7 Reasons To Use Cast Iron CookingOctober 24, 2018
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- Use a non-stick surface scraper to remove unwanted food from the pan.
- Rinse your pan out with water. There is a bit of controversy about using soap to clean your cast iron cookware. Many people swear by not using soap. I generally do not use soap but there is a risk of bacteria staying in the pan. So if someone in my family is sick I might use a bit of soap. The heat will eventually kill the bacteria but it might not kill it right away since the oil application is done at a low temperature. Never place a hot pan or pot in cold water because this could cause cast iron to crack.
- Dry completely. This is important because cast iron will rust if moisture is left on the surface too long. If your pan does rust use steel wool in the affected area. Then proceed to the next step.
- Heat your pan on low to medium heat.
- Apply a thin layer of oil with a lint-free cloth. You can use bacon grease, lard, coconut oil or any other high heat oil. (I use coconut oil.) Applying too much will cause the pan to be sticky. Let it cool and wipe off the excess oil.
There is also some debate as to whether you should do #4 and #5 every time you use your cookware. I do it every time I use my cast iron. If you wait and only do it occasionally it will be more difficult because you’ve let your coating deteriorate. If you get in the habit of doing it each time you’ll never have a problem. Do not place cast iron in the dishwasher – it will rust!
Care Of Traditional Cast Iron Cookware
Food will stick to cast iron if it’s not seasoned. Seasoning is the process of coating cookware with oil and then heating it so a patina (or thin layer) is formed from the cooked oil. Most cast iron sold today comes pre-seasoned, and the older pieces you might find at a thrift store or yard sale will most likely be seasoned. You may need to reseason pieces that were poorly seasoned, or those that have not received proper care.
You have to continually add oil or fat to keep your cookware seasoned. If you cook with a lot of oil or fat you might not have to do what I call “maintenance” seasoning. However, most of us try to watch our fat intake, even from healthy fats, and you actually cook with less oil in a well-seasoned cast iron pan.