Cast iron pots and pans are the best when it comes to cooking at the campground, but they also require a different type of care than the non-stick pots and pans you use at home.  If you are not familiar with cast iron care, then you should definitely continue reading, so you don’t make a mistake and find your pan covered in rust tomorrow morning.

Skip the Soap There is a single exception to this rule, and that is the day that the pot or pan is purchased.  At that point, you should feel free to clean and disinfect the cast iron with a mild soap and water.  However, after that, it is best to skip the soap.  Think of your cast iron pots and pans like you do your grill – it doesn’t require a soap bath every time you cook.

Bake in the Oil Cast iron must be “seasoned’, which is to say that it must be treated with oil and then baked to ensure that the oil stays put.  Place the pan in an oven pre-heated to 300 degrees and set a timer for ten minutes.  Carefully apply oil or lard to the entire cooking surface and return to the oven for another hour.  Allow the pan to cool before use.

Clean it Immediately After Use This will help to prevent food getting stuck to the surface, which would certainly make the cleaning process a bit more challenging.  A sponge and warm water is all that you should need to clean the surface.  Dry it with a cloth or towel before storing.  If necessary, you can use steel wool on cast iron, to remove stubborn, stuck-on food.

The drying of the pots and pans is essential.  Cast iron can rust, and will do so if put away wet.  Similarly, a moist environment can result in the formation of rust, so be sure that you store it responsibly.  If you follow these tips, your pots and pans will last a lifetime.