How to clean, season and care for your Hallman Originals
For some, the idea of using cast iron in the kitchen is a worrisome thought. Stories of needing expert culinary knowledge and hassle of food burning or sticking have been passed through social circles for years. Not to mention the cleaning process for those scared of scrubbing away the seasoning of their pan. The truth of using cast iron is not as scary as you may think. When done properly, using cast iron cookware is quicker and easier than the “non-stick” alternatives. We have put together a guide on how to season, clean and care for your cast iron cookware. Let go of the fear and embrace the classic experience that is cast iron. You will find that your Hallman Originals cookware is economical, durable and more versatile than any pan in your pantry.
Step 1: Washing your Cast Iron (Pre-Seasoning)
This is the only time you will use soap on your cast iron. The number one rule for cleaning your cast iron pan is without a doubt NO DISHWASHER. The harsh washing process of most dishwashers and the heated drying process may damage your seasoning or cause rust spots to form on the iron itself. Using warm, light soapy water, wash the pan with a rag. Dry off with a towel and get ready to season your cast iron.
Step 2: Seasoning Your Cast Iron
“Seasoning” of cast iron refers to creating a non-stick coating; not a reference to taste or flavor on the iron. Baking oil onto the pan creates a bond between the oil and iron creating a non-stick surface. Your cast iron will continue to season the more you use it.
1: Preheat your oven to 450°F. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven. You can place aluminum foil on the baking sheet for easier cleanup. Place your pan on the top rack, leaving it in for around 3-5 minutes or until completely dry from the washing. This step opens the pores of the iron, allowing a space for oil to bond.
2: Remove the pan from the oven and prepare to apply the oil. The best oil to use for seasoning cast iron is flax-seed oil. Flax-seed oil is food grade equivalent of Linseed oil. Linseed oil is used by woodworkers to create a tough, protective layer on their work. Soybean oil is a cheaper alternative to flax-seed oil, but flax-seed is recommended. Apply 1 Tbsp. of oil to the pan. Wipe the entire pan down using a paper towel or thin rag. Wipe the pan down until it looks almost dry. There is oil on the pan even if it does not look like it. Make sure there is no excess oil left on the pan. Excess oil can can leave spots of thick sticky oil on the pan.
3: Place the pan on the top rack of the oven upside down. Bake the pan for 1 hour.
4: After 1 hour, turn off the oven and let the pan cool to room temperature inside of the oven. Once the pan is cooled, repeat this process at least 2 or 3 more times. As mentioned before, the more you use your pan, the more seasoned it will become.
Step 3: Cooking in Your Cast Iron
Now that your pan is seasoned, it is time to start cooking! For good starter recipes, take a look at our recipes page. At Hallman Originals, we recommend your first venture into cast iron cooking be bacon. Not only is it delicious, its high fat content helps progress your pans seasoning.
Step 4: Washing Your Cast Iron (Post Seasoning)
The key to keeping your cast iron in good working condition is proper cleaning. Living by a few simple rules will keep your cast iron in great shape with the ability to pass it on to future generations. Do not store food in your cast iron. Acids from certain foods can break down your seasoning surface. Do not let the cast iron soak in water. Letting the pan soak, especially in soapy water, can break down the seasoning surface as well. The following steps will help keep your pans seasoned surface from breaking down.
1: Remove all leftovers from the pan. While the pan is still warm, add enough hot water to cover the bottom of the pan. Using a sponge or non-metal brush, clean the remnants of food from the pan. To remove any food that may be stuck to the pan, drain the water and add a half cup of coarse kosher salt. Wet the salt a small amount with hot water. Using a rag on the salt, scrub lightly on the stuck on spots. Discard the salt and rinse the pan with hot water.
2: Dry your pan completely. Any water left on the pan can cause it to rust. After using a towel to hand dry, place the pan on the stove top over low heat. Heat the pan until it is completely dry.
3: Once the pan is completely dry, use a paper towel or cloth to apply oil to the pan. Allow to cool to room temperature and wipe away any excess oil.
4: Store in a dry area with any lid off. Now that you are ready to season and maintain your Hallman Originals cast iron, check out our recipes page. Your Hallman Originals pan is ready for generations to come.