3-Step Cast Iron Cleaning Method
1. Wash: Wash your cast iron cookware by hand. You can use a small amount of soap. If needed, use a pan scraper for stuck on food. For stubborn stuck on food, simmer a little water for 3-5 minutes, then use the scraper after the pan has cooled.
2. Dry: Dry promptly and thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. If you notice a little black residue on your cloth, it's just seasoning and is perfectly normal.
3. Oil: Rub a light layer of cooking oil onto the surface of your cookware (we recommend something light rice bran, soy or vegetable, not olive or avocado). Use a paper towel to wipe the surface until no oil residue remains.
“Seasoning” is oil baked onto the iron at a high temperature: not a chemical non-stick coating. Seasoning creates the natural, easy-release properties. All Lodge cookware comes pre-seasoned from the foundry, but the more you cook, the better the seasoning gets.
- If the seasoning on your pan is sticky, this is a sign of excess oil building up and not fully converting to seasoning. To remedy this, place the cookware in the oven, upside down on the top rack and bake at 230-260°C for 1 hour. Allow to cool and repeat if necessary.
- To maintain your seasoning, it is a good idea to pre-heat your Lodge cookware gradually and on a similar-sized burner/element. Since cast iron holds heat, it is not necessary to use a heat setting above medium. Along with maintaining your seasoning, it will help prevent food from sticking.
- Occasionally when your seasoning works a little too hard with acidic foods or really high heat, you may notice some dark residue on your towel when cleaning. This is perfectly safe and normal, and will go away with regular use and care.
- Some new Lodge cookware can have a small 'bubble' on the tip of the handle or on the assist handle, that can chip away and reveal a brownish colour underneath. This is not rust. It is a result of our cookware being seasoned on a hanging conveyor, causing a small drip to form at the bottom. If the bubble makes it through our ovens, it is baked on, and the brown underneath is simply oil that has not fully carbonised. It is perfectly safe, and will disappear with regular use and care. Because you can create, maintain, and even repair the “seasoning”, your cookware can last 100 years or more.
How to re-season your Lodge Cast Iron
If your pan becomes dull, grey, splotchy, or gets rusty, it could probably benefit from being re-seasoned. Just follow these easy steps:
2. Oil: Apply a thin, even coating of cooking oil to the cookware (inside and out). If you use too much oil, your cookware may become sticky.
3. Bake: Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any dripping. Set oven temperature to high - at least 230°C. Place your cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven. Bake the cookware for one hour. Allow to cool and repeat as necessary to achieve the classic black patina.
Congratulations, your cast iron is now re-seasoned and ready for use!