When you just want a piece of affordable cookware that can do everything in the kitchen, many of you choose the good old cast iron pan. Indeed, cast iron stoves are not only cheap and versatile, but they will last for generations!
Unlike other cookware, these cast iron cookware is as durable as it is safe and allows cooking at high temperatures. However, you do not maintain a cast iron pan the same way you manage an aluminum or other material. To enjoy your cast iron stove for a long time, follow our advice on how to clean and maintain your cast iron stove.
1. How to base a cast iron pan?
Before even using your brand new cast iron stove, you will need to prepare it, season it to ensure its longevity and prevent rust from appearing on its surface. To do this, you must create a hard and protective coating by thin heating layers of fat (such as oil) on the cast iron. As the fat is heated, it binds to the metal in a process called polymerization: the fat turns into a form of plastic.
After applying enough layers of oil, it is not a greasy coating but a hard, blackened skin that will form and protect the metal of the pan. It will also give it non-stick properties to your pan, which makes even the foods most prone to sticking (think fried eggs) a pleasure to cook with cast iron.
Here are the steps for pelletizing a cast iron pan:
- Wash the pan with dish soap and a sponge, then dry well.
- Coat it with vegetable oil, inside and out, not forgetting the handle.
- Heat it in an oven at 230 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.
- Repeat 3 or 4 times: remove the pan from the oven, coat it again with oil and return to the oven.
2. How to maintain a cast iron pan?
After each use, you will need to maintain your cast iron stove to ensure its longevity. To do this, you will need vegetable oil, salt and paper towels.
- Pour two tablespoons of oil into the bottom of the pan, then put the pan on the heat and let it heat for a few minutes.
- Then turn off the heat, and pour three tablespoons of salt. Roll the paper towel in a large ball, and rub well everywhere.
- Once this is done, rinse the pan under running water and dry well.
- Finally, apply another thin layer of oil.
If you follow all of the above steps, your cast iron stove will remain in good condition for a very long time.
3. Clean a cast iron skillet with salt
After cooking with your cast iron pan, pour salt into the bottom of the pan and let sit for a few minutes. Salt will absorb grease and dirt. Then rub gently with a clean cloth.
Do not forget to apply a layer of vegetable oil before storing your stove to keep it in good condition for a long time.
4. Clean a cast iron pan with baking soda
Following the same principle as salt, baking soda will absorb grease and dirt. Sprinkle over the entire surface of the pan, leave to act and rub gently with a clean cloth. Then apply a layer of oil to tidy up as always.
5. Clean a cast iron pan with a potato
Another effective grandmother’s tip for cleaning a cast iron skillet is the use of the potato. Yes, yes, a potato! Here’s how to do it:
- Once your pan has cooled, sprinkle baking soda over the entire cooking surface of the pan.
- Then use half a potato to rub the entire surface of the pan.
- Rinse, dry well and apply a layer of oil before storing.
6. Degrease a cast iron skillet with lemon
If your cast iron pan is very dirty and greasy, rub it with half a lemon. Then wipe thoroughly to prevent it from rusting. Dry and apply vegetable oil.
Be careful to dry well after rubbing the inside of the pan with the lemon because rust can form quickly, very quickly.
7. How do I clean a very dirty cast iron pan?
If, after trying to clean your cast iron stove, it is still filthy, let it soak overnight in water to which you will have added soda. Rinse, dry completely and apply oil.
8. How do I remove a stain from a cast-iron skillet?
If your cast iron stove is stained, fill it with bleach and leave to act until the stains disappear. Rinse and dry as usual, before applying a layer of vegetable oil.
Attention, it is vital to wash and rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of bleach in the cast iron pan.
9. How to renovate a cast iron pan?
One of the best places to get a quality cast iron skillet is at the flea market or garage sales. However, the cast iron pan of your dreams may need a lot of love and elbow grease if it is covered with rust. Do not despair. It is quite possible to renovate a cast iron stove! Here’s how:
Sandpaper: get soft grain sandpaper and gently rub the entire surface of the pan to remove rust.
Aquarium sand: sprinkle the pan with a fine sand like the one used for aquariums, and scrub with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Vinegar: soak a sheet of newspaper rolled in a ball of vinegar and sprinkle with coarse salt. Then rub off any rust stains until they disappear.
Lemon juice and bicarbonate: make a paste by mixing one tablespoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of bicarbonate, and a little water. Coat the pan with this mixture and let it act for about fifteen minutes. Then rinse and dry thoroughly.
After these renovations of your cast iron stove, do not forget to prepare it (cap) before using it by following our advice mentioned earlier in this article.