Cast Iron 101

Photo Credit: Bitz & Giggles

There are several benefits to using cast iron cookware for your food ideas and recipes. With that said, you will want to know the proper cast iron cookware care so that your cookware will be at it's best and always ready to use. Not only are cast iron pots and pans inexpensive and versatile, but they will last for generations. A cast-iron skillet is an excellent pan for frying, but it also can retain heat which lends itself to healthy cooking. That includes using water-based methods such as braising and poaching in your cast iron cookware, along with quick broiling and grilling, which don't require much oil. You want to be sure and preheat your castiron cookware well in advance, as it tends to get hot spots if you don't. With the right cast iron cookware care, your cookware will last for years to come. You'll want to take a look at the Bitz and Giggles site for the full list of cast iron cookware care. The following are just some of the tips and natural cleaners you can use.

To start, you want to be sure and season your cast iron cookware. When you season a cast iron skillet, you are just baking some oil into the pores of the cast iron pan to help prevent food from sticking to its surface. Normally you’ll season a cast iron pan when you bring it home from the store when it is new. Some cast iron pans are sold already seasoned, and some are not. If you notice that food is sticking onto your cast iron pan, it’s most likely that the pan is not seasoned. And if you’ve had your cast iron pan for awhile and notice that the food has started to stick to it again, you can reseason the pan at any time. You begin the seasoning process for cast iron by washing the skillet with some soapy water and a plastic-bristle brush. This is the only time you want to use soap and water on your cast iron skillet.

When it comes to cast iron cookware care, and you notice that there are some food bits stuck in the cast iron pan, use some coarse salt to scour the pan, then rinse the pan and dry it well. Take a paper towel and then rub a thin layer of vegetable oil onto the inside and outside of the pan. Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil and place the cast iron pan upside down on the ovens top rack. Allow the cast iron skillet to bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and leave the cast iron skillet in there to cool. Store your cast iron skillet in a dry place without any cover. If your cast iron skillet gets any rust on it, it’s probably because the pan was put away wet or has been stored in a spot too humid. After you use your cast iron cookware for food ideas and recipes, you want to rinse the cast iron skillet with water while the pan is still warm. Remember you don't want to use soap. If there are any food bits still left in the pan, you want to repeat the steps again, using coarse salt as a natural cleaner to scour the food bits away. Another tip is to use paper towels to dry cast iron pans as they will stain your good tea towels.

You will find these cast iron cookware care tips on the Bitz & Giggles site. On the site, you will find cast iron cookware care, DIY ideas and cleaning tips, natural cleaners, food ideas and more. **

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