Helpful Kitchen Tips from Kitchen Conservatory

 

Best Bet Methods for Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

 

There are several reasons why chefs believe the cast iron skillet to be a precision cooking tool. Besides being an ideal heat conductor, cast iron heats evenly and consistently, and enables precise control of cooking temperatures. It is also an old-fashioned way to cook fat free.

Cast iron skillets are inexpensive and, with proper care, will last a lifetime. Seasoning is the process of allowing oil to be absorbed into the metal, which creates a natural non-stick, rustproof finish. When well seasoned, a cast-iron pan will require no additional oil.  It is actually a very simple process. Seasoning is performed on carbon-steel and cast iron cookware. Here's how to do it:

 

OVEN METHOD:

  1. If the the piece has a handle that is not oven-proof, remove it.

  2. Wash new cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush.

  3. Rinse and dry completely.

  4. Apply a thin coat of melted vegetable shortening or oil to the entire surface (including lid if applicable). It is not necessary to season the outside, but  there is no problem if you choose to season it.

  5. Line the lower oven rack with aluminum foil (to catch any drippings), and preheat oven to 350° F.

  6. Place cookware upside down on the upper oven rack and bake for one hour.

  7. Turn oven off and let cookware cool before removing from oven.

  8. Store in a cool, dry place. If you have a lid for your pan, place a folded paper towel between the lid and the pan to allow air to circulate.

  9. NEVER wash in dishwasher.

  10. If your pan develops a metallic smell or taste or shows signs of rust, never fear. Wash with soap and hot water, scour off rust, and re-season.

After use: Clean using a stiff brush and hot water only (do not wash in dishwasher). Towel dry immediately and apply a light coating of vegetable oil to cookware while still warm.

 

STOVE-TOP METHOD

  1. Wash new cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush.

  2. Rinse and dry completely.

  3. Apply a thin coat of melted vegetable shortening or oil to the entire surface (including lid if applicable).  It is not necessary to season the outside, but  there is no problem if you choose to season it.

  4. Place pan over a medium flame for 10 minutes. 

  5. Turn burner off and let cookware cool.

  6. Wipe any excess oil from pan and repeat process two more times.

  7. Store in a cool, dry place. If you have a lid for your pan, place a folded paper towel between the lid and the pan to allow air to circulate.

  8. NEVER wash in dishwasher.

  9. If your pan develops a metallic smell or taste or shows signs of rust, never fear. Wash with soap and hot water, scour off rust, and re-season.

After use: Clean using a stiff brush and hot water only (do not wash in dishwasher). Towel dry immediately and apply a light coating of vegetable oil to cookware while still warm.

 


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