An iron pan is made of solid metal, which seems almost indestructible. But this impression is deceptive: if you do not take care of your pan, you will not be able to enjoy a particularly long shelf life of the kitchen utensil. At the latest when the bottom of the pan begins to rust or the food residues have caked on in thick layers, the joy of the iron pan comes to an end. But there is another way: with the right care!
Before the first use: clean and burn in the iron pan
Even before the first meal is allowed to sizzle in the pan, you should thoroughly clean and burn in your new useful accessory. Rinse the pan in warm water with a little dish soap to remove the rust from the surface.
Then either bake the pan with oil in the oven or on the stove, or simply char potato peels with salt. During frying, a black protective layer is formed on the surface, which intensifies with regular use.
Do not clean iron pan with detergent in the following!
After baking, the iron pan should only be cleaned with warm water; dishwashing detergent could damage the black protective layer, especially if soaked for a longer period of time. The result would be rust and increased burning of the contents of the pan.
The iron pan also does not belong in the dishwasher, here hand cleaning is required! This is how thorough but gentle cleaning works after each use:
- Extinguish the hot pan with a glass of water.
- Wipe out the inner surface with kitchen paper.
- Use a mixture of oil and salt to clean up afterward, if necessary.
- Dry your pan well.
- Finally, rub the frying surface with a thin film of oil.
These care instructions apply only to cast or wrought iron pans. Stainless steel pans should be treated according to their own instructions, but it is also worth looking at the manufacturer’s instructions for conventional iron pans.
Treat the surface gently!
Always treat the surface of your iron pan gently. Use a soft sponge or gentle brush to clean it, and don’t use anything scratchy or abrasive.
Soaking with water can be very effective, but should only last a few minutes to avoid creating rust. Hours of soaking have ruined many an iron pan.