How to Clean and Care for an Iron Skillet

Like a loyal old friend, a cast iron skillet never lets you down. Cast iron pans can literally last for generations; considering you’ll have it for a lifetime, the initial investment of around $20 seems like almost nothing.

Offering a super hot cooking surface and even heat conduction, the trusty and versatile iron skillet is perfect for searing steaks and can just as easily bake up a cornbread or everyday cake in the oven. It’s just the right tool for pan-frying, and we love to toss in vegetables for roasting. It even offers health benefits, adding trace amounts of iron to your diet. With so many reasons to love it, make sure you show your cast iron pan lots of love in return and treat it right. Read on for The Happy Kitchen’s tips for the care and feeding of your new BFF!

  • The first commandment: never use soap on your cast iron and never put it in the diswasher.
  • To season your skillet: wipe pan with a damp cloth and dry completely. Rub a generous amount of any neutral-flavored cooking oil on both inside and outside surfaces. Put in oven at 325 and bake, upside down, with a baking pan underneath (to catch any drips). Leave in oven for one hour.
  • Use it! The more you use it and season it well, the less food will stick.
  • To clean: after use, cool pan enough to handle and sprinkle coarse salt on the bottom. Use salt to scrub away any food stuck to the pan. Rinse with a damp cloth and water and dry thoroughly. Coat inside and out with a layer of oil and and rub in; wipe off any excess oil. Repeat this process every time you use it.