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Living Charleston (LivingCHS) is a personal blog about life in Charleston, South Carolina. Recognized as the No. 1 travel destination in the U.S., Charleston is a great place to visit and a great place to live! Follow on Twitter @LivingCHS.

What's Cooking Charleston?

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What's Cooking Charleston?

Drake Manning

It's confession time. Charleston has changed me. I find find myself making comparisons - Before Charleston/After Charleston. For example, before moving to Charleston I rarely cooked. After living in Charleston, I cannot wait to get into the kitchen!

Charleston offers access to an insane amount of culinary treats. For aspiring home chefs, Charleston is where you want to be. Living in Charleston I ask myself why it took so long to discover the joy of cooking. 

One of the great joys I've discovered in the kitchen is cooking with cast iron. A good friend on Daniel Island turned me on to cooking with cast iron. It's now almost a daily ritual. 

Another confession? I have to admit it took a bit of time to get used to. There's definitely a "burn in" period learning to use cast iron - yes, there literally were some burns. Before Charleston, I was a novice in the kitchen. After Charleston, a kitchen rock star!

Proper care and clean-up is key to cooking with cast iron. At first it seems complicated, but trust me, it's not. The most important thing to remember is not to use soap on your cast iron after it's been properly seasoned. Here are my recommendations to cleaning your cast iron for years of great cooking.

Asian marinated cast iron skirt steak with Brussels sprouts

Asian marinated cast iron skirt steak with Brussels sprouts

Cast Iron Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide

1) Let the pan cool and wipe it clean with paper towel

2) Sprinkle the pan with course Kosher salt

cast iron cleaning

3) Rub the salt around the pan thoroughly

Course Kosher salt helps to dissolved baked on food and clean the pan

Course Kosher salt helps to dissolved baked on food and clean the pan

4) Discard the salt residue and rinse the pan with warm water; dry with paper towel

5) Drizzle the pan with oil (I use olive oil) and wipe into the cast iron

The result of this careful and quick cleaning process is a beautiful cast iron pan, ready to go for your next great meal!

Here are a few other resources to help you familiarize  yourself with cast iron, properly seasoning cast iron, and the health benefits of using cast iron over other types of metal pans.

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 10 Facts
Heavy Metal: The Science of Cast Iron Cooking