Cast-Iron Seasoning & Care
Did you ever wonder how Grandma always seemed to cook the best tasting food? It might have less to do with the way she cooked and more with what she cooked the food in. Grandma's around the world most likely cooked in cast-iron skillets to make their delicious foods, which made all the difference in the world.
You might not think that the pan used for cooking could make much of a difference, but cast-iron has all types of benefits. Cast-iron can last a long time and even provides additional iron to the foods, which is recommended for people who are anemic or are borderline anemic. Lodge produces all types of cast-iron products for you to use in your commercial or residential kitchen. Lodge has even taken the additional step to season the cast-iron, which means less work for you! I bet Grandma wishes she had that convenience. If you do, by chance, come across a piece of cast-iron cookware that is not seasoned, or if you need to re-season your existing cookware, you will need to complete this process yourself to make this a long-lasting, useful addition in your kitchen.In order to properly season cast-iron cookware, you will need to follow these instructions:
- Wash utensil in hot, soapy water. Use soap this time ONLY! Rinse utensil and dry completely. (Discoloration on towel is normal.)
- Apply a thin, even coating of melted shortening (Crisco, Wesson, etc; do not use butter or butter flavored shortening) to the utensil with a soft cloth or paper towel. Apply inside and outside as well as to the handle (NOTE: If your utensil has a lid, make sure you season it as well.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place utensil on top shelf of oven, upside down. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet and put on bottom shelf of oven to catch any drippings. Bake in oven for one hour, then turn oven off and let utensil remain in the oven until cool.
- To clean utensil after use, use boiling water and a plastic scrub bun or brush. Do not use soap, unless you are going to repeat the seasoning process. Do not put in dishwasher.
- Always wash immediately after use, while still hot.
- After washing utensil, dry thoroughly, then spray lightly with vegetable oil, (Pam, for example), wipe with a paper towel, and store. Never store utensil with lid on. (Cast-iron needs air circulation.)
- Do not use utensil as a food storage vessel.
- To remove heavy food or grease build-up, scour with steel wool, then re-season.
- Deep fry in Dutch ovens at least six times prior to cooking beans of any kind. Re-season utensil after cooking acidic foods, such as beans or tomatoes.
Please note that it is not advisable to boil water or cook acidic foods with your cast iron cookware.If you follow these simple instructions, your cast-iron cookware can last a lifetime! In fact, we have heard from various sources that cast iron cookware lasting over 100 years!