Can you ruin a cast-iron pan?

Famously durable, these pans are often passed down through generations. With proper reseasoning care, years of frequent use can actually improve the pan's “seasoning”—its natural nonstick coating. But sadly, cast iron skillets can indeed break.
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What can ruin a cast-iron skillet?

13 Ways You're Ruining Your Cast-Iron Skillet
  1. Mistake: Letting it soak.
  2. Mistake: Putting it in the dishwasher.
  3. Mistake: Cleaning it with soap.
  4. Mistake: Not using salt to scrub it down.
  5. Mistake: Leaving stubborn foods caked on.
  6. Mistake: Forgetting to add oil between uses.
  7. Mistake: Storing it drippy.
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Can cast iron be damaged by heat?

There are several ways a piece of cast iron cookware can be damaged, as noted above: chipping, cracking, warping, and pitting. The first two can be caused by physical impact; the second two by improper rapid heating or cooling, also known as thermal shock.
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What should you not do with cast iron?

6 Things I Never Do to My Cast Iron Skillet
  1. Avoid cooking in it. Cast iron cookware improves with use. ...
  2. Let it soak in the sink. “Avoid cooking acidic food in your cast iron” is a bad rumor that many cooks have heard. ...
  3. Scrub it with a scouring pad. ...
  4. Store it in the oven. ...
  5. Store it completely empty. ...
  6. Baby it.
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Does soap ruin cast iron?

And I'm constantly reading contradictory advice about the best way to take care of cast iron. So here you go, once and for all: Yes, you can use soap on cast iron. It's totally fine on enameled cast iron, and on plain cast iron, too. It's not going to destroy your seasoning.
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How to Ruin a Cast Iron Pan

What causes cast iron to warp?

Warping can happen to all cookware, even cast iron; typically as a result of very high heat or temperature fluctuations. To test for an uneven base, set your cast iron pan on a burner and press down on the handle. If the pan wobbles, the base has warped.
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How do you save a ruined cast iron pan?

Set your oven to 350 degrees and put some aluminum foil on the bottom rack. Then pop the skillet in, upside down, on the upper rack for about 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the pan inside until it's cool. The oil will bake into the pores of the pan, providing a non-stick finish.
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How do you fix a burnt cast iron pan?

For a gentle but effective scrub, take a tip from the spa and use salt. Generously sprinkle kosher salt or coarse sea salt into the pan and scrub it with a clean, damp washcloth. For extra stubborn spots, use a plastic pan scraper to work the burned food off the pan.
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How do you repair heat damaged cast iron?

If you accidentally leave your cast iron cookware on any heat source for too long, food, marinades, and sauces can burn and get stuck to the surface. The Fix: Use a pan scraper to remove stuck-on food. If the problem persists, simmer a little water in the pan for 3-5 minutes, then use the scraper.
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Should black stuff come off cast iron skillet?

First, the black specks you see coming off into your food are not harmful. They are most likely carbon deposits. This happens due to overheating of fats and oils. Using an oil with a low smoke point will carbonize at high temperatures and cause residue from the pores of your pan to rub off onto your food.
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How long do cast iron pans last?

A cast-iron skillet will last a lifetime and more if you look after it properly. Make sure it is seasoned before you use it. Dry it thoroughly after use and wipe it over with oil before you put it away. To protect it from cracking, heat it gently and cool it down naturally.
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Can you get cast iron wet?

No! Soaking cast iron in water is a recipe for rust. If you need to remove sticky or stubborn stuck-on food, use a nylon scrubbing brush or a pan scraper and rinse under warm water. Be sure to thoroughly dry your pan.
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Can you leave a cast iron skillet dirty overnight?

It's not a good idea to leave cooking oil in your cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. The oil can go rancid if exposed to the elements for an extended period of time, and you will have to throw it away. When cooking oil becomes rancid, it reacts with the elements and bacteria in its environment.
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Why does my cast iron look brown?

Newly seasoned cast iron may have a brownish tint to it. It's not rust, it's just the initial patina baking in. It can take a few coats of seasoning and some use to get a black finish. Don't worry about the brownish colour - go right ahead and use the pan.
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How do you get burn marks off cast iron?

Coarse sea or kosher salt is the best scrubbing agent to remove burnt-on food from cast-iron pans. Use a damp cloth to do the scrubbing. If that doesn't cut it, you can use a plastic scraper made specifically for use on cast-iron pans.
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How do you clean a cast iron skillet without destroying it?

All you need to do is coat the pan, inside and out, in a neutral oil, like vegetable oil. I usually splash a little onto a paper towel and rub it all over the skillet until it looks evenly coated—a tablespoon or two should do it. It doesn't need to be and put it in a 300F oven for three or four hours.
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Is a little rust on cast iron OK?

In fact, with a few simple tools and a little elbow grease, there are plenty of ways to thoroughly remove rust from cast iron. Experts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign agree that a little bit of rust on cookware isn't likely to harm you. (Even rust in drinking water isn't considered a health hazard.)
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Can you flatten a warped cast iron pan?

Place the skillet upside down on a sturdy, flat surface such as a strong work bench or hard floor. If the skillet has a curved handle that prevents it from sitting flat when it is upside down, set it on a step instead. You may wish to place a towel under the skillet to protect it from the surface.
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Can you fix a warped pan?

It's possible to fix a pan that is already warped; however, a pan that warps once is more likely to warp again in the future. This is because the metal is weakened when its molecular structure is compromised, and it will never be as strong as it was before becoming warped. A warped pan isn't the end of the world.
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Should you wash cast iron after every use?

1. Clean cast-iron skillet after every use. Wipe interior surface of still-warm skillet with paper towels to remove any excess food and oil. Rinse under hot running water, scrubbing with nonmetal brush or nonabrasive scrub pad to remove any traces of food.
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