Follow our tips to keep your cast iron cookware in perfect condition
Cast iron care and maintenance consists of several steps and cleaning is the first one. To remove tiny food particles, cast iron cookware needs deep antibacterial cleaning with more than just water from time to time. Dishwashing soap is too aggressive for cast iron. Therefore, we at Uulki have developed a special cast iron cookware care: the 100% natural Uulki cast iron scrub. It’s best to use our scrub as part of a complete cast iron care and maintenance plan.
Uulki cast iron scrub guarantees a deep antibacterial cleaning of your cast iron cookware. It removes odours and tastes of tiny food particles. When you finish cooking with your cast iron pot, pan or Dutch oven, spread a handful of Uulki cast iron scrub on it. Now scrub the surface of your cookware with a dishwashing brush and some warm water until clean. The scrub should not dissolve in the water, therefore use only a little bit of water. Add extra scrub if necessary. Is your pot or pan clean, then remove all scrub leftovers by rinsing with water. You can use Uulki cleaning scrub for all kinds of cast iron cookware: a grilling pan, cast iron skillet and griddle, frying pan, Dutch oven, cast iron pot or casserole, saucepan, roasting pan, cast iron pizza pan, barbecue grid, cast iron camping cookware, cast iron bakeware, …
After cleaning comes protecting through seasoning
Your cast iron is now thoroughly cleaned, but its protective layer against rust has become thinner. This is normal. Cleaning with only water will also make the protective layer thinner. Therefore, you should treat your cast iron skillet, frying pan, pot, or griddle with Uulki cast iron seasoning oil after each cleaning and before storing it away. In this way, the protective coating will grow thicker each time. After that you should dry your pan and store it away properly.
Customers often ask us what they should do with cast iron cookware before the first use. This is a great question, since cast iron care and maintenance need some explanation. First, clean your cast iron skillet or pan, griddle or pot under warm running water. Then read the information on the packaging of your cast iron cookware to see if your pot, pan or Dutch oven has been given a first non-stick protective coating. Most new cast iron cookware does have a protective coating, meaning you do not need season it before the first use. If your new cast iron pot or pan comes without a protective non-stick layer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to season your cookware for the first time. Even if your pan or pot comes with a seasoning layer, you will need to apply a new layer of cast iron seasoning oil after each cooking session in order to protect it against rust and to make the seasoning layer thicker again.
Below we explain in detail all the necessary steps you should take before using your new cast iron cookware for the first time.
Cleaning your cast iron pan, pot or Dutch oven
Before its first use, clean your cast iron cookware under running water with a dishwashing brush or sponge. Avoid the use of a hard sponge or aggressive soap. Now dry the cooking pot, griddle or skillet pan with a paper towel or a clean cloth and let it further dry by air. Next time you clean it, you can use the Uulki cast iron cleaning scrub.
If your cast iron cookware comes without a non-stick protective coating, your food will burn, and your pan will soon get rusty spots. If your cast iron cookware does not have a non-stick protective layer, it’s important to oil your cast iron pot or pan completely (not just the inside, but also the outside) before the first use. You can use Uulki natural cast iron seasoning oil for the first seasoning, but do follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the cookware meticulously, because the first seasoning is a delicate process. If your cast iron cookware ends up getting damaged during the seasoning, we cannot assume responsibility.
Cast iron cooking
Now that your cast iron cookware has a firm non-stick protective coating, you can start cooking! Cooking with cast iron skillets and frying or grilling pans is a true pleasure since cast iron offers optimal heat conduction, as a result of which the heat is evenly spread over the pan or pot. You will notice this quickly since the handles will become hot too. Because of this, cast iron cookware is also perfect for cooking on a gas or wood stove. Cast iron grilling or frying pans or pots are also perfect for induction cooking or cooking in the oven.
Protecting cast iron against rust and burning
You now have to continuously grow and restore the protective coating of your cast iron cookware by seasoning it with oil. In this way, you will keep your frying or grilling pan, skillet or cooking pot, griddle or Dutch oven in perfect condition. Cast iron care and maintenance may sound cumbersome, but once you get started, you will find it easier and enjoyable!
If you have had cast iron cookware before, you know that you should continuously grow and restore the protective cast iron coating. This is done by applying cast iron seasoning oil on your pan after cleaning. The oil will burn into your pot or pan the next time you cook, and the protective coating will be restored and grow in time. By adhering to optimal cast iron care and maintenance, your cookware stays protected against rust for a long time.
