Care and Use of Skeppshult Cast Iron
All Skeppshult Cast Iron Cookware Comes Pre-Seasoned
What this means is that you can use it right away. The Canola oil that was used to pre-season the cookware at the manufacturing facility in Sweden has built a layer of seasoning on the pan.
When cooking, you can use any oil, like canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.
Each oil has a different “smoke point”, a temperature at which the oil begins to smoke. Click here to see a list of each oil's smoke point.
After using, you can clean with either water, or soap and water. It is no longer bad to use soap on cast iron, since lye is what would break down and ruin the conditioning, and is no longer in most dish soaps.
Using a stiff brush with plastic bristles works well. There's also stainless steel "chainmail" scrubbing cloths that I personally use and love.
Making sure the pan is completely dry is essential. Some like to reheat the pan on the stove to evaporate any water, but I simply dry all surfaces well with a paper towel.
Make sure wherever you store the pan, the surface is dry, especially if you store it on a flat surface. Any dampness on the surface of where you store your cast iron cookware may cause rust on the contact area.
Occasionally, for various reasons, you may want to re-season your cast iron cookware. Rust from not drying or storing properly, burning food, and cooking too much acidic foods (i.e. tomato sauces will break down the conditioning) are reasons you may want to strip and recondition your cast iron cookware.
With the Skeppshult line of cast iron, the pieces with wood handles are designed this way so you can pick up a piping hot pan by the heat isolating wood handle by the bare hand. These wood handles can be removed by unscrewing the eyelet at the end of the handle, and removing the handle from the threaded rod.
There's many ways to strip the seasoning off cast iron cookware. The equipment you have at hand will determine which method works best for you. Here's a list of the various methods that you can find detailed instructions for online:
- Bake in the oven
- Oven cleaner and bag
- Combination of these methods
There's also a lot of opinions on the best method to recondition your pan. The basics is to layer at least 3 thin coats of polymerized oil on the pan. Polymerization occurs when you heat an oil high in polymers past its smoke point.
I recommend (after stripping the pan) putting a first layer using flaxseed (linseed) oil, then using grapeseed, canola, or the internet favorite, Crisco for the next 2 layers. Many say that using flaxseed oil is such a good polymerizer, that it is actually too hard, and tends to flake off after a while. One layer of flaxseed to establish a very thin base, then another oil that has a lower polymer count should do the trick.
Each layer is applied to the pan in a very thin layer, wiping any excess off with a paper towel, and baking it in the oven, upside down, at a temperature over the oil's smoke point.
After the 3 or more layers are applied and baked, each and every time you use your pan, the oil you use, or the grease generated by cooking (i.e. bacon) will add to the conditioning, and make it more and more non stick.
In a few years, a well maintained and frequently used cast iron pan will bead water like a newly waxed car when you clean it.