One of my favorite cooking tools is a cast iron skillet. Of course, not any cast iron skillet will do. For me, it has to be a part of American history and a Lodge cast iron skillet. Check out their story here and buy one of their skillets here if you don’t already have one.
However, using cast iron means never ‘washing’ it with soap and water, never putting it in a dishwasher, and always making sure it is completely dry. This is all extremely important part of the seasoning process and the process that makes a cast iron skillet turn black over time. They sell them now pre-seasoned, but you’ll still season it over time yourself.
So, perhaps you are saying to yourself, why on earth would I want something so high-maintenance. Superior cooking ability and flavor is the answer and it really is not that big of a deal to clean it and season it. Here’s how:
After you’ve cooked in your skillet, rinse it with warm water (no soap) and gently wipe away remaining food. Once that is done, add a few tablespoons of coarse salt and use it as an abrasive with a dry paper towel to scrub the skillet until all food particles are removed. If really dirty, you may want to do twice.
Give a quick rinse under the water to remove remaining salt. Place on the stove on high until ‘white hot’. This will ensure all the water is evaporated. Move to the back and let cool down (I usually just leave over night). Every now and again, after it is cooled, I rub about a tablespoon of oil all over with a paper towel before putting it away.