Do you own a cast-iron pan or have you always wanted to invest in one? In my opinion, it’s definitely worth the investment. A cast-iron frying pan (skillet) will quickly become your go-to kitchen tool, not to mention it’s ideal to take with you on a camping trip for cooking. Once you own a cast-iron pan, it’s important to care for it! I’m sharing some simple tips to help you care for your cast-iron frying pan.
Some of my favourite childhood memories were camping with my dad growing up. We camped in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina, during all seasons. We cooked all of our meals in one pan; a big cast-iron frying pan. My dad would cook trout in the evenings and pancakes in the morning! I loved watching him place that cast-iron pan right on a roaring fire and cook up a storm. It was also where I learned to cook for the first time too.
Why Use A Cast Iron Pan
Cast-iron pans are incredibly durable and able to withstand high cooking temperatures. Being able to withstand high temps makes them perfect for cooking all types of tasty meals. A cast-iron pan and a campfire are iconic for me, but there are a ton of uses for cast-iron in your everyday kitchen. From a flavourful stir fry to a decadent chocolate chip cookie baked in a skillet, there are all sorts of ways you can use your cast-iron pan.
How to Clean Your Cast Iron Pan
Traditionally the best way to clean a cast-iron pan is to wipe it down while it’s still warm. A method that works best when cooking something that is a little fattier, like bacon. To season your cast-iron pan, whether it’s brand new or needs re-seasoning, you would apply a thin layer of oil, wipe it around, and bake upside down in the oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes. After it was done, you would let it cool and it would be ready to cook in again. Washing your cast iron pan with mild soap will not hurt it, if it needs a cleaning. However, scouring pads shouldn’t be used on cast-iron pans. Making sure that your pan stays seasoned will help keep your cookware in great shape!
What to Cook in Your Cast Iron Pan
Cast-iron frying pans are very versatile cookware. Even if you don’t have a campfire, there are more than a few reasons to bust out your cast-iron. My personal favourite is Saturday morning pancakes, whether premade or from scratch, a cast-iron makes a fantastic pancake with its evenly distributed heat. Don’t skimp out on the fat either – lard, butter, or something like grapeseed oil works too. When you finish cooking, wipe down your pan and put it away, I am still a fan of the old-fashioned way of cleaning it! You can wash it too but make sure you use a mild soap.
When it comes to caring for your cast-iron frying pan, wiping it down after cooking, using mild cleaners when needed, and re-seasoning it in the oven from time to time will help maintain the quality of your frying pan and extend it’s longevity.