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cast iron pan help please!

I never got into the groove of using cast iron. But I have a new Indian cast iron wok that I bought for $5 yesterday from an Indian store and the owner told me earnestly that the rust buildup on the nside was no problem.  So I'm sitting here now with that sucker on high heat over the burner, hoping my neighbors don't call the fire department.

My question is: how to care for this guy so it stays seasoned?  I tried a relationsihp with a Loge skillet a few years ago and followed all the instructions. After every use I would heat it and put a little oil on it before putting it away. When I would take it out to use, the surface would be all sticky and I'd be worried the oil was rancid, so I would rinse it off before using and then it would get rusty as I heated it up, etc.  It never got to the point where it was easy to use.

The guy in the Indian store told me I didn't even have to season my "new" pot.  is it  dangerous to cook with a rusty pot?

When you buy a new iron pan, you wash it once with very hot water and soap, and never put soap in it again. Once washed, you dry it well and put it on a low flame until completely dry. Then  you put about a quarter-cup of oil in it and swish it around over medium heat for about 20 min. Or you can oil it heavily and put it in the oven for a couple of hours, take it out and oil it again (use a cloth, don't burn yourself) and let it cool. Wipe it down.
Then when you use it, always wash it out with plain hot water while the pan is still warm, and dry well. You can put a skim of oil, just a skim, on with a paper towel. And don't worry about it going rancid.

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yabbit, thanks for the reply. When you go to use it again, do you rinse it off first to get rid of the film of oil? Doesn't the oil ge rancid as it sits there?

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I've had cast iron pans rust before, so my dad ground them down and got rid of the rust. Then I reseasoned them, in the manner than YG described. I know cast iron is supposed to be the greatest thing ever, but I could never get mine seasoned enough to where cleaning it wasn't a huge pain in the butt. So, I eventually stop using them, every time! And then they rust...you get the picture.

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yabbit, thanks for the reply. When you go to use it again, do you rinse it off first to get rid of the film of oil? Doesn't the oil ge rancid as it sits there?

You only use a tiny bit of oil, just barely enough to coat it.  It shouldn't go rancid if you use it often enough, but even if it does, it's such a small amount that it won't matter.  Eventually the pan will get nice and black and smooth and it'll be easy to cook with and virtually non-stick.

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Thank you.  I've been seasoning them all day (three stints in the oven) and they look great now, but we'll see what happens after I use them!

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They're supposed to look blackish brownish inside. That's the seasoning.
Clean them with HOT plain water and maybe one of those green scrubbing pads, or just a brush or sponge. To keep them from rusting you must wash them ASAP after use, and make sure they are dry  after washing.

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I used to have a set of mismatched cast iron that I loved.  I left it behind when we moved cross country and the movers charged by the pound/mile.  I miss those things.  Follow YG"s directions for seasoning them.  Every time I washed them without soap, dried as best I could and put them in the over at 350, turned it off and let them in there to cool before oiling them.  Eventually, the oil gets and stays in the pores of the pan and does not nead as much oil.

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They look beautiful now. I'm afraid to use them! We'll see how it goes .. .

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With proper care, they only get better with use.

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They look beautiful now. I'm afraid to use them! We'll see how it goes .. .

it should be fine, and congrats, a  lot of people don't know how to use or care for cast iron these days! =)

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I got some old cast irons from a yard sale and they both had a bit of rust.  I found a few sites online that recommended "cooking" the rust off by using the self-cleaning setting on the oven.  I put them upside down on a foil lined cookie sheet.  My parents were actually the ones to remove them from the oven and reseason them, so I don't know what they looked like right out of the oven.  They're both rust free and work great now!

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When I wash out my castiron rice pot, I dry it with a towel and then set it on the burner till it's warm and I'm sure it's thoroughly dry.

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