Even though it’s tempting to use your new cast iron skillet for fresh fried potatoes or juicy steaks right out of the box: Please don’t forget to fry it! This will delay the long-awaited enjoyment a little longer, but it will increase the life of the valuable pan and significantly improve the non-stick effect of the surface. We will tell you how to do it!
Different methods to burn in the cast iron pan.
As is often the case, there is not only one method to achieve the goal of providing the cast iron pan with a beautiful, useful patina. But there is one step that precedes any method:
Thorough washing with warm water and – for the first and only time! – Using dishwashing detergent. After that, you can either burn out your cast iron pan, pot or roaster with potato skins or heat it with oil.
Both the oven and the stove are available for the latter method. Grandma’s recipe potato peel burn-in method only works on a hot stove.
Burning cast iron thoroughly: with salt and potato peels.
The potato peel method requires the use of potato peels and salt; these two ingredients are heated vigorously on the stove in conjunction with cooking oil. Here is a quick guide:
- Provide high-heat frying oil, a packet of salt and a bowl of potato peels.
- Clean the cast iron skillet thoroughly with water and dish soap before frying.
- Pour in the cooking oil and cover the bottom of the pan a few millimeters deep.
- Heat the oil and now add the potato skins and a large portion of salt. Remember: you do not have to eat this concoction!
- Deactivate the smoke detectors near the stove and open the windows.
- Fry the potato skins to burn the cast iron skillet black on all sides.
- After cooling, discard the contents of the pan and clean the cast iron with warm water.
- Finally, give the surface a thin coat of oil.
The black patina formed after baking will continue to “mature” over the next months and years. It is partly responsible for the incomparable taste of delicious fried food from the cast iron pan.
Burning in the cast iron pan with oil
A longer burn-in time results with the oven method, but in return much less smoke is produced here. After the obligatory cast iron cleaning, thoroughly coat the inside of the pan with oil and then place the vessel upside down on an oven rack.
Now the cast iron pan goes into the oven at a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius. For safety, place a black plate covered with aluminum foil underneath to catch dripping fat.
This baking process takes one to two hours, after which the cast iron pan should have acquired a nice, uniform patina. Very similarly, this process also works on the stove, just not upside down, of course.
Burn-in process with oil on the stove
Burn-in on the stove is done on a low flame with only a thin layer of oil. Keep brushing the surface in between and feel free to let the pan sit for up to two hours.