Cast Iron Pans are one of the greatest cooking tools ever created. These little babies are perfect for use on both on top of the range and in the oven, going from one to the other with ease. You can find these just about anywhere, tho Walmart does carry the Lodge brand of cast iron pans in most stores. Lodge is the premiere cast iron maker in the USA and is also the oldest! Cast iron pans will last a lifetime and a half as long as they’re cared for properly.
Cast Iron needs to be “seasoned”, as they call it, before using the first time. Some come pre-seasoned, such as Lodge skillets and pans. If you found an old one at grandmas’s or maybe picked one up at an antique store, it will definitely need to be cleaned and seasoned. To season a cast iron pan, you want to make sure it is completely clean. You can use steel wool and a good degreaser followed by dish soap until all crud and rust is removed. After the pan is clean, dry with a paper towel and then, using vegetable oil, rub down the entire pan/skillet with the oil and a paper towel. Once the pan is coated fully, place upside down in a cool oven, turn the oven to 350 and give it about an hour for the oil to get into the iron. Turn off the oven and give it 10 minutes or so to sit. Using gloves, because it will be extremely hot, take out the pan and wipe off any excess oil. You’re all good to go now.
Cleaning a cast iron skillet or pan is child’s play. Because the iron is seasoned, and we use oil when cooking in it, the non-stick properties of the skillet help to keep a lot of crud from sticking to the metal. After cooking, you can usually remove most everything with just a scrub sponge and some dish soap. If there is anything burnt on, you can usually just scrub if off with steel wool and water and then oil to make sure its covered. No matter what you do, always make sure the skillet is oiled, which helps to keep rust away.