Guidance for taking care of your iron cookware

Taking care of your iron cookware

Below is advice from the team at Netherton Foundry on taking care of your iron cookware.

Cared-for iron cookware will last a lifetime, so we recommend that you follow these instructions to get the most from your pots and pans. 

Using your iron cookware for the first time and washing it after use

All Netherton Foundry cookware comes pre-seasoned, so it simply needs a wash in warm water (do not use soap or detergent).  Immediately dry on the hob or in the oven on a low heat, if you use a towel it my leave sooty marks from the initial seasoning - this is normal.

You will see small specks of black on the pan surface when new, these are traces of cotton fibre that has been baked on during the seasoning process as we use washed cotton to apply the flax oil by hand, this is normal. 

For best results we recommend that you give all cast black and spun iron bowls, lids, pans, cook and bakeware an extra seasoned coating before first use.

You can do this by following the instructions below about re-seasoning at home.

The more you use the cast, black or spun iron and carefully follow the care instructions, the better the seasoned coating will become.

Read these important notes if you are cooking with an induction hob or any powerful hob

  • Your Netherton pan is hand made, so each one is unique. They will not all be as flat as a billiard table.

  • To maintain pan flatness and warranty cover, follow these steps:

  • Every time you use the pan heat SLOWLY from a LOW setting, before selecting high or full power. 

  • Use a hob/ring the same size as the pan base, small hobs/rings will warp big pans. 

  • Never drop a hot pan into cold water, this will buckle it.

Your Warranty does not cover buckling caused by dropping a hot pan in cold water or fast heating on an induction hob or buckling caused by inappropriate ring/hob size.

Cooking with cast, black or spun iron every day.

Wash in hot water. Do not use soap or detergent. Immediately dry with a towel.

Pre-heat the cast, black or spun iron as this will reduce food sticking

Avoid cooking food that is very cold as this is more likely to stick.

Remember a hot iron will retain heat for a long time.

Always pick up cast, black or spun iron by wooden handles (if fitted) and use oven gloves.

After cooking and storing food.

Remove cooked food from pre-seasoned cast, black and spun iron bowls, lids, pans, cook and bakeware immediately after cooking and before the food cools.

Cold damp food will encourage the cookware to rust and you will need to re-season more often. 

Seasoned iron-cookware is not suitable for storing wet or moist foods.

Do not store food in iron cookware in refrigerators or freezers.

Cooking with Acidic Foods

Additional care is required when you cook recipes containing acidic foods (eg: tomatoes, citrus juices and recipes containing vinegar or wine).  We suggest that you re-season before using these foods.

The high acidity of these foods may create superficial rust if they have insufficient seasoned coatings.

Don’t worry if you see any rust appearing after cooking one of these recipes, please follow the instructions for re-seasoning your product and it will soon be back to as good as new condition.

Cleaning pre-seasoned cast iron, black and spun iron

Never clean the cast, black or spun iron bowl, lid or pan in a dishwasher.

Don't place, when hot into very cold water - this might cause it to crack or warp. 

After use, clean the bowl with a stiff plastic brush and hot water.

We suggest that you do not use soap, and definitely do not use detergents.

If you find that some food has stuck, place in boiling water or boil water in it to soften stuck food.  

Immediately dry with a towel.

Never allow the bowl, lid or pan to stand and air-dry as this will encourage rusting.

Storing cast, black and spun iron bowls, lids, pans, cook and bakeware.

Store in a dry airy place.

Don't store with lids on, as this can trap moisture and encourage rust.

Your oven is a great place to store your iron cook and bakeware, just remember to remove it before turning on the oven.

When does the cast or spun iron need re-seasoning?

If your iron cookware is used and cleaned following the instructions above, re-seasoning will not be required very often. 

It will need re-seasoning when:

  • Food starts to stick to it.
  • There are any areas of grey metal showing,
  • It has been placed in dish washer / washed in detergent.
  • The cast, black or spun iron has not been dried and spots of rust have appeared.
  • It has a metallic taste or smell.  

How to re-season your cookware

Seasoning involved covering the pan in oil and heating it to a high temperature to form a protective coating.  Oven seasoning is kinder to the pan than hob top seasoning and it also gives a nicer looking finish.  We suggest that you only use hob top seasoning if your oven is too small for your pan or you are re-seasoning your wok.

The team at the Netherton Foundry have found flax oil to be the best for re-seasoning.  It provides a superior, very hard finish. It is non greasy, has a lovely patina and, when properly cared for, is corrosion resistant.       

Important, if the bowl, lid,  pan, cook or bakeware has any rust spots simply remove these with fine sand paper or steel wool.

Always wash in very hot soapy water, you may need to scrub with a scouring pad or stiff brush.

Remember to unscrew and remove any wooden knobs or handles before placing the cast, black or spun iron in the oven.  Cover all surfaces of the bowl, lid or pan with a very thin coating of flax oil using a cotton cloth.  A thin coating gives the best results, wipe again with a cotton cloth after coating.

Leave no runs or pools of oil, just leave an oily layer on the surface of the metal.  Place on a rack in oven.  It's good idea to place a baking tray under the rack to catch any dripping oil.  Slowly heat the oven to MAX (approximately 250ºC/400ºF or Gas Mark 9/10).  Once the oven is up to temperature, maintain the temperature for 40 to 60 mins.  Then switch off the oven, allow to cool slowly and store in an airy dry place.  Once properly pre-seasoned you are ready to use again.

Don't coat cast, black or spun iron in oil straight from the bottle or can, this just softens the coating, the oil needs to be seasoned.

Which oil should I use to re-season?

We recommend for the very best results you use flax oil (edible linseed oil).  Olive and thin nut oils are not effective.  We don't recommend oils with "trans fats"

Do not use boiled linseed oil, this is not edible and is for thinning paints and putting on cricket bats!


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