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Got me a cast iron skillet! Now what!

Also, it's pre-seasoned. Is that a good thing? Does the seasoning of a skillet require further maintenance? Should this be my new everything pan? How do I clean it?

And of course, what's your favorite thing to cook on yours?

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  1. Re seasoning and cleaning, check out any number of threads on the cookware board, there's some seriously good advice, difficulty is choosing which to follow!

      1. Make sure you have enough strength to lift the damn thing. Those suckers are heavy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mucho gordo

          I'll second that. I know people who have dropped them on their foot and broken toes. Be careful when you go to grab that handle, it can get really hot.

        2. "Also, it's pre-seasoned. Is that a good thing? "

          It depends who you ask. I personally am not a huge fan of preseasoned cookware because I like to season them myself, so the preseaonsed surface add extra steps for me (removal of it). That being said, it is a good thing for most people.

          "Does the seasoning of a skillet require further maintenance? "

          I don't understand the question. I will say this. The preseasoned surface should make it easier, but it does not eliminate maintenance.

          "Should this be my new everything pan?"

          It can be. I use my cast iron and carbon steel pan for everything.

          "How do I clean it? "

          That is the difficult question in part based on your experience since there is no one perfect answer to it. I will say to clean the initial pan with oil and papertowel for a week before using water and then further down later with dish detergent.

          "And of course, what's your favorite thing to cook on yours?"

          Meat. Cast iron pans can cook vegetable just fine, but it is cooking meat where it shines. More specifically, high temperature meat cooking.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            "I will say to clean the initial pan with oil and papertowel for a week before using water and then further down later with dish detergent." NOOOO ....
            NEVER clean your cast iron with detergent, unless you're prepared to re-season it all over again from scratch.
            Been using cast iron for more than thirty years. I cook almost exclusively using cast iron. I haven't had to use detergent on my pans EVER. If they're properly seasoned they typically require nothing more than wiping out (while still very warm) with a oiled rag or oiled paper towel, finishing up with a dry rag or towel. If foods do stick, and provided they're properly seasoned, allowing the so soak for a short time, filled with hot water, is enough to loosen any debris. Then, of course, reheat them and oil as usual.
            If you have a "pre-seasoned" pan, go ahead and run it through a seasoning process. The factory pre-seasoning isn't particularly effective because it's primarily done to prevent rust.

            1. re: todao

              "NOOOO ....
              NEVER clean your cast iron with detergent, unless you're prepared to re-season it all over again from scratch. "

              :) Not even a little bit? In my experience, it is ok to clean it with detergent like once a while. So I should have clarified that I don't routinely use detergent to clean my cast iron or carbon steel cookware. Anyway, your warning is a good one.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                I have had several cast iron skillets for over thirty years, use them constantly and have never needed to use soap. If you need soap, the pan is not properly seasoned or you are letting it sit way too long before cleaning it.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I've used detergent on my CIS plenty of times, once you get a solid seasoning going a little detergent doesn't seem to hurt.

                  1. re: joonjoon

                    Yes, I too have a few cast iron cookware and a few carbon steel cookware. Like you said, once they are seasoned, a little detergent do not hurt. Thanks.

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