I’m sure y’all are aware that I cook with cast iron. I figure if it was good enough for those old-timers and folks going down the trail then it’s good enough for me! It’s been around forever and if taken care of properly it will out last us all. If a nuclear bomb hits the earth there will be two things that will survive: cockroaches and cast iron.
There are so many methods out there for seasoning and cleaning cast. If you’ve got a method that works for you then do it, but this is my method and it’s been getting my by for over 25 years.
Below are some of my quick tips for cooking in and caring for cast, but for a more detailed version I invite y’all to check out the videos attached. It was filmed in Branson, Missouri while we were giving a cast iron demo.
Cast iron has a lot of great uses and benefits and the only time you should fear cast is when someone is fixin’ to hit you with it!
-Never use soap on cast. You should only use hot water and the soft side of a sponge or wooden spoon for cleaning.
-Use a wooden spoon to scape cast iron. Metal on metal will hurt your seasoning.
-If you’ve got a really sticky situation on your hands, you can throw you cast in the fire just long enough to loosen the particles and scape out. You can also try the self-cleaning setting on your conventional oven. But remember you’ll need to re-season well.
-I always use olive oil to season the inside of my ovens. Some oils and lard can become rancid over time, especially in warm climates. Olive oil will help keep your cast sweet.
-Always use a lint free rag when seasoning, never a paper towel. A paper towel will leave lint and eventually create a build-up.
-Make sure your oven is warm when seasoning (around 200 degrees F). The pores in the cast must open to accept seasoning.
-You don’t need to apply very much oil, just about a quarter sized drop (depending on the size of your Dutch oven or skillet). You just want a thin layer and wipe out any excess so you won’t create an oily build-up.
-If your rusty piece is made of 100% cast iron, it can be brought back to life.
-Throw the cast in the fire and let it get very hot. Remove the piece and take a wire brush to it. This will loosen the rust. You can also try the self-cleaning setting on your conventional oven.
-While the cast is hot you can also buff the piece with salt. The salt will help pull the rust out.
-My last resort for removing rust is baking soda and vinegar. I’ve also known people to submerge a piece directly in vinegar.
Cast Iron part 1: Buying Guide and Seasoning New Cast Iron
Cast Iron Part 2: Baking Tips, Storage and Cleaning
Cast Iron part 3: Rust Care