Cleaning and caring for cast iron are not difficult tasks, but you should avoid using dishwashing liquid or other aggressive cleaners. The reason why your cast iron is so robust and imparts it its incomparable taste to the food prepared inside is the patina. You should do everything to preserve it. For you to succeed we offer you the right tools along with some valuable tips. Thus, your cast iron will last for a long time.
Are cast-iron pans dishwasher-safe?
Cast iron is one of the most robust materials for cookware. It is not without reason that many grandparents still swear by their decades-old cast-iron pots and pans. Cleaning, however, is somewhat different from what we are used to with the pots of our time.
Although some stainless-steel pots can be washed in the dishwasher to completely remove all food residues, this should not be done with cast iron. The cleaning process inside a dishwasher is too aggressive and would dry out your cast iron and attack the patina. What is more, rust spots will develop very quickly. The dishwasher is, therefore, not a suitable method for cleaning your cast-iron cookware.
How do I get cast iron to be clean?
Cast-iron cookware brings flavour into your life and if treated well, will last a lifetime. It does not ask for much of you, but you do have to clean your cast iron so that it stays with you a long time.
In most cases, rinsing with clear water and cleaning with a standard dishwashing brush is sufficient.
If you have more stubborn food residues that stick to your cast iron and cannot be removed easily, it is important to make sure that the valuable patina is not damaged when removing these food residues.
You do not need aggressive cleaning agents or sponges, instead use the Petromax Scraper for Dutch Ovens and Fire Skillets or the Chain Mail Cleaner.
2 tips for you:
- Cast iron will not withstand prolonged exposure to moisture. It will rust. Therefore, dry your cast iron well after cleaning and always store it in a dry place. To remove all micro-drops, you can place your cast iron on the heat source again briefly after drying.
- Your cast iron has a slightly greasy surface. If your cast iron feels dry, it is time for re-greasing. You can apply some heat-resistant oil – but remember that oil can go rancid. The Care Conditioner for Cast and Wrought Iron is best suited for this purpose. It can also be used for re-seasoning if this should ever be necessary.
Can cast iron lose its shape?
Cast iron is a hard material that can be brought to very high temperatures and retain heat for a long time, but it cannot withstand sudden temperature changes. If you extinguish your hot cast-iron pan or pot with cold water, this can cause stresses and even cracks inside the material. Therefore, always give your cast iron time to heat up and cool down.
Why not clean cast iron with dishwashing liquid?
Cast-iron pans and pots improve over time. They become more robust, the non-stick effect improves with each use and food tastes better with each meal. This is due to the patina that continues to form with each use.
Patina basically consists of a seasoned layer of grease. Dishwashing liquid has a grease-dissolving effect. This grease-dissolving property, desirable in most cases, will be the downfall of your patina if you use it your cast iron for cleaning.
Your cast iron lives from its greasy surface and it is only the patina that develops which prevents food from sticking. If you remove the patina from your cast iron, you also remove its non-stick effect.
Therefore, do not use dishwashing liquid on your cast iron. If you accidentally cleaned your cast iron with washing-up liquid, you can restore the patina by re-seasoning it. You can find out more about this in the user manual.
How do I care for a cast-iron pot?
Your cast iron is robust and will forgive you the odd mistake. However, you can avoid these mistakes in the first place because your cast iron does not require much care from you. For you to be able to do everything right from the start, here are the most important tips for caring for your cast iron:
- Cleaning: Let your cast iron cool down after use and then clean it with clear water, no dishwashing liquid and a simple dishwashing brush if necessary. This preserves the valuable patina. You can remove stubborn food residues with the Petromax Scraper for Dutch Ovens and Fire Skillets or the Chain Mail Cleaner.
- Storage: Cast iron should always be stored in a dry place. It is best to place the Petromax Lid Spacer for Dutch Ovens (2 pieces) on the rim of your cast-iron pot to ensure air circulation. The Lid Spacer also allows you to conveniently stack your pots on top of each other. The Petromax Silicone Trivet for Dutch Ovens can also be used between the Dutch Oven and the lid to rest your pot while cooking and serving.
- Greasing: The surface of your cast iron is slightly greasy and shines in the light. That is how it should be because this patination protects the cast-iron material from rust. If you notice that your Dutch Oven feels dry and that the surfaces look dull, simply grease it a little. You can use Petromax Care Conditioner for Cast and Wrought Iron for this. If you decide to use cooking oil, be sure to check the shelf life. Oil goes rancid easily and can strongly influence the taste of your food. In the worst case, you will have to re-season your cast iron. With the Care Conditioner for Cast and Wrought Iron you are on the safe side and it is also ideal for seasoning.
That is everything there is to say about cast-iron care. If you keep this in mind, your cast iron will serve you a lifetime.
How can I prevent rust on cast iron?
If there is rust on cast iron, it usually has only two causes: Moisture and too little care. If you want to prevent rust formation on your cast iron, you need to protect your cast iron from moisture and care for it properly.
This is how to prevent rust on cast iron:
✔ Always dry your cast iron well after cleaning (place it on the heat source again if necessary to remove micro-drops).
✔ Always store your cast iron in a dry place. Remember that even high humidity can cause rust spots. However, ensure air circulation through e.g. the Lid Spacer or Silicone Trivet, when storing.
✔ Never clean your cast iron in the dishwasher or with dishwashing liquid.
✔ Do not leave your used cast iron uncleaned (outside).
✔ Take care of your cast iron and apply Care Conditioner for Cast and Wrought Iron on a regular basis as this will prevent corrosion.
If your cast iron has been exposed to too much moisture or has not received sufficient care, you can remove the rust with a wire brush and re-season your cast iron, for example with the Care Conditioner for Cast and Wrought Iron. You will find the exact instructions in the user manual.
Why do I have to season cast iron?
Your cast-iron cookware is created by melting iron alloys and casting them into shape. Since the material is untreated, it is still very sensitive to rust in its raw state and food would easily stick to the bottom of the pot or the pan. The true value of your cast iron is measured by its patina. Only the patina provides your cast iron with the necessary protection and ensures natural non-stick properties. To create this valuable patina, you need to season your cast iron.
Find out here which Dutch Oven is the best.