How to Season and Care for Your Cast Iron Cookware
You have a skillet that came from your mom, and before that your grandma, and has now fallen into your hands. So how do you take care of it, use it, clean it, and get the best taste possible from it? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered in this article and you’ll learn all about caring for cast iron cookware.
I love my cast iron skillets, passed down from my Mom; I remember her using them to make delicious fried chicken dinners, cornbread, and the best popcorn. The only thing I didn’t remember is just what she did to keep those skillets nice. I do remember her drying them slowly on the stove and then coating them with some sort of grease. These days, instead of grease, we would use a thin coat of cooking oil or a pan spray.
That is called seasoning and it is important in the care and use of cast iron to prevent rust and create a natural non-stick cooking surface. Even if your inherited skillet or Dutch oven has been neglected and become rusty, you can restore it by seasoning it again.
The more you use your cast iron, the better seasoned it becomes. A black shiny skillet is a well-seasoned utensil and the one that will give the best flavor. Seasoning is done both for the inside and the outside of your cast iron, and even the lid. Here’s a hint to make your cast iron shiny again: fry bacon or other fatty meats. It will result in quick seasoning and give you that shiny black non-stick interior you are looking for.
Here are the steps to seasoning your cast iron utensils
- First, wash with hot, soapy water and stiff brush
- Rinse and dry
- Apply a thin coat of shortening both inside and out
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line oven rack with foil to catch drips
- Put cookware upside down on the upper rack of your oven and bake for one hour
- Let the cookware cool before taking it out of the oven
- Store it in a cool, dry place and allow air to circulate around it
- Never wash in a dishwasher
- After using your cast iron, rinse with hot water and no soap
- Dry it thoroughly and coat it with a thick coat of cooking oil, shortening or pan spray.
Again, we hoped that this article has helped you in all your dealings with casket iron cookware.
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Drew Farion: Your Eclectic Connoisseur Correspondent