Manufacturers usually treat traditional cast iron cookware in some form to prevent rust from occurring during a shipment. Generally, they use food oil, which is simple to wash off. The coating from the manufacturer must be removed before you proceed with seasoning your cookware. Seasoning cast irons is critical for the maintenance and durability of your cookware. Traditional cast irons contain pores that if not properly seasoned could cause your food to stick to your pan. Improper care also promotes rust occurring on your cookware as well. However, with the proper maintenance of your cookware, it can last for generations.
Use the instructions below for proper treatment of your NEW cast iron cookware:
- Wash cast iron cookware with warm soapy water and use a Brillo pad or steel wool to scrub the cookware well. This will help to loosen and release the prior treatment used by manufacturers or any rust that may reside on your cookware.
- Rinse your cast iron thoroughly to ensure that the particles that you have scrubbed off no longer reside on your cookware.
- Thoroughly dry the cast iron to ensure that there is no moisture left. It may help to heat the cast iron on the stove top for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Lightly coat the inside and outside of your cookware with a congealed oil such as a vegetable oil, shortening, or lard. (This aids to fill-in and coat the pores of your cookware. Note: Butter and margarine should not be used in this process.) Be sure to coat the handle and lid, if applicable.
- Place the cast iron cookware in the oven, upside down, at 350 degrees for one hour. (Layer the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil to catch any oil drippings. Note: Turning the cookware upside down will aid in the prevention of gummy oil buildup. Another way to prevent gummy oil buildup is to wipe away excess oil after 15 minutes in the oven.) The heat helps to lock in the oils and create a smooth, non-stick surface.
- Let the cookware cool to room temperature.
- Repeat steps 4 – 6, three times.
Other considerations for the care and maintenance of your cast iron cookware include the following:
- When using and electric range, pre-heat cast iron cookware slowly on medium to medium-low heat.
- When your cast iron cookware is at high temperatures, do not place cold water in your cookware. This will cause your cookware to crack instantly.
- Limit cooking with acidic foods (e.g. tomatoes, vinegar) as this breaks down the seasoning.
- Do not keep leftover food in the cast iron cookware for too long. The acid in the food could begin to breakdown the seasoning. You can prevent this from happening by transferring leftover food into a glass or plastic container prior to refrigeration.
- Do not boil water in your cast irons.
- Do not store your cast iron pans and pots with a lid. Keeping the lid on could promote moisture, which could lead to rusting.
- Do not use dish washing soap to clean your cast iron cookware day-to-day. This will open pores and over time make it susceptible to retain bacteria from food. Simply wipe and rinse your cookware under warm water. However, if you do decide to use dish washing soap, it is necessary that you season your cast iron cookware in the oven as described above. However, do not let your cookware soak in soapy water or expose it to water for any length of time.
About the Author
CastIrons.com offers a variety of cast irons for your cooking pleasures at reasonable prices. You will not be disappointed with the quality that you will receive. In addition to traditional cast iron cookware, CastIrons.com also offers enameled cast iron cookware, Paula Deen cookware, Rachael Ray cookware, as well as pressure cookers.