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How to Season and Maintain Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron dutch ovens have been used for cowboy cooking since the days of the old chuckwagons of the west. Cowboy-style cooking is usually a one-pot meal prepared in a dutch oven or skillet over a fire or coals. Using cast iron cookware camping, or even at home, can let you make hearty and delicious meals while on the trail. and make cooking and cleanup a breeze when they are well-seasoned, cleaned, and maintained. If you take proper care of it, it will serve you well for years to come.

Some people shy away from them because they think they are a hassle. Follow these tips and tricks for a trouble-free cast iron cooking experience. You will have a favorite all-purpose pan for life.

Season New Cast Iron (or New to You)

If you have a new pan (or new to you) make sure it is well-seasoned to start with. Proper seasoning gives you that black finish that cast iron is known for. It helps create a non-stick surface that releases food easily and prevents rust from forming. Clean it well with warm water and a little soap. rinse and dry thoroughly. Apply a thin layer of cooking oil, we use high-quality olive oil and avoid sprays. Bake in a 450* oven for one hour, with the pan placed upside down on the rack. Allow cookware to cool completely in the oven.

Cast Iron Cleaning and Maintenance

Griswold Cast Iron Frying pan
Seasoning a cast iron pan after cleaning
  1. Always wash them by hand using warm water. Use a small plastic scraper for anything stuck. If you have stubborn spots, do not leave your pan to soak. Instead, simmer a little water for up to 5 minutes to loosen any stuck or burnt food. Use the scraper after the pan has cooled.

  2. Dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth of paper towels.

  3. Using a paper towel and high-quality cooking oil (we use olive oil), lightly coat the inside of your pan, as well as the lip or edge and the handle where it connects to the pan.

  4. If we're on the trail, we will just work the oil in with paper towels until there is no residue left. If we're at home, we will put it back on the stove to heat it up and dry the oil.

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