Cast iron skillets are magical! Okay maybe not magical – but I really love them. They heat evenly, get super hot for good sears, they transfer to the oven, boot iron in your foods, are naturally non-stick, you can use them for baking, they can last forever if you take care of them, and non toxic.
There is a learning curve on how to use and take care of cast iron.
Cast iron and water DO NOT mix. I do wash mine with water, natural soap, and a stainless steel scrubber. However, I scrub for as little time as possible and then I throughly dry the skillet.
That part is non negotiable, not even a little bit.
If there is even a tiny amount of water left on your skillet, it will either rust or remove the seasoning (which is what makes the pan nonstick).
Think I’m being dramatic?
This is what happens when you wash your cast iron skillet and you don’t dry it off….
That my friend is rust…
But, cast iron skillets are resilient! Here is how I fixed this problem when a certain husband forgets and places the skillet on the drying rack…
First, I added about 2-3 tablespoons of water and salt to the pan. Then, using a stainless steel scrubber I scrub the pan thoroughly until all of the rust it scrubbed off. Rinse well and dry completely.
Now it’s time to re-season the skillet and make it nonstick again!
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
I will be using lard this time, because I have previously used coconut oil with mixed at best results. (Please only use a neutral oil)
Use a paper towel or tea towel to LIGHTLY – VERY LIGHTLY coat the entire pan with lard. Just a dab will cover the pan just fine. I like to coat the entire pan, bottom and handle included.
Then, use a clean towel to remove any excess. Place the pan upside down in the oven for an hour.
I had to repeat the light coating and baking in the oven three times before I got a nice black shinny pan.
Good as new!
I highly recommend switching to cast iron skillets. They are a great non toxic pan. But you will need to do a little bit of research on how to use and care for them before getting started. Once you getting over the learning curve, you’ll be hooked!