Cast iron cookware is considered as one of the earliest types of cookware, having been a staple in kitchens that date back to hundreds of years. A cast iron pot or pan is made from molten iron poured on to molds in the shape of the pot or the pan. Cast iron cookware may not be as readily available in this age of aluminum and steel pots and pans but it is still highly prized by chefs and professional cooks because it is a very durable and versatile cookware that ensures even heating. Furthermore, cast iron has a natural non-stick quality without the use of any Teflon coating. Also, it won’t warp even in very high temperatures.
A cast iron pot or pan will last ages if it is taken care of properly. Seasoning is a very crucial process that cast iron cookware owners need to do to ensure that their pots and pans will last for a long time. Seasoning means covering the natural pores of the metal with grease, which will create a smoother surface where food won’t stick. Traditional seasoning usually uses an oven to cure the cookware, but here’s how you can do it without an oven.
First, clean the cast iron cookware, making sure it is thoroughly clean before seasoning it. Wash it with soap and rinse thoroughly with warm water to completely remove any dirt or loose anti-rust coating that’s remained on the cookware during the manufacturing process.
Dry the cookware using a towel. Make sure it is completely dry before applying grease to the inside of the cookware. You can use lard or bacon grease for this purpose. Don’t use vegetable oil because it won’t adhere as much to the cast iron. After you’ve completely applied the grease put on the stove and heat it. Leave it there for up to 20 minutes.
Remove the cookware from the heat and drain all of the excess grease. Let the cookware cool. Now repeat the process of greasing the cookware and heating it a couple more times to ensure that the cookware has been thoroughly seasoned. You should then repeat this process every six months to ensure that the cookware is protected and perform at its best.
Whether you buy a new cast iron cookware or start using an old cast iron pot you’ve found in your attic, you have to season it properly so that it will be usable and not break down easily. A properly seasoned cast iron cookware will serve you for many, many years.
Image from asbplus.com