Cast Iron Maintenance 101

One of the biggest trends in residential cookware this year is cast iron. While cast iron is no stranger to the commercial kitchen, more and more consumers are actively seeking out cast iron cookware for both their restaurant entrees and their residential cooking Cast Iron Square with Food Aneeds.  With countless benefits including a high heat threshold (1,700°F/927°C) and cook-and-serve capability, it’s no wonder cast iron has come to power as a cookware staple.

Although our customers love their Tomlinson preseasoned cast iron cookware, there is one
question we hear a lot: how do you clean this stuff?!  Cast iron maintenance consists of 3 steps: cleaning, reseasoning, and storage.  Each of these steps ensures you’re prolonging the life of your Tomlinson cast iron.

In this post, we’ll walk through each of the cast iron maintenance steps.

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1. Cleaning: while plates and silverware can be cleaned in a dishwasher, cast iron requires handwashing. When cast iron is still warm, wash by hand using hot water and a stiff dish brush. Use coarse salt and water to remove residue that won’t scrub away with water alone. Once you’ve finished cleaning, dry thoroughly with a towel to remove excess water.  Failure to completely dry cast iron will lead to accelerated rusting.

Note: do not soak or leave cast iron in the sink, as this can lead to rusting. Steer clear of dishwashers and soaps, which strip the seasoning off of cast iron.

2. Reseasoning: Tomlinson’s cast iron is preseasoned, but long-term use and cleaning may require the cast iron to be reseasoned. First, clean cast iron using the instructions in Step 1.  Next, apply a light coating of melted shortening to the inside and outside of your cookware. You’ll then place the cast iron upside down in a 350°F (177°C) oven for an hour, placing a cookie sheet beneath to catch any drippings.  Allow the cast iron to cool in the oven, and remove for storage once cool.

If your cast iron cookware is rusting, discoloring food, or imbuing food with a metallic taste, it’s time to reseason.  Regularly reseasoning your cookware is a great way to prolong the life of cast iron and ensure you’re getting the most out of your cast iron cookware.

3. Storage: because cast iron is susceptible to rusting, make sure you’re storing it in a dry place. Dry cast iron completely before storing- never store cast iron wet or partially wet.  Do not use cast iron as a storage device, as this will shorten the life of your cast iron.