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  • I'm Frank Proto, I'm a professional chef and a culinary instructor, and today I'm gonna teach you everything you need to know about cast iron care.

  • We'll be going over seasoning, cleaning, and storing your cast iron and everything you need to know to keep it looking brand new.

  • This is Cast Iron Care 101.

  • Part of the reason I love cast iron is because they retain heat really well.

  • Compared to the aluminum pan, which is super light, cast iron is dense and heavy.

  • You get a better sear, better color on your food when you use a cast iron pan.

  • Cast iron's super versatile. It can go from the stove to the oven to the campfire if you bring it camping.

  • It's also really nice to serve in. It looks really rustic.

  • You can use it for a range of different things.

  • Hash browns are great. You can do a Dutch baby in it.

  • Not only is cast iron great for cooking, it's great for home protection, too.

  • Bonk that guy over the head.

  • You can pass these down to your kids and grandkids, and as long as they take care of them, they'll be around forever.

  • Hey Mom, where's my cast iron pan?

  • She doesn't have any. I know she doesn't.

  • Even if your cast iron is in bad shape, you can bring it back to life with these simple steps.

  • [CHAPTER ONE | REMOVING RUST]

  • Cast iron is iron. You put it away damp, it's gonna rust.

  • If your pan is rusted over, you can use a chain mail scrubber like this, and you basically just get in there and scrape the pan down.

  • The chain mail really works well. That'll bring it down to the raw metal.

  • You can also use this to protect yourself from daggers, right?

  • But for the most part, I like to use kosher salt, which is a little milder of an abrasive. [SCRUB WITH SALT]

  • It takes a little bit more work, but I find sometimes with things like the chain mail, it marks up your pan, so I wanna just keep it nice and flat and nice and even.

  • Sometimes people will heat the pan, sometimes they will put some oil in with the salt.

  • I'm just gonna go dry and I'm putting a fair amount of salt in there, right?

  • And then I'm gonna get a kitchen towel, and I'm just gonna get in there and scrub.

  • And I'm just gonna scrub around and just keep going in circles.

  • Pull the salt in. Hold your pan down nice and firm.

  • And you can actually see the salt starts to change color, gets that rust color to it.

  • This will also get up any debris on the bottom of the pan.

  • It's not ready yet. I could still see a little rust right here, and what I might do is this: get rid of this salt because that's getting ground up now and get a little fresh salt.

  • Like I said, this takes a little more elbow grease, but I think you get a good finish on your pan.

  • It's looking much better now. I think we're pretty much done here.

  • This salt, unfortunately right now, is garbage, but you can see most of the rust has gone.

  • I'm not really worried about that. Once I season this, that's gonna all go away.

  • Now we're gonna rinse it down and get it ready for seasoning.

  • Here we have some water and dish soap.

  • [CLEAN WITH SOAP]

  • Now I know I'm gonna get a lot of comments about this like, "Don't do that, don't ever put soap on your cast iron pan," but the pan has the salt in it now.

  • It also has some debris left over from the scrubbing, and I just wanna get that clean before I season it.

  • You just get in there.

  • You don't even need a towel or a sponge or anything like that, and any chunks that are still in there, get that out, okay?

  • And look, it's really nice.

  • I'm gonna rinse it. [RINSE AND DRY]

  • I'm gonna dry it really well with a towel. You can use paper towels for this.

  • I'm gonna dry the inside. I'm gonna dry the handle. I'm gonna dry everything, and just get as much water off as we can.

  • Now we're gonna move on to greasing up our pan for seasoning.

  • [CHAPTER TWO | INITIAL SEASONING]

  • What we're gonna do is we're gonna put some oil in it, and we're gonna bake the pan so that the oil gets into the pores of the pan and seals it up.

  • That process is called polymerization.

  • Polymerization is when an oil is heated at a high temperature, and it forms a slick solid surface in our pan.

  • Basically, it means you're putting a nonstick coating on it.

  • Most people season their pans with vegetable oil or canola oil, and it works really well. [GREASE AND BAKE PAN]

  • I like to use Crisco. Crisco is just oil in solid form. It sticks to the pan a little bit better.

  • I can see where it's coated. It's a paste. It's a little easier to work with.

  • So all I do is get a paper towel or a napkin, and I just rub my Crisco all around.

  • Make sure that I get into every corner.

  • I'm gonna put a fair amount so I can still see the Crisco, and I'm gonna do the whole pan.

  • Turn it over.

  • I'm gonna get the backside, too, because even though we're not cooking on the backside of the pan or the underside of the pan, I still want it to be protected from rust.

  • When I put this in the oven, I'm gonna turn it upside down so any excess fat will shed off the pan and give me a nice even coating.

  • This looks good. I preheated my oven to 350, and we're gonna put it in there for about an hour.

  • This is what a properly seasoned pan looks like.

  • It has a nice black shine to it. There's no rust spots.

  • Let's move on to our next chapter, cleaning your cast iron.

  • [CHAPTER THREE | CLEANING AFTER USE]

  • Once your pan is seasoned, you're obviously gonna use it.

  • And it's really kinda gross.

  • Let's talk about how we're gonna get this back to its original seasoned splendor.

  • The first step is getting all the big chunks out of the pan, right?

  • I got a bowl. I got some paper towels.

  • So I'm just gonna wipe this out, and get as many big chunks as I can out of this pan. [WIPE WITH TOWEL]

  • And this is why you should clean your pans right after you use them because otherwise, it gets dried on and stuck.

  • There's a lot of ways to clean off this gunk.

  • You can use the chain mail that we used to get the rust off.

  • Some people will also use Brillo with soap. That's not really my preference.

  • Part of the reason I don't like using Brillo is that it'll ruin my seasoning.

  • That's why I prefer the salt. [SCRUB WITH SALT]

  • This is pretty much the same type of step that we use to get the rust off this pan.

  • What I'm looking for is that all of the big chunks come off.

  • If you have any pieces that you're having trouble getting off the sides of the pan, you can always heat it up, and a little bit of heat will help lift that off as well.

  • Next thing we're gonna do is just rinse this in some warm, soapy water.

  • [CLEAN WITH SOAP]

  • If you season your pan right, you have a nice hard coating on here, and soap and water is not gonna ruin that.

  • I'm not gonna scrub it with anything more than a paper towel at this point.

  • Just to get off any leftover flavors. The last thing you want is your apple crumble to taste like fish.

  • I'm gonna rinse this off and dry it on the inside and on the outside so there's no water.

  • Let's move on to how we store and maintain these pans.

  • [CHAPTER FOUR | STORING AND MAINTAING]

  • Once it's clean and dry, I always like to put a light coating of oil on. [LIGHTLY GREASE PAN]

  • Not only is this gonna help keep our seasoning, it's gonna make sure that this does not rust at all.

  • And this time I'm just gonna put it on the cooking surface.

  • Everything else is already seasoned, and it has that nice coating on it.

  • I'm gonna take this pan and put it in a warm oven and let the oven and the pan cool down together, and that's where I store it.

  • Now we have a perfectly seasoned cast iron pan.

  • I hope these tips help you keep your pan in great condition for your next cooking adventure.

  • Don't come in my house. I'll do a backhand, all right? Just one of these little...

I'm Frank Proto, I'm a professional chef and a culinary instructor, and today I'm gonna teach you everything you need to know about cast iron care.

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The Best Way To Clean and Season a Cast Iron Skillet | Epicurious

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    Jeff Chiao posted on 2022/03/30
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