How to Season and Care for Your Cast Iron

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how-to-season-and-care-for-cast-ironWhether you want to make cornbread, a pineapple upside down cake, or steaks that rival the local steakhouse’s offerings, cast iron is where it’s at. Lots of people shy away from cast iron because they think that it requires lots of time and maintenance. Once you know the secrets of caring for cast iron, it’s simple!

Seasoning Your Cast Iron
Cast iron doesn’t come to you in its best form. It’s a lot like wine in that way—it gets better with age! Though you can use cast iron right out of the box, properly seasoning your pan over and over can help you get more use out of it and cook your food better.

To season a cast iron skillet, pour a little bit of cooking oil (vegetable or canola oil) in the bottom of the skillet. The amount you use depends on the size of the pan. Use a paper towel to spread the oil evenly over the bottom of the cast iron skillet. Pop the skillet into the oven for an hour at 350 degrees to season it up. Once the skillet is removed from the heat and cooled, use a paper towel to wipe off the excess oil. Repeat as desired to season your skillet. Using your skillet for cooking can also season it.

Cleaning Cast Iron
Keeping your cast iron properly cleaned is the key to helping it live a long and healthy life in your kitchen! After using cast iron, you want to clean it right away. Letting it sit is a recipe for ruin.

If you accidentally burn food onto your skillet, use a cloth to scrub the skillet with coarse sea salt. Rinse off, dry, and rub with cooking oil. You may use steel wool if your cast iron has sticky residue or sauce on it, but be sure to re-season after cleaning. Otherwise, simply rinse your cast iron. No matter how you clean it, wipe it down with cooking oil and dry it.

Have you used cast iron before?  Do find it easy or better to use than other types of cookware?


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