Cast iron skillets have been around since, well, the Iron Age. Then about 50-years ago, people decided to make the move to Teflon—an idea that turned out to be both terrible for our health and the planet.

These days, thankfully, people are moving back to more environmentally sound natural products, like cast iron. And they’re brilliant. They work on any heat method—gas, electric, induction, oven, BBQ, or open fire. And they just get better the more you use them.

All Ironclad Pans are made in our foundry in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Each skillet is hand-poured, not machine-made. The material we use is a raw high-grade recycled iron. It’s lighter, but still tough as. The iron is certified, and the design built to last. But like all good things, a little preparation is required.

If you’re new to the world of cast iron skillet cooking, the first and most crucial step is called “Pre-Seasoning”. It takes a little time, but you only have to do it once. Do it right and your great-great grandchildren will thank you.


PRE (OR RE) SEASONING

WHAT YOU'LL NEED Steel wool or coarse scrubbing brush. Dish soap. Running water. An oven. Grapeseed oil. A dry cloth. Elbow grease.

1. WASH Give your cookware a thorough once over scrub with soap and hot water. This should be the only time you’ll ever need to use soap, a scourer and real elbow grease on your Ironclad Legacy Cookware.  

2. RINSE AND DRY THOROUGHLY Rinse with cold water, then dry. We mean bone-dry. Some grey residue may still show on the cloth here.

3. PRE-HEAT Set your oven to 100°C. At full heat, place your cookware in the oven for 10 minutes. Pre-heating in this way ensures it’s completely dry and opens the iron’s pores to better soak up seasoning.

4. OIL Using a clean cloth or paper towel, rub about one tablespoon of grapeseed oil (or conditioning balm) over the entire surface, inside and out, including the base. You’re rubbing oil into the surface, not onto it. Wipe off any excess. The end result should be a thin coat of oil, giving a dull matte finish and dry appearance.

5. BAKE Turn the heat up to 180°C. Place upside-down in the middle of your oven. Bake for another 10 minutes before removing to wipe off any excess oil again.

6. CRANK THE HEAT Return your cookware upside-down to the middle of your oven. Turn up the heat to 220°C and leave it to bake for at least an hour.  

7. COOL Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely in the oven - ideally overnight. Then you’re ready to go!


IRONCLAD CONDITIONING BALM

Great for your gut. Great for your pan. Made from our original blend of locally sourced kawakawa, beeswax and grapeseed oil, The Ironclad Conditioning Balm is the perfect way to care for your Ironclad Cookware - or any other heirloom skillet.

After every meal, simply wash your pan and dry thoroughly. Warm the pan on the stove top and apply 1/4 tsp of the balm using a cloth or paper towel to spread evenly. As your pan cools the balm creates a beautiful matte black finish.

DAILY USE & CARE

Once your Ironclad Legacy Cookware has been pre-seasoned, it’s simple to care for—no dishwasher required and preferably no soap. Easy-peasy.

1. WIPE/WASH When possible, simply wipe out with a dry paper towel. Otherwise rinse with hot water, ideally when still warm from cooking. For any hard to remove food, use a scrubbing brush or wooden spatula.

2. DRY Ensure your cookware is dried thoroughly after each use.

3. OIL Before putting away, apply a teaspoon of your chosen oil or conditioning balm to the entire surface with a dry cloth or paper towel.

The older your Ironclad Pan gets, the better it gets. Register here for your Ironclad Three Generation Guarantee™ and take good care of it so that it will last the distance.


A FEW TIPS

KEEP THE HEAT LOW TO START WITH

In the early life of a cast iron skillet, your food may stick a little. It is a good idea to be generous with your cooking oils and fats to build up a non-stick base. Keep the heat to low or medium as your initial layers of seasoning develop. Some dishes are better to break your skillet in with; caramelising onions or frying chicken.

AVOID ACIDIC OR LONG SIMMERED FOODS IN THE BEGINNING

Acidic foods like tomatoes, wine, citrus, and vinegar can eat away at the skillet’s seasoning. So until your Ironclad Pan is better established, it’s best to avoid heavily tomato based sauces. You’ll know your skillet is broken in once your layer of seasoning has become reliably non-stick. Then a little acid here and there isn’t an issue.