Friday, September 16, 2016

Seasoning Cast Iron

You've invested in Lodge Cast Iron.  What now?
You're going to love this!

Wash your new cast iron with dishsoap-y water.  You'll never (usually) want soap to touch your cast iron again, but it's brand spanking new and you'll want to start clean.

Dry well, then coat your entire piece with a thin coat of vegetable oil; inside and out.  Make sure to get all those nooks and crannies!  Don't drench it, but do have a nice coating.  This will become part of your cookware and the oil will create a non-stick surface.

(Our daughter is allergic to eggs so I do soap ours after we've made something with eggs, then just coat it with oil again and put it away.)

One of the beautiful things about cast iron is that if you do have to soap it, you can easily re-season.  It will last for years, decades, centuries!  These will become family heirlooms that anyone will be happy to inherit!

Worth noting and pretty important, cast iron does not instantly become non-stick.  It will continue to get better with use.  Don't expect your eggs to be slip-sliding away just yet.

Now, place your cookware *upside down* into a 350-400 degree oven and bake for an hour.  Use a cookie sheet on the lower rack to catch drips.

Turn the oven off and leave it to cool.

Cast iron gets SCREAMING HOT, so don't go grabbing the handle, even when you're cooking on the stove top.  I rest a hot pad on the handle so I don't forget.  (Been there, done that.  Bad words will come out.)  Lodge also makes a handle cover that you might find useful; Lodge Silicone Hot Handle Holder, Red

When you wash your cast iron, scrub it well with a sponge, brush, Brillo pad, etc., but BE GENTLE otherwise you'll remove the seasoning.  Rinse and *immediately* dry well, then re-oil the entire piece.  Even if you see a bit of rust, just scrub it off and oil.

Oil attracts dust and I confess, I store mine in the oven.  Once the piece is seasoned you won't have to continually oil the outside, but do make sure it is completely dry, and do oil the inside every time you use it.

So the bottom line is, cast iron gets better the more fat is cooked in it. ;)

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