How to Care For Cast Iron Cookware after Cooking? - Vaaree

How to Care For Cast Iron Cookware after Cooking?

‘Cast iron’ cookware has again become very popular after an era of non-stick cookware! Many people are shifting from non-stick and aluminum cookware to cast iron due to the immense health benefits it holds as compared to the hazardous effects of non-stick cookware. Whether it’s your skillet, dosa tawa, appam pan, kadai, grill, panyaram, or roti tawa, they are back in use!

What is cast iron cookware?

Cast iron cookware are utensils made up of heavy-duty cast iron. Cast iron is made up of molten pig iron or re-molten pig iron in a furnace. Pig iron is nothing, but a by-product of melted iron ore 

Here are some cast iron cookware benefits:

  1. Cast iron cookware naturally adds iron content to our bodies in contrast to dangerous aluminum or non-stick cookware.
  2. Once heated, they remain warm for a long time, so there is no need to heat them again and again.
  3. One can find different varieties of cast iron cookware ranging from dosa tawa, roti tawa, and different varieties of kadai and grill.
  4. Cast iron cookware is reasonably priced and can be easily found in local shops.
  5. Cast iron cookware can be used both for cooking as well as serving due to its pleasing rustic look.
  6. They are best suited for sauteing, roasting, frying, baking, and browning.
  7. Different types of food items can be cooked in cast iron cookware such as vegetables, eggs, meat, bread, and more.
  8. Once bought, cast iron cookware can last for a lifetime!

Ways to take care of cast iron cookware after cooking:

Cast iron cookware cannot be cleaned in a dishwasher like other pans, however, after a couple of cleaning experiences, cleaning cast iron cookware comes naturally to you!

  1. Immediately, clean cast iron cookware after every use, so that the previous flavours don’t show up in your next use. Firstly, you need to wash your cast iron cookware thoroughly. Contrary to popular belief, you can use mild detergent or soap and a mild pan scraper (avoid using steel wool) to scrub away any oil or food particles stuck to your cast iron cookware. If you are finding it difficult to remove stubborn food residue stuck on the cookware, soak it in the water for a few minutes and then scrape it out easily. Don’t overdo scrubbing and use only a little dishwashing soap. A little bit of salt can also help remove the residue.
  2. Let it dry completely. You can use a muslin cloth or a cotton cloth to dry the cookware completely or heat it on the stove or in the oven.
  3. Once it is completely dry, apply cooking oil on your cookware evenly to season it. With the help of a paper towel, wipe the cookware till no oil content remains. Water content can damage your cast iron cookware. 
  4. Store it in a dry place to absorb getting in contact with moisture.
  5. Never put cast iron cookware in the dishwasher or the microwave. You can put it in the oven and stovetop.

Seasoning the cast iron cookware:

You need to season the cast iron cookware regularly. The basic motive behind seasoning is to protect it from rust and to offer a non-stick coat on its surface. For seasoning, add a little oil to your cookware and spread it evenly on top and bottom, including the handles, and heat it till flames start coming.

Let it cool down. Though you can use any cooking oil, avoid using oils with a strong smell to avoid its influence on the food you are cooking. Try to use an oil that is reasonable and doesn’t have a strong flavour. Seasoning is not a one-time effort. You need to re-season cast iron cookware from time to time.

So, once you understand the basic principles behind cleaning and maintaining cast iron cookware, it becomes very easy to maintain them regularly.

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1. What is the best way to clean cast iron cookware after use?

Clean the cast iron cookware with mild detergent and water. Scrub away all the food particles and dry it completely.

2. Should I wash cast iron cookware with soap, or is it better to use water only?

You can wash cast iron cookware with mild soap, especially to remove any food particle stuck to it. Avoid using steel wool.

3. How do I remove stubborn food residue from my cast iron pan?

You can remove stubborn residue from your cast iron pan, first by soaking it in water and then scrubbing off the food residue using a mild scrubber.

4. Is it safe to use steel wool or abrasive cleaners on cast iron?

No, not at all. Instead of steel wool or abrasive cleaners, use a mild pan scrubber to remove the food residue from cast iron cookware.

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