oil over the entire surface—bottom and handles, too. Turn the pot upside down on a rack in your oven and bake for an hour at 400 degrees. Repeat the process until it takes on the glossy sheen that gives cast iron its nonstick and rust prevention properties.
You can also purchase a cast iron conditioner. Many are all - natural formulas using plant products to condition and maintain your cast iron cookware by protecting it from rust and keeping in perfect condition.
Watch Video: How to clean and season your cast iron skillet.
Pass Your Cast Iron to the Next Generation
If you haven’t done so, plan to pass your cast iron on to the next generation. Include younger family members in the usage of your favorite cooking equipment. Share recipes and make them together.
Take care of your cast iron ware and the enjoyment you have derived from it will spread to the campfires of your heirs. I still possess a small cast iron skillet that cooked dozens of meals during my outdoor expeditions as a child. A grandson will soon inherit it. I can’t wait to watch him cook that first meal.