A complete guide to cooking, cleaning and maintaining cast iron cookware

Black cast iron skillets are used for cooking a variety of dishes. Cast iron cookware tends to get better with age than other kitchen utensils. They are nearly indestructible, which ensures that they last for long periods. Thus, they are a great return on investment in your health.

Cooking in cast iron allows for less oil, which is healthy and lowers the consumption of saturated fats. Also, cast iron cookware is chemical-free mainly, making it highly safe for long-term cooking.

We will now take a comprehensive look at cast iron skillets and understand how and what to cook in them and how to wash and maintain them.

Cast Iron Skillet | 8 Inches

The first thing to do is to place it on slow gas for a few minutes. Cast iron is a great conductor. It is suggested that users hand over the pan to estimate if it is hot enough for cooking. Some users have mentioned that their food still sticks to the pan despite taking all the necessary precautions. This is because the pan is still too cold when the food is first placed.

We can also use the cast iron Tawa (griddle) to cook vegetables and incorporate more iron into our food. Various vegetables such as okra (ladyfingers), onions, potatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and carrots can be prepared using cast iron skillets or pans. Similarly, even cakes and bread can be cooked using two of these pans, an excellent alternative for those who do not have ovens.

It is recommended that users avoid cooking acidic foods such as lemons and vinegar on the pan. These foods can damage the pan's seasoning due to their high acid levels. It may also absorb some metallic particles from the pan, which could eventually spoil the taste of the food. Tomatoes also face a similar problem when cooked in cast iron. However, this citric food is exceptionally soft, and if it is cooked for a short period in a cast iron skillet, its taste will not be affected. Similarly, while eggs can be cooked in cast iron, they tend to stick to the base, so users should be careful before using them.

Cast Iron Concave Tawa | 12 Inches

How to clean a black cast iron

One of the minor downsides of black iron is the stains they may develop due to water, as they can be susceptible to rust. But there are ways to make your iron cookware look brand new. Some experts suggest using a woollen steel scrubber to scrub out these stains. The scrub should be dipped in light or mild soap to ensure the cast iron is being cleaned well. Since the cast iron skillet or pan is essentially made of one piece of iron, it does not have parts that need to be cleaned separately. This makes it convenient to scrub it completely from top to bottom. Once thoroughly scoured the stains or gunk from your skillet, you can run it under hot water to remove any leftover particles or additional gunk left on the pan.

Since water makes iron rust, the first thing to do after washing it is to wipe it with a clean paper towel or soft cloth napkin. In case those materials are not available, one can heat them on the stove to ensure that any retained moisture is removed.

Cast Iron Pan | Skillet

  1. How to maintain a cast iron skillet

    Maintaining a cast iron's cooking surface is important to provide as much utility as it usually does. Some experts suggest applying flaxseed oil to the pan, as it dries well and creates the best seasoning to obtain a non-stick quality. If you are looking for less expensive options, canola oil can also be used. Once the oil has been applied to the cooking surface, it must be wiped all over it to ensure that the tiny pores are completely covered to maximize their potential for cooking. Any excess oil must be wiped off from the entire pan to avoid returning to square one and rewashing it.


    Once the pan has been wiped down, it should be placed in the oven for an hour at a temperature of 450 to 500 degrees. It needs to be placed inside at this temperature, so the oil is taken past its smoking point, which ensures that it breaks down and bonds with the cast iron. At the end of the hour, remove the pan and let it cool.

    Users will notice the pan's shiny appearance on the cooking surface. This helps to make the cast iron a non-stick utensil.

    An alternative way of seasoning the pan is to apply a thick layer of salt to its bottom. Then, add a thick layer of cooking oil and place it over high heat. Once the pan reaches a smoking point, you can discard the ingredients into a heatproof bowl. The final step is to rub the inside of the pan with a soft cloth or paper towels until it has a smooth feel.




    Cast iron pans are useful vessels in which to cook nourishing food. However, they need to be preserved carefully to maintain their longevity and value. We highly recommend that every household has at least one cast iron pan or skillet.

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