Back to Basics: Taking Care of Cast Iron

When I left for college I “liberated” many things from my mom’s (sorry Mom!), but the one thing I always wished I grabbed was her cast iron skillet. Cast iron is one of the best things to cook with. It cooks evenly, holds heat very well, and (if properly cared for) will last forever!

Well, since I did not manage to grab my mom’s skillet, I’ve begun to build my own cast iron collection and strongly suggest that you do too. So far I’ve gotten a skillet and a dutch oven. I picked this particular dutch oven because the lid can double as another skillet.

As I mentioned, just having the cast iron is not enough, you have to properly take care of your cookware and that begins the minute you get it home from the store. BEFORE YOU COOK ANYTHING IN YOUR CAST IRON YOU MUST SEASON IT. A little extreme with the caps there, but I think I’ve gotten my point across. So, how do you season it, you ask? Well, that’s what I’m here to tell you.

Ingredients

  • Oil* (I used canola because that’s what I had on hand.)

*Note: You can use any kind, but keep in mind that some oils have a lower smoke point meaning that it takes less heat for the oil to start smoking. Vegetable oil is good for this project.

  1. Begin by hand washing your cookware. It is okay to use water to clean your cast iron as long as you completely dry it immediately after you finish washing. The last thing you want is for your cookware to rust. I don’t think that would add good flavor to any dish. 🙂 You want to do this even if your packaging says your cookware has been “pre-seasoned.” I don’t trust anything unless I’ve seen it done or done it myself.
  2. Next, pour 1-2 tbsp of oil into your cookware and spread it on every.single.part of the cookware. Inside and out. (I don’t know why, it’s just how it’s done.)
  3. Finally, put your cookware in the oven at 375 degrees for an hour.
  4. After an hour, remove your cookware from the oven and let it cool to the point it can be handled easily, but not to the point that it is cool. Pour a little more oil and spread all over the cookware and put it back in the oven for another hour. Repeat one more time, so your cookware is coated a total of three times. 

Congratulations! You now have the best piece of non-stick cookware known to man. It will be easy to clean and a wonder to cook with.

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One thought on “Back to Basics: Taking Care of Cast Iron

  1. Flaxseed oil is great for seasoning cast iron! It’s a little pricey, but worth trying out if you get a chance (we cook nearly everything on cast iron–I married into an extensive set of it 😉 ).

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