Take it easy
Cast-iron cookware should be cleaned differently from other pots in your kitchen. Just scrape off residue and hand-wash with a nonabrasive sponge and water, says Kelly—that’s it. Because the pans are sterile at 212º F, soap isn’t necessary (but if you’re still uneasy, you could use a mild soap). No matter what, be sure to dry them immediately to avoid rust spots from forming.
Keep it seasoned
Over time, cast iron becomes naturally nonstick—if you care for it correctly. Kelly recommends applying a light coat of vegetable oil to your pan after you’ve washed and dried it. Wipe on just enough to restore the surface’s sheen, but not so much it feels sticky. “Some people use too much oil when maintaining their cast-iron cookware,” he says. “A little goes a long way.”