CLEANING CASTIRON HEIRLOOMS
Q My mum- in-law gave me her most treasured family heirloom–a cast-iron skillet–but said I must never put it in the dishwasher. Howdo I take good care of it?
A Your mum- in-lawis right – running your skillet through the dishwasher could ruin its coating. To clean all those stubborn bits that stick to it, pour a fistful of sea salt into it while it is still warm, then using a folded kitchen towel, carefully scour the pan. Throwaway the salt and rinse the skillet under warm water without any soap.
Dry the skillet immediately with a towel. Pour 1 tbsp of oil in it and rub all over with a wad of paper towel. This is vital to develop that glossy patina, ward off rust and retain its non-stick properties. Now gently heat the pan so it soaks in the oil. Let it cool down, then store in a plastic bag so that utensils touching it do not get greasy.