Cast Iron Cleaning, Care and Repair
Cast iron is heavy, hard, somewhat brittle, and may break if dropped. Cast iron will oxidize (rust) if it is not seasoned. Keep and store in dry conditions to avoid rust. Items stored for a long period should have paper towels put in them to absorb moisture.
If metal has not been pre-treated, season before using for the first time. Brush unsalted fat on surfaces. Heat until grids begin to smoke. When finished, wipe out extra fat, wash in soap, and dry thoroughly. If not properly seasoned, cast iron pans will drip dark liquid into food. Cast iron is ready to use. After baking brush surfaces with a soft plastic brush or wipe gently with a paper towel while still warm to remove crumbs. Do not wash the grids or put any water on them. The seasoned surfaces darken and prevent sticking. However, if grids without a non-stick finish begin to stick, or are stained by foods being spilled on them, wash grids with warm suds, rinse, wipe dry, and re-season with unsalted fat.
Cast Iron Utensils: Store "seasoned" in a dry place. Do not put lids on pans when storing as this may increase moisture buildup. After use, wipe with paper towels, wash quickly without soaking, in hot suds, rinse; dry thoroughly at once, and wipe with a thin coating of fat or oil.
Cooked-on, Burned-on Food or Grease: Stubborn cooked-on food is best removed by soaking in hot water. Use a plastic scouring pad if necessary. Soak in a solution of 3 tablespoons of washing soda or baking soda per 1 quart of water to remove burned on food or grease. Do not scour off the seasoned finish built up on cast iron over long use. This necessitates re-seasoning of the pan.
Rust may be scoured with fine steel wool or scouring powder but re-seasoning of the utensil is necessary.