Seasoning And Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware

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Although used for interior decoration, self-defense and as antique collectables, many people still like to use cast iron cookware for cooking. A cast iron griddle will outlive you – if you take care of it correctly. You cannot clean it like you would other kings of cookware. Soap and water will ruin cast iron cookware, turning it incurably rusty. Before you ever use your cast iron cookware, you need to be sure it's correctly seasoned.


If you receive cast iron cookware that is currently being used as cookware and has already been seasoned, then you can skip seasoning for now. However, if your food sticks like glue to your pans, then you know that you have to reseason. It can't hurt to at least be familiar with seasoning cast iron cookware.

If the cast iron cookware is brand, spanking new, then it has a protective coating on it that needs to be washed away before you can season. You have to do this, preferably with just hot mildly hot soapy water and steel wool. At this stage, a little water is not going to harm the cast iron cookware. But don’t let the soapy water soak in the pots and pans!

Then, you pour some vegetable oil into the clean cookware. (Originally, you used lard, but that's hard to come by and not an option for vegetarians!) It's best to use a paper towel in order to spread the oil evenly over the interior of the pans. Then, you need to turn your oven on to 250° F. Keep the lid off. Stick the oiled cask iron cookware in the oven for two hours. Use when cooled off.


Cast iron cookware should be cleaned with a damp towel or cloth. If you have to wash, use only a mild dish detergent and NEVER use a scrubbing pad. It's best to let dry by sticking it on a warm burner. Another way to clean tough, stuck on food is to add a cup of water to the cast iron cookware, boil it for three minutes, dump the water (and, hopefully, the stuck on food), then let cool a bit and wipe with a thick cloth.

Yet another people like to clean their cast iron cookware is by adding a little salt to the pots, then wiping with a cloth or paper towel. The salt acts as an abrasive powder. Afterwards, more oil needs to be added. Store with the lids off. This is why it's best to hang these pots and pans up.
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