Want a pan that will stand the test of time? For over 100 years cast iron as been a traditional favorite in kitchens across America. These almost indestructible pans can easily withstand a lifetime of use and often survives longer than it’s owner. If you take good care of your cast iron cookware, it can be passed down and enjoyed by generations to come.
Got rust? Don’t toss out that pan, it can be fixed! Simply follow the instructions below for seasoning your cast iron cookware and it will once again look and perform like new.
Wash the cookware thoroughly with hot soapy water and an abrasive sponge. Rinse and dry it thoroughly.
Coat the entire surface of the pan with a layer of vegetable shortening or oil. I use a paper towel so I can be sure I’m getting the oil into all cracks and edges. Coat the undersides and handles as well. Start with a small amount and add to it as needed, too much oil will make your pan smoke in the oven.
Next, place the cookware upside down on the upper rack of a 350ºF oven, over a lower rack lined with aluminum foil, for about one hour or according to label instructions (if new). Allow the cast iron cookware to cool inside the oven before removing it. The iron will absorb the oil and help to repair any rust or bald spots in your pan. And viola!
Warning: This process is likely to produce significant amounts of smoke so you may need to leave some windows open and/or disable your smoke detector.
Suggestions for Use
- The best way to clean a cast iron skillet is to sprinkle some coarse salt over the surface and then gently scrub it with a paper towel to remove the food and grease.
- Avoid using your cast iron cookware to prepare tomato-based foods or other acidic foods containing lemon juice or vinegar. They will deteriorate the non-stick surface, and as a result, the cookware might need additional seasoning.
- Always preheat your cast iron cookware before adding food. Test for readiness by adding a couple of drops of water. If the water pops and sizzles, the pan is hot enough to begin using. If the water immediately evaporates, the pan is too hot, and the heat should be turned down to allow it to cool to the appropriate temperature.