- Always preheat your skillet before adding any food. 5-10 minutes on low heat should do the trick. To test if your skillet is hot enough, flick a few drops of water into it. The water should sizzle and dance.
- Do not preheat your skillet on high heat. This is very important, and applies not only to cast iron, but to your other cookware as well. Very rapid changes in temperature can cause metal to warp. Start at a low temperature setting and go from there.
- Avoid cooking with acidic ingredients like wine and tomato sauce as they can be rough on the seasoning. If you do lose some seasoning, no big deal, you can touch it up later.
- Use a little extra oil when cooking in a new skillet. After using your skillet a couple times, you’ll find you don’t need as much.
- Use caution when touching the handle of the skillet. Our handle design stays cool longer than others, but it will still get hot eventually.
Cleaning cast iron is easy. In our opinion, hot water, a stiff dish brush, and a little elbow grease is all your cast iron needs. Another good tool that we can recommend for stubborn, burned-on food is a chain mail scrubber. They are very effective at removing food without damaging the seasoning. Stay away from scouring pads and steel wool as they are likely to scrub right through the seasoning, unless you plan on re-seasoning after cleaning of course.
There’s a lot of debate about whether or not to use soap on cast iron. If you run into some tough grime, or you just feel more comfortable with a little soap, go for it. You’re not going to hurt anything. Just don’t soak your skillet in soapy water. We’ll repeat that one: never soak your skillet in the sink. Water should be used briefly and then the skillet should be dried completely. Some people like to warm up their skillet on the stove after washing and drying to be sure it’s completely dry, and this isn’t a bad idea.
Never put your skillet in the dishwasher. It would probably survive but we don’t recommend it. Just follow these simple steps:
- Wait for your skillet to cool.
- Place the skillet in the sink and run hot water into the skillet.
- If desired, add a small amount of gentle dish soap. Avoid abrasive cleaners like Bar Keeper’s Friend.
- Scrub with a stiff dish brush, soft sponge, or chain mail scrubber until all food debris is removed.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Dry immediately with a clean cloth or paper towel; do not let air dry.
- If desired, place your skillet back on the stove and set it to low heat to ensure that the skillet is completely dry.
- If desired, wipe a thin coat of cooking oil on the skillet before storing.
If you order a seasoned skillet from us, this is the exact process we use. We season each piece by hand with 2 thin coats of oil. We recommend using canola oil or a seasoning product like Crisbee and following these steps:
- Preheat your oven to 225 °F.
- Wash the skillet thoroughly with soap and water. If your skillet already has seasoning on it, feel free to use a scouring pad or steel wool to remove some of the old seasoning, especially if it’s rough or sticky to the touch.
- Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Dry completely.
- Place the skillet, upside down, in the preheated oven. Wait 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place it on the stove or other heat-resistant surface.
- Using a clean cloth or paper towel, spread a thin coat of oil all over the skillet: inside, outside, handle, etc.
- Using a different clean cloth or paper towel, wipe off as much of the oil as possible. The only oil that remains should be soaked into the iron.
- Place your skillet, upside down, back in the oven. Increase the temperature to 475 °F. Let it bake for 1 hour.
- Turn the oven off, and leave the oven door closed. Let the skillet cool inside the oven for at least 1 hour before attempting to remove it.
- Preheat your oven to 225 °F again and repeat steps 4-9 to add additional layers of seasoning. We recommend 2 layers of seasoning on a bare skillet, but some people use 3 or 4. It’s totally up to you!