Use & Care
FOR THE NEXT 100 YEARS
WHAT TO EXPECT
Congratulations on having made a lifetime investment! Your Butter Pat Polished Cast Iron Cookware™ will provide many, many years – generations actually – of pleasure and function. There are just a couple things to know and some simple care instructions.
Because our pans are so much smoother than other cast iron they will perform differently than those you may be used to. Our cookware is shipped with a hand applied, baked, natural oil finish; a pre-seasoning. This is all you need to get started.
In fact, here is what J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, and author of the James Beard Award winning book The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science has to say about our Lili: “I was frying eggs and making pancakes on it right from the start with essentially no seasoning at all and they released and slid around perfectly.” (By the way, be sure to read Kenji’s Seven Truths About Cast Iron. It’s the straight talk on cast iron.)
So – you can use your Butter Pat pan straight from the box.
Our pans are virtually non-stick because they are so smooth and our pre-seasoning may come off with initial and subsequent cooking. Don’t be surprised if you even see the bare metal, this is to be expected. Over time the metal will take on the dark caramel black-coffee color characteristic of the finest historic cast iron pans of the late 1800s.
If you wish to rush ahead to a more consistent color you can add additional layers of seasoning before you start cooking. We’ve included instructions below under SEASONING.
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The soap prohibition with cast iron is a bit of a wives’ tale based on fact but no longer valid. Back in the 1900s soap contained lye. Lye will remove the seasoning on cast iron in a second, so housewives were told never to use soap. But modern soaps don’t contain lye and most dishwashing soaps 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.
Next, dry the pan on the stove and recoat with oil.
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 cooking oil 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 silicon. 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
Never, repeat, NEVER leave cast iron to soak in water. It will rust… and rust is seriously bad.
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). Some rust may appear. Don’t panic; it’s just cast 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 200̊. When the oven comes to 200̊ remove the pan and reset the oven to 500̊. 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 safflower, and sunflower but, lard, Crisco, Canola, etc. are all oils that will work just fine. We avoid high fat oils 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 500̊ oven to bake for one hour.
You can do this any time you want to add layers of seasoning.