First clean your cast iron pot or pan
Always make sure your cast iron cookware is clean before use. Maybe it’s time for a deep cleaning with our 100% natural Uulki cast iron seasoning scrub. Our scrub can be used for all types of cast iron cookware, such as cast iron skillets and griddles, frying and grilling pans, woks and roasting pans, pots and casseroles, Dutch ovens and cast iron camping cookware, saucepans and cast iron pizza pans, cast iron bakeware, … Make sure your cast iron cookware will dry completely after cleaning. One way to do that, is to heat it for a short while on the stove.
Now apply some Uulki cast iron oil on your cast iron pot or pan and spread it out evenly with a paper towel. To make sure your pot or pan is protected against rust, make sure that it’s completely covered in oil. So, do not forget the outside, the sides and the handles. Leave the oil to absorb and afterwards remove excessive oil with a paper towel. Your cast iron pot, pan or Dutch oven is now ready to be stored until its next use. The next time you cook, the oil will be burned into your pot or pan as a result of the heat. In this way, you grow and restore the protective coating of your cast iron cookware and protect it against rust.
Seasoning is the process of coating your cast iron cookware with a thin hardened layer of oil. This process consists of oiling your pan and heating it (check our cast iron solutions for seasoning and oiling), for example during cooking, as a result of which the oil will harden. The chemical process that takes place is a polymerisation of the fats, leading them to bind to the raw iron of your pan. This leaves your pan with a hard, non-stick protective coating against air and food. Most modern pots and pans come pre-seasoned, but that doesn’t mean you will never have to season them. After some time, the protective coating will erode, and you will need to re-season your cookware. After re-seasoning, your cast iron pot, grilling or frying pan, griddle or Dutch oven will all look like new again! Seasoning is therefore a major part of good cast iron care and maintenance.
Cast iron care and maintenance is an ever ongoing process. Treat your cast iron frying pan, cooking pot, griddle or Dutch oven with Uulki cast iron oil after each use. Make it a habit to clean your cookware after using it, then let it dry and oil it. In this way, you will keep the protective coating of the cast iron cookware in perfect condition and you will protect the pot or pan against rust. You will be rewarded with years of cooking pleasure!
Those of you who love to cook with a cast iron frying or grilling pan, wok, griddle or Dutch oven, will likely know that you should treat it with oil and burn the oil into the pan. This process is called seasoning. The application of a layer of cast iron seasoning oil is necessary to build up a protective coating and to prevent the pot or pan from rusting. This is necessary since cast iron is a durable but also a delicate material that will easily develop rust under moist conditions. We have developed a 100% natural Uulki cast iron seasoning oil for seasoning of all types of frying and grilling pans, woks and BBQ roasters, griddles and pots, … If you maintain your cast iron cookware correctly, you will be able to cook with your cast iron cookware for decades.
Cast iron is a strong, but brittle metal alloy made of iron and carbon. This mixture is cast into a mould, for example a frying pan or a cooking pot, which explains its name “cast iron”. Cast iron is physically sturdy, but also highly reactive. If a drop of water rests on a cast iron pan for a longer period of time, a rusty spot can develop. To protect your cast iron cookware against rust, you should treat it with cast iron seasoning oil and leave the oil to harden. In this way, you provide your cast iron pan, Dutch oven or pot with a protective coating, meanwhile protecting it against rust. Moreover, your cast iron pans and pots will look like new after seasoning! Cast iron care and maintenance sounds cumbersome, but don’t let that deter you from using cast iron cookware, because it has lots of benefits. Cast iron guarantees excellent heat conduction. Because of this, it’s also perfect to use on a gas or wood stove. But cast iron grilling pans and pots are also perfect for induction cooking or cooking in the oven. And the Dutch oven proves that cast iron cookware is also perfect for cooking on coals.
Cast iron cookware is very robust and a little heavier than most other types of cookware. At the same time, it is porous and therefore can easily rust. A lonely drop of water that is left on a cast iron pot or pan can lead to a rusty spot. Your cast iron cookware can also start rusting / oxidising in a room with normal humidity. Therefore, always make sure that your cast iron pans and pots are completely dry before you store them. Moreover, treat them with Uulki cast iron seasoning oil after each use. Another tip we would like to give you is that you should avoid storing cast iron cookware stacked on top of each other. If you really need to do this because of lack of space, make sure to place a paper towel in between your different cast iron pots and pans. Most of all, clean it well and regularly treat it with oil.