Although cast iron cookware is virtually indestructible, it requires special care and cleaning in order to maintain its nonstick properties and remain rust-free. With proper care, cleaning, and storage, cast iron cookware can withstand a lifetime of use. Take good care of your cast iron cookware, and it can be passed down and enjoyed by future generations.
One of cast iron main benefit is its natural, non-stick surface. As long as it's seasoned properly, traditional cast iron has the nearly same slick texture as Teflon but it cooks ten times better. It retains heat for a long time, and it lasts for as long as it's taken care of. However, typical of cast iron cookware, the more you use it the better it will be. It is generally recommended that you cook fatty foods in the pan as this adds to the seasoning process
After you purchase your cast iron cookware product, take some time to season it prior to cooking. Food will taste better and will continue to the more you use your cast iron cookware. Here are some steps you can take to make sure that your cast iron cookware gets that good seasoning built in.
Rub the entire piece of cookware with shortening such as Crisco, lard or bacon grease. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees'. After the oven is preheated place your cookware in the oven for about one hour. Since cast iron products holds heat, be careful to let the item cool down before removing the cookware from your oven. When the item is cooled down a bit and enough to handle, with a paper towel, wipe the excess shorting off being careful not to remove all the seasoning, just the excess. The initial seasoning should be accomplished at the point, however you may want to repeat this process several times to get the real flavor from you cooking to come out. The more you use your cookware the more your food will have a delicious flavor.
After cooking, do not use a detergent to clean it. That will destroy the seasoning. Wash your cookware with warm water and dry with a paper towel. Never use a wire brush or steel pry to clean your cookware. An abrasive pad cuts into the seasoned surface. If something sticks, scrape it with a spoon to dislodge. Sometimes placing some course salt on a paper towel will help remove stubborn build up. . Dry thoroughly and store in a dry place.
Iron Mike is the owner of chesapeakecookware.com
Photo Credit: Evan-Amos
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