How to Reduce Smoke When Cooking With Cast Iron — Easy Tips

A cast-iron frying pan is a real must-have for absolutely any kitchen. You can cook a variety of dishes with it like meat, fish, vegetables, and more. Cast iron cookware is extremely durable, especially if you look after it properly. However, many people notice smoke when cooking with cast iron. Let’s see what you can do to stop cast iron pans and skillets from smoking.

Why is my cast iron smoking so much? Cast iron may start smoking because of strong heat and too much old oil. Cast iron cookware gets hot slower than other types of cookware, but they need a lower temperature to heat up. Strong heat will burn excessive oil and make cast iron smoke a lot. 

How to Reduce Smoke When Cooking With Cast Iron — Easy Tips

If the cast iron frying pan smokes, and the food sticks and burns to it, you did not season a new frying pan or did not complete this process. You should wash the pan thoroughly again and heat it with salt.

How to reduce smoke when cooking with cast iron? To reduce smoke when cooking with cast iron, make sure it does not have excess oil, and you do not use strong heat when cooking as cast iron requires mild heat. Use vegetable oil like olive, coconut, avocado or sesame for the iron cast to reduce smoke. 

To stop cast iron from smoking, do the following:

  • Wash cast iron thoroughly with detergent and let it dry completely (you can dry it on the stove).
  • Cover the bottom of cast iron with a 1-2 cm layer of salt.
  • Turn on the burner and heat the pan for 3 to 5 minutes. The salt should begin to crackle and change color (gray or yellow).
  • Let cast iron cool down, remove the salt and generously coat the entire inner surface with sunflower oil.
  • Remove the excess oil with a napkin.
  • Do not wash the pan. It is ready to be used.

The Easy Video Guide On Seasoning and Restoring Cast Iron

Cast Iron Cookware Care

To reduce smoke when cooking with cast iron, you need to look after the cookware properly. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Do not leave cooked food in a cast iron cookware.
  2. Wash cast iron without abrasive detergents after every use and dry it thoroughly. It is best to dry on the stove to avoid moisture droplets that can cause rust stains. After that, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the cookware’s surface and store it in a dry, ventilated place.
  3. Never wash cast iron in a dishwasher. Cast iron must be hand-washed. Do not use soapy detergents so that a protective grease layer would remain and maintain the non-stick properties of the cast iron. Some say that cast iron cookware should not be washed at all, wipe it dry after use, or rinse it in hot water with a soft brush.
  4. Old carbon can be removed thermally – the pan is heated to the highest possible temperature, as a result of which the contamination burns out.

How To Cook With Cast Iron Video Guide

Tips on How to Cook Food Properly to Avoid Cast Iron Smoking

  • Set the correct temperature setting. Fry meat over high heat, vegetables and fish over medium and low.
  • Use a heat diffusor if you have a gas stove and the bottom of the pan is large in diameter. This will help cook the food evenly and prevent it from burning in the middle.
  • Use cookware with a clean surface with a natural non-stick layer.
  • Wait until the oil warms up (until it smells slightly). To do this, oil can be poured into a hot pan, or you can reheat both simultaneously.
  • Do not use food immediately taken out of the refrigerator. Food to be fried should be at room temperature.
  • Do not fry “wet” foods. Allow fish and meats that have just been rinsed with water to drip off, or dry them with a paper towel.


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