caring for your cast iron 

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Whether you find cast iron daunting, daring, or doable, the same {very simple} guidelines apply to all. The truth is, cast iron is much better for both your cooking AND your health. We’re not oppose to Teflon-- heck, it makes flipping eggs and pancakes very easy. However, properly seasoned cast iron can provide an even BETTER non-stick surface than other pans. And, unlike Teflon, you won’t ever need to worry about the flaking of your pan. {Bits of Teflon in your food can be very hazardous, which has been linked to cancer!} 

 

Here’s a quick and easy guide to revive and help care for your cast iron.

 

Search for cast iron. If you don’t already own cast iron venture through  thrift shops, consignment stores, or the bottom shelf of your great aunt’s pantry. Cast iron was quickly stashed away with the entrance of non-stick surface pans, which is why you can usually find them in dusty, forgotten corners. 

 

Clean your cast iron. The first time you’re prepping your cast iron, whether it’s black as night or covered in rusty guck, put it in your sink and sprinkle with coarse salt. Using a steel scrub or half a potato, scrub the entire cast iron {inside and out, pan and handle} until any crusted rust or food is removed.

With warm water, and absolutely NO soap, rinse the pan thoroughly. 

 

Heat your cast iron on low over the stove. This will help to expel any remaining moisture that may be hiding amoung the pours of the iron. Your pan is now clean, dried, and ready for the most excited part: seasoning!

 

Seasoning cast iron is simple. It just takes some muscle and low heat. Keep in mind, the end goal is to create a well-treated, non-stick surface. Use animal fat or tropical oils. We suggest duck fat, bacon grease, or coconut oil. Olive or vegetable oil is okay if you’re in a pinch. Begin rubbing down your cast iron. You'll even want to rub a small amount of treatment into the exterior and handle of the pan. However, the inside bowl of the pan is where you want to concentrate most of your energy. 

NOTE: Avoid butter, as the milk solids will not be pleasant when heated at high temperatures. 

Place your coated cast iron in the oven with a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings. Heat on low {about 200˚} for 3-4 hours, or overnight if you’re daring. You can repeat the treatment and baking steps until you reach your optimum non-stick surface. 

After use of your seasoned cast iron: Wipe clean or with warm water (no soap) while the pan is still slightly warm. Let the cast iron dry in a warm place, back on your stove stop is a good choice. If necessary, lightly re-oil and rub down after cooled. 

 

It might seem like a lot to remember, but- as always- practice makes perfect. And soon enough, caring for your cast iron will feel like second nature. Move on over Teflon!