Pro tip: Season cast iron pans on a day you can open the windows!steemCreated with Sketch.

in #food2 years ago

I'm not convinced there is a massive cast iron following here on Steemit, but I am just doing what I know. If you are reading this, maybe I am wrong about you cast iron loving Steemians!

I am no profesional or anything. I am just a guy who likes to eat. As such, I cook a fair bit. But I've always loved cast iron cooking. My grandmother always did it and I guess I just picked it up from her.

For those of you that don't know, Cast iron pans are not black. Not when they are new. You have to season them to get that black coating and great natural nonstick feature. To do so, you clean it (you can use soap if its still silver, but not if its been seasoned before) then dry it well. Some people like to use coarse salt to rub it down to clean it. They also make these chain mail like scrub rags but I just use some nylon scrubby things I have. If you're going to use nylon like me, make sure the pan isn't too warm.

Then you oil it down. I think lard is preferred, but oil works OK also. Especially the first time you want to make sure to grease it up inside and out (handle too!). Wipe it down good to get out any excess, then put it in the oven upside down and cook it at 350F minimum (I've seen people go as high as 550F though) which basically cooks in that oil/fat and blackens the pan. Whatever temperature is above "the smoking point" for the grease/fat/oil you used is what you should be using. About 30-45 minutes should be enough generally.

If you are too much hotter than you need to be, or if you used too much fat/oil you will smoke your house up! I know this from experience! I bought 4 new pans and seasoned all together. every smoke detector in my house went off. Luckily It was pleasant enough outside that I could open up the house. Maybe next time I buy multiple pans I'll cook them up on the grill outside (which might never happen because these should last me until I die).

Now I want to go cook something...

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Woah, brand new information for me! I recently bought cast iron pots and pans because I don't eat meat and had low iron, but the first time I "soaked" it in the kitchen sink to clean and I saw rust in the morning - I was dumbfounded what to do or whether it was safe. Thanks for this tip!

OH NO!
They can be salvaged, but you aren't going to want to cook on them if they are rusty. Use a Brillo pad or a wire brush and get all the rust off that bad boy. Then go through the seasoning process again. They should still be fine after that and last you a lifetime!

Its OK to wash them with water after that, just don't soak them. Make sure to dry them well after. Putting them in a warm oven works pretty well after a towel dry. Just don't let them air dry in a dish rack.

If they have really hard to get off food and such that wont come out easily, bake it off in a hot oven then use a metal spatula to scrape it out. (kind of like how your self cleaning oven cleans itself by cooking very hot)

Hope this helps! Cheers!

Thank you, will try!

Thank you for sharing! I was just reading that they are healthier than other pans too :)

Yea, I remember hearing about how they can actually add iron to your diet (which seems silly, but maybe), and how Teflon is shitty for you. I'm not really sure how much I buy into all that. I really just don't know enough to have an opinion in either direction about it. But I do know that they are great for working on those biceps! :)