There are several schools of thought to caring for cast iron cookware. Some see it as easy — a traditional skill they’ve long mastered and possibly learned from their parents or grandparents. Then there are those who see it as some sort of arcane ritual, fraught with confusion and the possibility of error. And then there are people like me who actually have started fires in the kitchen trying to season cast iron cookware. More about that little episode later. The reality is that taking care of your cast iron is incredibly easy and requires minimal effort — and just a little bit of oil or grease.
Seasoning Your Cast Iron
Many new cast iron pieces come pre-seasoned — that is to say they already have oil more or less literally baked into the pores of the iron, which forms a durable, non-stick coating in the pan. If you’ve got cookware like that, great. Skip on ahead to the next section, or keep reading anyway, because knowledge is power. Let us presume you have rusty, dirty or poorly cared-for cast iron. Start by cleaning off the rust. This can be as simple as scrubbing it with some salt mixed with oil, or using bare steel wool, or even gently sandblasting in the most extreme cases.