We recently did an Instagram post with this tip:
“Folks, this is one of my #1 tips for cast iron and the reason a lot of folks have trouble with their seasoning! I don’t ever boil water in cast iron (soups, pasta, beans) because constantly boiling water causes the seasoning to release on the iron. For such dishes, just use a bean pot or other non cast iron piece.”
We got A LOT of feedback on it and many questions. So, we thought we would break this down and explain it in a little more detail to help you get your cast performing at its best.
Why can’t you boil water in cast iron?
When you have water at a constant boil in seasoned cast iron, the boiling causes the seasoning to release. This can leave patchy seasoning or an uneven layer of seasoning left on your cast iron. Some folks wonder why some of their dishes turn dark or have floating black pieces at the top (like when boiling beans). That’s because the seasoning has flaked off while boiling.
What do you mean by boiling water in certain dishes?
This is the part that confuses some folks. What we mean by boiling water are dishes that are water based and you will be boiling for a long period of time. For example: pasta, soups and boiling a pot of pinto beans. For such dishes we recommend just using a stock pot.
Dishes that we’ve made like our chicken and dumplin’s, pinto beans or chicken tortilla soup we will cook in a stock or enamel pot.
This does not however include dishes that simply have water in them that you may be simmering. For instance it is ok to cook dishes like stews or chili because they are not completely water based and these are more cooked at a simmer.
I usually boil water to clean my cast iron- is this ok?
This is a method used by some folks to clean their cast iron. It does help to remove any residue from cooking, however keep in mind that while you may be cleaning the residue off it can also loosen and eventually remove your seasoning.
For our preferred cleaning method check out this video:
We hope that helps answer some of your questions concerning our tip.
If you want more cast iron help, check out our full cast iron playlist where you can scroll down the righthand side of the screen for different topics HERE.