How to wash, season, and maintain ESSE Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is economical, durable, versatile, holds heat well, and cooks food evenly. Properly seasoned and maintained, cast iron can last for generations and sustain a longer-lasting easy-release surface than contemporary non-stick pans.
Cast iron has to be well taken care of.
1. Wash with soap only once.
When you purchase a piece of cast iron cookware it’s okay to use mild soapy water for the first washing. But that’s it! Avoid harsh soap and scouring pads thereafter because they can remove the seasoning you’ll be trying so hard to achieve.
Do NOT run your pan through a dishwasher.
2. Season your pan.
“Seasoning” on a pan is fat or oil baked into the iron, which helps create a natural non-stick coating. The more you use your pan, the more seasoned it will become.
ESSE Cast Iron Cookware is “pre-seasoned” but we recommend seasoning them at home also to create a stronger seasoning bond.
To season a cast iron pan, preheat the oven to 150°C/ESSE dial guide top end of COOL. Using a cloth or paper towel, coat the pan with oil, lard, or bacon grease. Bake for 1 hour, turn off the oven, and let the pan cool in the oven. Repeat this process often to maintain and intensify your pan’s seasoning.
3. Keep it clean.
We don’t recommend letting your cast iron soak. Wash your (preferably still warm) pan with hot water and use a sponge or stiff non-metal brush to remove cooking residue. To remove tough bits of stuck-on food, pour a cup of coarse salt into your still warm pan and scrub the pan with the salt. Toss the salt and rinse the pan with hot water.
4. Dry it completely, every time.
Moisture is the enemy. Not properly drying your cast iron can cause it to rust. So after rinsing, dry it well and place it on the stove-top over low heat. Allow to dry for a few minutes, then use a cloth or paper towel to rub it with a little lard, bacon grease, or oil. Heat for 5 to 10 minutes more, remove from heat, and allow to cool. Wipe with another cloth or paper towel to remove excess grease.
5. Store it carefully.
Keep your cast iron cookware in a dry place with the lids off to avoid rusting. To remedy rusting, scrub or sand off the rust then re-season your pan.