Cleaning and Caring for Cast Iron

Cast Iron: Built to Last

Much like our packs, cast iron is built to last and only gets better with age, as long as it is cared for properly. 

Just like waxed canvas and leather, there are specific methods for cleaning a cast iron pan. This comes from the fact that they are made out of iron and the secret to cooking in them is seasoning. The seasoning on a cast iron pan can make or break its non-stick properties and can be the secret to many recipes. It is also the reason why cast iron gets better with age instead of wearing out. 

The Process

Step One: Rinse out your pan and use a sponge or brush to remove any remnants from cooking. If needed, use a chainmail scrubber if you can’t get everything off with a brush. 

Step Two: Dry your pan. Using a towel works well but a little tip is to put your pan on the stove for a few minutes to get all the moisture out. This step is essential because any water left can cause your pan to rust!

Step Three: Apply a very thin coat of neutral oil all over the pan (including the outside and bottom)! Make sure to wipe away any excess oil, you are looking for a matte finish to your pan after this step.

Dutch Oven over Coals. Image Credits: Colton Wojta

Cast Iron in the Fire. Image Credits: Colton Wojta

Other Important Notes about Cleaning

You can use soap to get rid of hard-to-remove grease! This is a hot topic among cast iron owners but it will not hurt your pan. The reason you have probably heard not to use soap comes from when soap was made with lye which would strip the seasoning from your pan but current soaps are much gentler and should not strip the seasoning from your pan. That said, DO NOT let your pan soak in soapy water, that CAN harm the seasoning. Also, putting your pan through the dishwasher can cause it to rust so only hand wash your pan. 

Check out this handy guide to other cast iron questions you may have!

If you are interested in getting a cast iron pan for at home or camping check out the collection of pots and pans that Field Company has. They make high-quality pans that are modeled after vintage cast iron which many believe is better than modern cast iron. They have taken all the benefits of vintage pans and used modern technology to improve what they could while keeping the roots the same. This means that they are lighter than many other brands yet still have the quality and durability that you expect. Check them out in our store or online!


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