Daily Care for Nambu Tekki Cast Ironware | Pot and Pan


History of Nambu Tekki Cast Ironware

Nambu Tekki is a traditional Japanese ironware founded in the Tohoku region during the Edo period (1803-1868). The origin of the craft can be traced back to the Nambu domain, an area now known as Iwate prefecture. It is said to have started when the tea adoring Nambu feudal lord invited craftsmen from Kyoto to develop iron tea kettles in the area. The Nambu Tekki craft thrived in cities like Mizusawa due to the wealth of natural resources available - including iron, sand, clay and lacquer.

The Making of Nambu Tekki Cast Ironware

Nambu Tekki is renowned for its durability, heat retention and austere design. The iron is subject to various processes to prevent rusting, such as baking the ironware in charcoal to create an inner oxide film and further coating the surface with urushi lacquer. The Nambu Tekki craft has officially been certified as a Traditional Craftwork of Japan and it continues to be revered for its enduring beauty and practicality. Today, a wide range of contemporary and induction compatible designs are available to suit the modern day kitchen.

Seasoning Method - Before first Use

  • Cast ironware must be seasoned before first use to ensure that food does not stick to the pan surface. Before seasoning, always use oven mitts and work in a well-ventilated kitchen.

  • Prepare vegetable oil, shortening, leafy vegetables, natural-bristled brush, oven mitts, cloth and thick paper towels.

  • First, wash with a brush and lukewarm water. Gently dab with paper to dry and evaporate water by putting it on heat for less than 30 seconds.

  • Using plenty of vegetable oil, season the ironware by cooking vegetables. Fry chopped vegetables to help oil soak into the inner surface. Dab pan with a cloth to spread a layer of oil.

  • Using a cloth or thick paper towel, dab shortening on the surface area and handle while it is still warm.

Daily Care

To ensure the longevity of Nambu Tekki ironware, please follow the steps below for instructions on daily care. With proper care, cast ironware can last a very long time and it can be handed down over generations as treasured items.

  • After each use, rinse with water and wash with a natural-bristled brush, such as a tawashi.

  • To remove excessive oil, a small amount of detergent may be preferred but if used excessively, detergent may damage the inner protective film.

  • Remove any excess moisture with a clean, dry cloth.

  • Do not use in dishwasher and do not use a metal brush.

Rust Prevention

  • Do not leave water inside for long periods of time, as it will cause the iron to rust.

  • Always use a sufficient amount of oil to avoid food sticking and causing rust.

  • To remove rust, first add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, and turn the heat on.

  • Cook vegetable scraps until they soften, coating the pot evenly in oil.

  • Gently scrub the rust spots with a tawashi or a soft scrubbing brush and rinse with water. Do not use detergent.

  • Remove any excess moisture with a clean, dry cloth.

  • Repeat the steps above until the rust disappears.


  • During cooking, make sure the pots and pans are heated evenly on low to medium heat.

  • If overheating occurs, do not attempt to cool under cold water as the sudden change in temperature may cause the pan to break or crack.

  • Always use oven mitts when handling cast ironware as it becomes extremely hot when heated.

  • For long-term storage, wrap in newspaper or a dry cloth and store in a cool, dry place.

  • Handle with care as it may crack or break if dropped.