Many people choose cast iron frying pans, skillets, and pots for cooking as it has the ability to retain and disperse heat quickly and effectively, and in a short amount of time. You can sauté, stir-fry, and even grill vegetables and different types of meat and seafood in it. Using the pan cuts down your time in the kitchen, and saves you money. However, there are a few drawbacks like the pans being slightly heavy and difficult to work with, and the need to season and clean it on a regular basis. But, you can learn the techniques to clean and season the pans in order to use it.
Steps for Cleaning
Before we can season cast iron cookware, it is essential to clean it properly. Here are the directions which you can follow.
- First, gather the materials―hand gloves, salt, paper towels, sponge, and vegetable oil.
- Every time you use the pan, make sure that you heat it properly before cooking anything in it.
- Also, use the pan for frying purposes only for first couple of months to keep the seasoning of the pan intact.
- After you're done using the pan, immediately wash it. To wash, add a tablespoon of salt with some water.
- Wear your hand gloves at all times. Use paper towels to scrub the pan properly. Make sure the pan is not very hot.
- After that, place the pan on the stove (low heat) and let it dry properly. Keep it there for about a minute or so.
- With a sponge, you can easily remove the leftover food. In the end, rinse under water properly and wipe the insides with vegetable oil and paper towels.
Steps for Seasoning
There are two main reasons why seasoning your cookware is always beneficial. One, it protects the cooking utensil from rusting, and two, it provides a natural non-stick layer to it.
- First, gather the materials―hand gloves, liquid dish soap, sponge, shortening, aluminum foil, cooking sheet, and paper towels or cleaning cloths.
- Make sure that the pan is absolutely clean. If not, then use hot water with liquid dish soap and scrub it properly.
- Once clean and dry, keep the pan on the stove to warm it a little bit.
- After that, melt shortening and apply a layer inside the pan with paper towels or cleaning cloth.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 350ºF. Take a cooking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil properly.
- Place the coated pan on the sheet upside down so that once hot, the shortening can drip inside the sheet.
- Keep the pan inside the oven for 20 minutes. But if you see any smoke inside the oven, lower the oven temperature and bake for the rest of the time.
- Later, remove the grease from the sheet and place the pan back inside the oven. Keep it there for about 2 to 3 hours.
- Keep the oven off and let the pan cool down on its own. In the end, remove it. Your pan has been seasoned.
Whenever you purchase a new cookware, remember to season it immediately. Newer cooking utensils have a protective layer which is placed by the manufacturers themselves. But, this layer has to be removed in order to make the cookware usable. Take a sponge or a stiff brush and liquid dish soap to scrub the pan properly. Other than that, follow the directions provided in the article.