Slideshow Widget

  • Cochem, Germany 2013 photo Cochem_edited-1.jpg" />
  • Heidelberg, Germany 2013 photo heidelberg_edited-1.jpg" />
  •  photo florence.jpg" />
  • Rome, Italy 2013 photo Rome2.jpg" />
  •  photo florence2.jpg" />
  •  photo Venice.jpg" />

Tips for Caring for Cast Iron

Friday, December 5, 2014

I feel like because I'm a Southern Girl (yeah, I'm capitalizing it!) I should have learned to care for my cast iron skillet in my grandma's tiny country kitchen or while learning to cook beside my mama. Cooking in cast iron is pretty common just about everywhere, but it's almost sacrilegious to cook any other way in the South.

So why don't I know how to take care of my skillet? Well, my mama is notoriously impatient, especially in the kitchen - so she never taught me to cook - and I was one of the youngest of about a bazillion grandkids and more often that not was swatted on the behind while running to the back door as I was told "if you don't get out of this house this instant...." There was no need for my grandma to finish the threat; I knew whatever would happen if I didn't go and play was not going to be pleasant... and, frankly, my imagination was probably more effective than anything my wonderful grandma would have ever done to me. Most likely I would have been put on dishes duty, which would have solved my current dilemma. 

Back to the cast iron. I didn't learn to cook until after I got married and only got my first cast iron skillet last year. So I'm a bit behind the curve here.

Available from Amazon

I always thought you couldn't wash an iron skillet with soap because you don't want to strip that precious seasoning, so for the past year I've been scrubbing it with Epsom salt and re-seasoning it regularly in the oven.

But I was still having problems with my skillet. Food would stick and aren't these skillets supposed to be non stick? And my skillet wasn't smooth and shiny, what's up with that? Every cast iron skillet I've ever seen has been a gorgeous shiny black and just as smooth as can be.

Then I found this article on The Truth About Cast Iron. Yay! You mean I CAN use soap to scrub off that burnt on food?! Oh my goodness, I see the light!

I don't know if anything in that article is true or good for my skillet, but I've been using a couple of their tips, specifically warming it up by rotating it and trying to make sure my food (eggs or meat or fish, especially) are room temp before dropping them in, and I've been having better luck. I have washed it with soap a couple of times (making sure to warm and reseason it afterwards, of course) and was actually able to fry an egg in it yesterday. Today I'm going to try to cook fish fillets. We'll see how it goes.

I really want this relationship with my cast iron skillet to work out. If I can cook things in it and keep it looking good, my plan is to ask Mike for one of these bad boys:

Check it out at Le Creuset's website here.
I don't feel like I'm good enough in the kitchen yet to deserve something so beautiful, but I'm working towards it. Maybe next year.

Also Available at Amazon.

In the meantime, talk it up in the comments! What are your tips & tricks for keeping your cast iron all sparkly and beautiful? Do you love it better than Teflon-coated or stainless steel? What's your favorite cookware? Let us know! 

Know someone new to the cast iron club? Don't forget, sharing is caring!

(Now I'm off to trick my husband into reading this!)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclaimer here.