3 Need to know Tips about Cast Iron Care
Cast iron is again becoming a popular material for pots and pans. The surface is a unique one, requiring time to prepare it for use and then requiring care when it is put to work at dinner time. If the seasoning and use are both done with care, a cast iron pan will last more than a life time, you will hand it down for generations. In that way, a cast iron pan can carry history and traditions for families for many generations. So let’s be sure you are seasoning the pan correctly and completely first, then caring for it properly.
Seasoning your pan
When you first get your pan, run it under hot water without soap just to clean off surface dust and debris. Dry it thoroughly. Heat your oven to about 375F. Rub both the exterior and interior and sides and handle of the pan with vegetable oil. Set the pan, upside down, inside the oven. Put a bit of foil under the pan to catch any drips. Let the pan bake for about one hour. Leave it in the oven to cool. This process is best repeated at least once to ensure that the pan is completely seasoned. As well, the process will need to be repeated from time to time. As you use your pan you will come to recognize when you need to do this step again.
Cooking with iron
Make sure your pan is hot enough before you use it, and then always use oil in the pan. You can minimize the amount of oil by using a brush to lightly coat the surface or us an all-natural spray that has no additives. Then let it heat up. Once it is hot, you can usually turn off the heat and cook just from the heat of the pan. This is one of the biggest advantages of cast iron that, once heated, it holds its heat forever. You can avoid a lot of burning and burned on stuff by remembering this characteristic.
Cleaning issues with your pan
First, clean your pan by hand. Iron will rust in the dishwasher. As well some cleaners could strip the seasoning that you have put on your pan. So hand wash.
If you get food stuck on the pan, simply fill the pan with hot water and bring it to a boil. Let the water work on the stuck food for several minutes then just take a flat bottomed lifter and lightly scrape the rest of the food off. Repeat if necessary.
A cast iron pan can last several life times and be passed down as a family heirloom from generation to generation. A gift of a cast iron pan as a wedding is a harbinger of a marriage that will last forever and be rich and fruitful.