Cast-iron pans are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. You can use this versatile pan for baking cornbread, searing steak, making a casserole and many other delicious dishes. Unlike other pans, a cast-iron skillet can last for years with the proper care and maintenance. And to help you get the most out of your cast-iron skillet, Carla Lalli Music, author of the cookbook Where Cooking Begins, recently shared her tips for keeping your cookware in tip-top shape.
Music, who shares cooking videos and recipes on her Patreon account, dedicated the second season of her show to all things cast iron. And to keep her pans clean, she uses a method that she learned from her mom. Music relies on a Kamenoko Tawashi Scrubber and a little bit of water to remove bits of food stuck in the pan (buy it: East Fork Pottery, $9).
After removing any excess food, Music rinses both the interior and exterior of the pan, just in case any bits of food have made their way over the sides of the pan while she was cooking. Then, she sets the pan on the stove over medium-high flame until the water has evaporated and the pan is completely dry before putting it away.
When it comes to reasoning the pan, Music says, "the only time you need to reseason your pan is if you feel like you've gotten down to where it feels dry...you're seeing the raw iron underneath." To reseason your pan, just take a bit of neutral oil (some people use Crisco) and rub it into the pan and handle with a cloth. The oil will absorb into the pan and help reseal it against future cooking.