With hundreds of kitchen new kitchen gadgets launched every year, you might be surprised to hear that one of the most popular pieces of kitchen hardware is one of the oldest, cast iron cookware. The heat retention properties, coupled with their adaptability and longevity (some brands even offer a lifetime guarantee). To ensure that you get the best out of your frying pan, casserole or any other cast iron kitchenware you might have then follow these simple dos and don’ts.

• Remove all labels and bathe your lovely new cast iron cookware in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. If non-stick, rub with cooking oil to conditionUnless boiling water or cooking a stock or sauce, use medium and low heats, even when frying or searing. Once the pan’s hot, turn down to a lower setting, as cast-iron retains heat
• You can put your cast-iron cookware in the oven at any temperature, if the handles are cast-iron or you have stainless steel knobs. Just make sure you use oven mitts or a thick, dry cloth when touching the handles or lids, as they’ll be super hot.
• Use wooden, heat resistant plastic or silicone stirrers and cooking utensils. You can occasionally use metal, but don’t knock on the rim as this damages the enamel
• Allow pots or pans to cool before washing and make sure you dry thoroughly
• Use nylon or soft abrasive pads or brushes when trying to remove stubborn bits of food
• Use your dishwasher for all pans with integral cast iron, phenolic handles, or stainless steel lid knobs. Not too often though, as overuse can dull the enamel. You can also use the dishwasher for cleaning non-sticks, but remember to re-condition after

• Pre-heat pans on a high temperature. This can cause sticking and discolouration of cookware surfaces. Also, don’t heat an empty pan or let it boil dry
• Put cookware with wooden handles in the oven. Don’t set your oven higher than 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 if the product has black phenolic handles or lid tops
• Use electric hand-held mixers or beaters and don’t directly cut anything on the enamel or non-stick surfaces
• Fill them with cold water or put them in cold water. The thermal shock will ruin the enamel. If you need to let them soak, use warm water
• Use metallic pads or harsh and abrasive cleaners. And don’t try to remove the patina (a brownish film, which develops over time on black enamel)
• Use the dishwasher if your pots or pans have wooden handles and make sure they’re dry before storing.

We hope you found this list useful and if you have any other tips then please a comment.

Bio – Dave Harrison is a food lover and advocate of cast iron cookware living in Yorkshire, England. When not at work Dave enjoys cooking, particularly putting a modern twist on classic dishes. After trying several cast iron cookware brands, he recommends Le Creuset, and in particular their casserole dishes.

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Sarah Arrow is the managing editor of Birds on the Blog, in real life she is the communications director of a same day courier service. She is an enthusiastic UK based pro-blogger and co- author of the soon to be published Zero to Blogger

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