THE IRONCLAD CARE RITUAL

A SHORT GUIDE TO PRE-SEASONING AND CARING FOR YOUR PRECIOUS NON-STICK SKILLETS.

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.

People often think caring for cast iron is hard. It’s actually not. There’s no dishwasher required, no drip dry, ideally no soap, and it takes about two minutes. Over time, this ritual will become second nature and really satisfying.

THE LIGHT CLEAN RITUAL

For lighter meals with less mess—things like roast veges, eggs, pizza, pancakes, or baked bread—the cleaning ritual is super easy and quick.

1. WIPE: Wipe away any residue with a dry cloth or paper towel.

2. WARM: Place the pan onto a low heat to warm and better absorb the seasoning.

3. OIL: Rub a teaspoon of oil or conditioning balm into the entire surface with a dry cloth or paper towel.

4. HEAT: Bring the pan up to a high heat for 10 seconds to sterilise.

5. DONE: Leave to cool. Ready to go again. And again. And again. 


THE HEAVY CLEAN RITUAL

For meals with lots of mess—things like sticky stir fry, curries, shakshuka, or cakes—the cleaning ritual is still super simple.

1. BOIL: After cooking add hot water and bring to a rolling boil. This will help sterilise and loosen any residue.

2. SCRAPE: Run a wooden spatula over the entire surface and sides to scrape off the more stubborn bits.

3. RINSE: Empty the pan and run the surface under hot water. Use a coarse scrubbing brush only if needed.

4. WARM: Dry thoroughly and place onto a low heat.

5. OIL: Add a teaspoon of oil or conditioning balm to the entire surface with a dry cloth or paper towel.

6. DONE: Leave to cool. Ready to go again. And again. And again. 

 

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR IRONCLAD

Your Ironclad is handcrafted to be handed-down. Each product is unique and comes with our trademark Three Generation Guarantee®. The material we use is a high-grade recycled iron. And we test the iron before each pour for purity. There’s no point in having healthy ingredients if you prepare it on untested cookware.

If you’re new to cast iron cooking, here’s what you need to do to get started:

1. WASH: Wash your Ironclad with regular dish soap and rinse well.

2. DRY: Dry thoroughly all over with a teatowel. You can’t drip dry cast iron.

3. WARM: Place your Ironclad onto a low heat. Not too hot. Just warm enough to melt butter. This will ensure the iron is completely dry and the seasoning is properly absorbed.

4. OIL: Add a teaspoon of oil or conditioning balm to the entire surface with a dry cloth or paper towel.

5. HEAT: Place your Ironclad into an oven on a high heat for 30 minutes. 

6. DONE: Leave to cool. Ready to go again. And again. And again. 

 

DO OVER

It’s not uncommon to want to season your cast iron from scratch yourself. A lot of top chefs and die-hard cast iron enthusiasts do this as soon as their new product arrives. Or perhaps you’ve started cooking with your Ironclad and are unhappy with the evenness of the patina. Either way, we have outlined how to season cast iron from scratch.

Note: We don’t recommend reseasoning your pan too often. The more you use it, the better your seasoning will get. If you keep using it you’ll find that your Ironclad will become completely non-stick.

1. CRANK THE HEAT: Place your Ironclad upside down into your oven and do an oven clean. Yep, an oven clean. It’s the best way to remove everything and get back to raw iron. If you don’t have an oven clean function, set your oven to maximum heat and let it bake for a couple of hours.

2. WASH: Wash your Ironclad with regular dish soap and rinse well.

3. DRY: Dry thoroughly all over with a teatowel. You can’t drip dry cast iron.

4. WARM: Place your Ironclad onto a low heat. Not too hot. Just warm enough to melt butter. This will ensure the iron is completely dry and the seasoning is properly absorbed.

5. OIL: Add a teaspoon of oil or conditioning balm to the entire surface with a dry cloth or paper towel.

6. DONE: Leave to cool. Ready to go again. And again. And again.


HOMEMADE CONDITIONING BALM

Ironclad Conditioning BalmA big challenge with buying a pre-blackened skillet is that you never really know what ingredients were used to get it that colour.

To avoid anything unknown ending up in your food, we've created our own homemade conditioning balm. An all natural blend of Australian lemon myrtle, soy wax and sunflower oil, this aromatic balm will keep both your cast iron and your gut healthy. And it's easy to use.

After cleaning, warm your pan and evenly apply 1/4 tsp of the conditioning balm with a cloth or paper towel. As your pan cools the balm will create a beautiful (and natural) black cast iron finish.


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.