Cast Iron Pans: A Guide

Own a cast iron pan or two? If the answer’s yes, you’ll probably want to know how best to clean, use and restore it in order to make the most of it. After all, cast iron pans aren’t cheap!

To help you, we’ve prepared a handy ‘Cast Iron 101’, which includes everything you need to know when it comes to looking after your prized kitchen possession.

pan

How much is a cast iron pan?

Well, how long is a piece of string? While you can certainly splash out quite a few pounds on a good cast iron pan, you can also find one for as little as £10 if you know where to look. Check out the clearance aisles of supermarkets, and don’t be afraid to have a good old rummage in places like TK Maxx for a real bargain.

Why you should choose a cast iron pan?

If you’re wondering why you should opt for a cast iron pan in the first place, we’ll tell you. First things first, it could make you a better cook. Why? If you’re using it correctly, pretty much anything you cook will be browned to perfection.

Plus, cast iron pans are safe to use and non-stick too.

How should you wash a cast iron pan?

We’ve had a good look around the Internet to save you the hassle – and we’ve discovered this: salt is your absolute saviour when it comes to cleaning a cast iron pan.

Meanwhile, some say to avoid using soap on a pan like this as it might affect its ‘non-stickiness’ (technical term, there!). Instead, submerge the pan into a bowl of really hot water and give it a light wipe down, before rinsing it.

Should you buy a new cast iron pan?

A good cast iron pan should last a lifetime – and it really doesn’t matter if it’s new or second-hand. If it still looks in good nick, grab it. A friend or family member may have a spare pan to give you and we say take it off their hands: a good quality cast iron pan is worth its weight in…er…iron.

What size pan should you choose?

If you’ve got the kitchen space, why not have one of each size? You can find everything from 6-inch pans to the larger 8 or 10-inch sizes. It all depends what you’ll be using your pan for, too. Are you cooking for a big family? Then go for a 10-inch.

What if your cast iron pan rusts?

If you’ve spent a lot of money on your cast iron pan, it can be frustrating when it begins to rust. So what to do? Prevention is key – and hopefully you’re reading this before it’s too late.
If the pan gets too hot, the molecular structure of the iron can be changed, taking on a red appearance. Is your pan absolutely full of rust? Get rid. If, however, it’s just the odd spot, see how you get on.
Looking for some more top tips for looking after your most-used kitchen equipment? Keep an eye on the My Appliances blog for more articles like this.

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