Quick Recipes and Easy

Seasoning and Caring for Your Cast Iron Pans

Some of the best chefs in the world like their cast iron pans. And this is with excellent reason. Cast iron cookware is an ideal heat conductor, it is inexpensive, it heats evenly and the pan will last a lifetime with proper care. Another benefit in today’s healthy lifestyles is that it is a fantastic way to cook stout free. A well seasoned cast iron pan is stick resistant and requires no additional oil. I can go on and on about the benefits of cast iron pans. These pans go from stove to oven, you do not need special (and expensive) utensils to cook with it and cleanup is quick and simple. Cast iron pans are truly a wonder.

It is quite simple to find a cast iron pan. You can find them on the internet, at nearly any cook store, thrift stores, flea markets, or tag sales. The used pan might look rusty and grease encrusted but buy it anyway! If the ancient cast iron pan has rust spots, use steel wool to scour the rust until all of the rust is gone. Wash, dry and season. You can get that ancient pan into fantastic shape and you will be able to pass it down to your children and grandchildren.

“Seasoning” or “curing” your cast iron cookware is very vital in maintaining your pan for many years. This means filling the pores in the metal with grease. This grease gets cooked into the pan. Subsequently, this provides a nonstick, smooth surface on and in the pan.

To season a cast iron pan, rub it with a thin coat of oil, shortening, bacon grease, or lard. Heat your oven to 300 degrees and place the pan, upside down, in the oven for 60 minutes. It is helpful to place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to catch any drips. Once the 60 minutes are done, cool the pan to room temperature. Some people like to repeat this process several times to make stronger seasoning. Your cast iron pan may be slightly discolored after this process but after using it a few times, the iron will turn a rich, black color. That is the sign of a well seasoned piece of cookware.

After every use, wash the pan with soap and water. It is vital not to soak the pan in soapy water. Rinse thoroughly. Dry with paper towels. Place on a lit stove burner for a couple of minutes to make sure the pan is completely dry. Lightly oil the pan with cooking oil, such as vegetable oil. It is best to avoid olive oil or butter at this point. Reheat the pan with the oil inside for a few minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and wipe off excess oil with a paper towel. When storing your cast iron pan, do not place the lid on. If the pan is covered, moisture can cause it to rust. It is helpful to place paper towels inside the pan to ensure that any moisture is absorbed. It is imperative that you never place the pan in the dishwasher or store it without drying it thoroughly.

As you now know, it is honestly simple to maintain and cook with your cast iron pan. These pans have been cherished for centuries because of their versatility and exceptional heating ability. A small maintenance now will ensure your cast iron cookware will be used and loved for many more years to come.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to cookware-guides.com/ Cookware

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