By John Francis
How to Season and Care for Your Cast Iron Cookware
You have a skillet that came from your mom, and before that
your grandma, and has now fallen into your hands. So how do
take care of it, use it, clean it, and get the best taste
possible from it? I hope to answer some of those questions in
I love my cast iron skillets, passed down from my Mom; I
remember her using them to make delicious fried chicken
dinners, cornbread to go with our Great Northern beans and the
best popcorn. The only thing I didnít remember is just what
did to keep those skillets nice. I do remember her drying them
slowly on the stove and then coating them with some sort of
grease. Now we would use a thin coat of cooking oil or a pan
That is called seasoning and is important in the care and use
of cast iron to prevent rust and create a natural non-stick
cooking surface. Even if your inherited skillet or Dutch oven
has been neglected and rusty, you can restore it by seasoning
The more you use your cast iron the better seasoned it
A black shiny skillet is a well-seasoned utensil and the one
that will give the best flavor. Seasoning is done both for the
inside and the outside of your cast iron, and even the lid
be seasoned. Hereís a hint to make your cast iron shiny again
to fry bacon and similar fatty meats. It will help it become
seasoned faster and give you that shiny black non-stick
interior you are working for.
Here are the steps to seasoning your cast iron utensils.
1. First, wash with hot, soapy water and stiff brush.
2. Rinse and dry
3. Apply a thin coat of shortening both inside and out
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line oven rack with foil to
5. Put cookware upside down on the upper rack of your oven and
bake for one hour.
6. Let the cookware cool before taking it out of the oven.
7. Store it in a cool, dry place and allow air to circulate
8. Never wash in a dishwasher.
After using your cast iron, rinse with hot water and no soap.
Dry it thoroughly and coat it with a think coat of cooking
shortening or pan spray.
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