Using cast iron in the kitchen becomes more and more popular in recent years. And why shouldn’t it? Cast iron is durable, non-stick and very versatile, meaning that you can use it for vessels of any kind. The question is how you maintain it clean at all times, so that you can expect to get full pleasure from your cooking, the food prepared and the knowledge that it is a hundred percent healthy and hygienic. Well, it is not as hard as it may sound at first. Let’s have a look at the proper technique for sanitising your cast iron without wasting time, energy or resources of any kind. If you follow the tips we are going to describe below, your pots and pans will look just the way they did when you first brought them from the store.
What you are going to need
Naturally, the first and most important thing that you are going to need in order to get your cast iron cookware clean is… the actual cookware. Then, make sure that you have a stock of:
- Sponges with scrubbing surfaces. A stiff bristled brush will also do the trick.
- Paper towels
- Vegetable oil
- Coarse Salt
The most important rule to remember
When it comes to cleaning, there is one golden rule and that is that you should get the job done as soon as possible. In the case of your cast iron cookware that would be while it is still warm from use.
Washing cast iron cookware properly – that’s how you do it
Repeat after us – cast iron is never, and we mean ever, put with the rest of your cutlery in the dishwasher. You need to clean it by hand. You will not have to use soap, just hot water, the sponge or the brush we have mentioned before, and some additional energy to remove any grease from the surface.
If you have waited for too long to wash your cast iron cookware, chances are that you will have to deal with stubborn residue that simply will not come off. Have no fear, it will be relatively easy to deal with such a problem in case you follow our instructions. Yet again you will not need any soap to get the job done. Use the coarse salt by mixing it with warm water until it forms a kind of a paste and apply it on the stubborn bits. The salt will loosen them up and make them quite easy to remove. As easy as that.
Adding the final touches
You might think that once you have washed the cookware, removed all residue and grease you are done. If you want to have perfectly looking cast iron however, you will need to add some finishing touches. First use the paper towels we have told you to get in order to dry the surface of your cast iron. Get a new paper towel and gently soak some vegetable oil on it. Use it to rinse the inside of your cast iron cookware. Thus you will enhance the non-stick qualities of the cast iron, and even protect it from rust.
In case you have any other problems
Even though the method we have described above has proven to be really efficient when it comes to cleaning cast iron cookware, it is not fool-proof. There are cases in which you will not be able to get the results you have been hoping for, but you should not under any circumstances despair. Most often the problem is that bits of rust appear on the cast iron. That should not be a reason for you to simply throw away the vessel.
The easiest way to remove rust is to detect it before it has become a major problem. Inspect your cast iron items after each washing in order to do that and when a problem is found, just use a steel wool to remove the rust with gentle motions. Another tool that you can use in order to achieve the same results is to cut a raw potato in half, sprinkle salt on it and rinse the rust off. The secret is that the moisture of the potato combined with the abrasive qualities of the salt will produce the results you are hoping for better than most tools you can buy from the local supermarket.
As you can clearly see from the text above, keeping your cast iron cookware clean and looking good is not as hard as it may seem at first. When you have in mind that along with the many obvious benefits of actually cooking in pans and pots made out of this particular material, there is no longer a reason for you not to update to this great form of cookware.