Quick Recipes and Easy

Get the Most Out of Your Cast Iron Cookware With the Proper Seasoning Techniques

Cast iron cookware is an ancient fashioned form of cookware that still has a place in today’s world of modern cooking. You will find all types of cast iron pots, pans, skillets, tea kettles, and even large dutch ovens. Those who routinely use cast iron swear by it’s versatility and durability. I personally reckon that a excellent set of cast iron cookware is hard to beat.

There are a few conditions that you do have to meet when using cast iron. One of these is seasoning the new cast iron items that you buy or maintaining the seasoning of the ones you already own. Seasoning of cast iron is required to promote a non-stick surface on the cookware and make it simpler to clean. Another consideration when dealing with cast iron cookware is maintaining the items in an environment where they will not start to rust. Rust is one of the right enemies of the otherwise durable product. If these two conditions are met, then the cast iron cookware that you buy today, could still be in everyday service a hundred years from now.

The first aspect of seasoning cast iron is to start with a clean pan. Take the newly bought item and remove any adhesive from stickers, and any other foreign material that does not belong. Washing the pan with warm soapy water and then drying it completely is normally sufficient. Next, pre-heat your oven to about 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The next step is to use lard or some other animal stout like bacon grease to start the seasoning process. Avoid vegetable oils as they tend to get very sticky and can ruin a groundbreaking new pan. Coat the inside of the pan with the lard and place it into the pre-heated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. You will want to keep an eye on it to make sure the grease doesn’t get too hot and start to smoke during this process. Once time has passed remove the pan and get rid of the excess grease inside the cast iron pan. Then, place the pan back in the oven for another 20 minutes or so to end the seasoning process. A new cast iron pan may require several treatments like this to establish a excellent “layer” of seasoning. What I mean is that you may have to do this a couple of times before the pan starts to become really non-stick and simple to use for everyday cooking jobs. Afterwards, you can use the cast iron to cook and it wouldn’t hurt to use it to fry bacon or something fatty every once in a while to help maintain excellent seasoning on the pan.

As mentioned before, rust is one of cast iron’s right weak points. Rust can quickly turn a gorgeous, well seasoned pan into a useless eyesore that you aren’t quite sure what to do with. Preventing cast iron from rusting is simple if you remember a few guidelines. Always store your cast iron in a dry place. Do not keep it under the kitchen sink or hanging above your stove where it will be exposed to a steady supply of steam. Never place your cast iron away without thoroughly drying it. An simple way to dry cast iron is to place it in a hot oven for about five minutes or place it on a stove burner on high for a minute or so. This will burn off any excess water left over from when you washed it and will nearly guarantee the avoidance of rust. If you do learn that your cast iron treasures have become rusted over time, there are steps to reclaim them. You may even come across a gorgeous historic piece of cast iron at a yard sale or flea market and choose to revive it. To learn more about restoring rusted cast iron cookware, please see my article at Recipe-Rack.com.

Larry Honz is the chief talent at Recipe-Rack.com. One of the web’s most well loved cooking sites. Visit his website: recipe-rack.com Online Cookbook | Simple Recipes | Recipe-Rack.com

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