Use & Care
FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your Butter Pat Cookware will provide many, many years – generations actually - of pleasure and function. There are just a couple of things to know and some simple care instructions.
Your pan is hand cast. Small pits and imperfections are inherently part of the hand casting process. Before you return your pan for these issues please give it a try…we will still exchange for ANY reason. These marks are evidence of the way the pans were made.
Our cookware is shipped with a hand applied, baked, natural oil finish. We suggest that your first use should be cornbread – but that’s just us. We don’t suggest bacon or sausage on the first use, these can be especially sticky.
The pre-seasoning we’ve applied in the shop may come off with initial and subsequent cooking. Don’t be surprised if you even see the bare metal! This is to be expected. Our pans are virtually non-stick because they are so smooth not because of some magical seasoning routine. Over time they will take on the dark caramel black-coffee color characteristic of the finest historic cast iron pans of the late 1800s.
Thanks for your purchase and your confidence in what we make. If you’d like to share stories or recipes, or anything else, give us a call or shoot us an email.
CARE AND CLEAN UP
Cast iron should be cleaned when slightly warm (warm enough to still handle). Scrape the food out and rinse with hot water. Most of the time that is all it will take.
Sometimes something will be sticky...a frittata can be tough on a cast iron pan (but we do it all the time). Sugars and sugar cured meats can be sticky. Now you'll have to scrape (use plastic or wood), and scrub (the old fashioned way was with salt or sand) or you can use....
Ok, there, we said it. We know it was once sacrilege but we use soap… yup soap and a scrubber.
The soap prohibition with cast iron is a bit of a wives’ tale based on fact, but invalid with gentle soap and a smooth cooking surface. Back in the 1900s homemade wood ash soap would often still contain some lye, leftover from incomplete saponification; the soap making process. Lye will remove seasoning on cast iron in a second, so housewives were told never to use soap.
But modern soaps and most dish-washing detergents now are quite gentle. We use soap and a rough sponge. If something is stuck we'll use a plastic scraper and one of those green scrubbers. Remember you only want to scrub as much as it takes to remove the food.
Once the pan is clean, towel it dry and put it back on the stove at medium heat. You are putting it on the stove to dry it out completely and to rewarm the pan. Once it has dried out and is again warm put a small amount of refined cooking oil (unrefined oils may have high organic solids contents that can leave the surface sticky) into the pan and use a cloth to coat all surfaces. Once the fat or cooking oil has cooled, wipe off as much as you can.
We do this every time we use a piece of cast iron cookware.
USING YOUR PAN
Nothing ruins a meal like a trip to the emergency room! Those handles get hot. Use a mitt. We prefer silicone. Turn the handle away from the outside of the stove to avoid accidental contact.
The tab at the front of the pan was designed to encourage you to use two hands. Even though our pans are very light in comparison to other cast iron they are still best handled as a two-handed lift.
DON’T SHOCK YOUR PAN
Don’t throw your pan into a hot fire to burn the food off. Don’t put a hot pan into cold water. The thermal shock of different temperatures might cause the pan to warp…and warp is bad.
NEVER SOAK OR PUT YOUR PAN IN THE DISHWASHER OR REFRIGERATOR
Never, repeat, NEVER leave cast iron to soak in water. It will rust… and rust is seriously bad. Humid environments are the enemy of iron.
COOKING ACIDIC FOODS
Tomatoes, wine, balsamic vinegar are all acidic and will remove seasoning on your pan. That said, don’t baby the seasoning – cook for flavor not for pan rules. Just keep your pan oiled.
WHERE TO USE YOUR BUTTER PAT COOKWARE
You can use your cast iron cookware almost anywhere…okay, the lawyers said we needed to tell you not to put it in the microwave.
BAKE - BRAISE - SEAR - GRILL - ROAST - FRY
RUST & RE-SEASONING
MINOR RUST SPOTS
Over time there will be those occasional late nights where the pan stays out in the yard by the fire, it rains and the dog uses it as a water bowl (yup, we did that). Some rust may appear. Don’t panic; it’s iron. Here’s the repair: a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water (a mild acid) on a cloth will remove most small rust spots. If the rusted surface is rough, you may want to use steel wool or even 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.
We apply our proprietary oil blend in our commercial kitchen using high-temperature ovens but you can almost replicate what we do at home. Unless the pan is seriously damaged we don’t recommend stripping it but instead suggest applying additional layers of seasoning.
Wash the pan and dry thoroughly. Place it in the oven and set temperature for 200º. When the oven comes to 200º remove the pan and reset the oven to 500º. The pan may not be cool enough to touch so use an old oven mitt while handling.
Coat the entire pan with a thin layer of cooking oil. We prefer low smoke points oils like flax, safflower, and sunflower but, lard, Crisco, Canola, etc. are all oils that will work just fine. We avoid oils that have high organic solids that may go rancid like butter or olive oil.
Once you’ve coated the whole pan, here’s the secret: take a new dry cloth and rub it all off. ALL of it. Don’t worry, you’ll still leave a thin film. Then into that 500º oven to bake for one hour. If you leave too much oil on the pan you run the risk of leaving streaks and while these streaks will have no effect on cooking you might not like the leopard skin look. Rub all of the oil off before returning the pan to the oven.
You can do this any time you want to add layers of seasoning.