How do you care for a mini cast-iron skillet?


Quick Answer

Care for a mini cast-iron skillet by using it frequently, lightly cleaning with soap and water, and rub the skillet with a light coat of vegetable oil after each washing. Avoid simmering acidic foods such as tomato sauce for long periods, especially when your mini cast-iron skillet is new. Do not soak the skillet for long periods, particularly in soapy water, as this can remove or damage the skillet's seasoning. Occasionally re-season the pan to refresh its baked-on vegetable-oil coating.

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Full Answer

A common misconception about caring for cast-iron cookware is that it should never be washed with soapy water. This stems from the fact that the seasoning, the thin layer of polymerized oil that gives cast iron its non-stick properties, can be dissolved and removed by degreasing agents in dish soap. While soaking a cast iron skillet for long periods in soapy water can damage the seasoning, a light wash after use keeps the skillet clean and does not damage the protective coating.

Inevitably, a cast iron skillet's seasoning becomes uneven or damaged through use, necessitating re-seasoning. Re-season your cast iron skillet by placing it over medium heat, pouring about a tablespoon of vegetable oil or shortening into the skillet, and working the liquid into the surface of the metal using a paper towel. When the oil or shortening begins to smoke, turn off the burner and remove the skillet from the heat. If one re-seasoning does not adequately restore the skillet's non-stick coating, repeat the process as many times as necessary.

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