Cast iron pans are an AMAZING substitute for Teflon. A few years back, my husband and I made the decision to stop using any other Teflon-coated skillets and replace them with cast iron. It seemed like a pretty simple method to improve our family’s confidence in the safety of the food we were providing them. But at first, cast iron can appear a little confusing. Do not be afraid; the switch can be made without a hitch by following a few simple procedures. To keep your cast iron well seasoned and in peak condition, use these suggestions!

1. Be careful to season the pan according to the directions before using. Before using the pan, some individuals like to season it numerous times to develop an excellent flavor. Additionally, you can do this whenever you decide your pan needs it in the future. Apply cooking oil to the skillet and bake it for an hour at 350 degrees to season it. It can then be used after being dried using a paper towel.

2. The first few times you cook something, I advise cooking something with a high fat content to assist your pans quickly get an even, superior flavor. Make a pizzokie, bake some biscuits with butter, or fry some bacon.

3. Avoid using soap and dishwashers at all costs! (But don’t worry, they are SO easy to wash; just follow the directions that follow.)

4. Avoid letting your pan remain wet for an extended period of time (i.e. no long soaking). Instead of using a metal scrubber, immediately after cooking, rinse it with hot water and scrub any burned-on food off with a moderate abrasive. You might try salt or a non-scratch sponge.

5. Use a towel or paper towel to dry your clothes right away after washing. Just make sure it is completely dry; you don’t want any moisture on it at all since this can lead to rust stains.

6. After the pan has been well cleaned, give it a quick oiling. For seasoning cast iron pans, I typically use olive oil, but you can also use vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, etc.), shortening (like Crisco), or lard. Just add a little bit of oil to your pan or paper towel and spread it around with the paper towel to get an even coating. If you’d like, you can lightly warm your pan for this procedure, wipe the excess off, and then store the pan once it has cooled.

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