Hello there! I am so excited to share with you today about the elusive art of using Cast Iron Cookware! It can be a bit intimidating, but have no fear, I made all the mistakes in an effort to share with you exactly what works so your journey can be fun and easy. So here we go!
Guide to Using Cast Iron Cookware: Seasoning, Use, & Cleaning
by Whitney J
Why Cast Iron?
- Cooking with cast iron infuses your food with iron (adding nutrition to anything you cook!)
- When seasoned properly, it is an awesome, toxin-free, non-stick surface
- Buy it once and use it for a lifetime (saves you money!)
- Once you get your rhythm going, it’s easy clean-up
- Cast iron can be used in the oven AND on the stove AND on the bbq AND over the camp-fire. (I mean, talk about versatile!)
- Cast iron delivers an even cooking surface, unparalleled by any other cookware
- Can be used to cook meats, sauces, breads, cookies, popcorn etc.
How to “Season” Your Cast Iron Cookware
Properly seasoning your cast iron cookware is what makes it a non-stick surface. Even if you purchase your cast iron cookware “pre-seasoned” (like I did), chances are you will need to season it again.
- Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees
- Clean and scour your cast iron cookware and dry thoroughly
- Coat your cast iron cookware with coconut oil (use a paper towel dipped in the oil and rub all over)
- Bake UPSIDE DOWN for 45 min
- Let cool and repeat steps 3 and 4 two or three times
Using Your Cast Iron Cookware
- Always heat cast iron cookware for 5 min on medium heat before greasing (surface should reach 300 degrees for eggs). Drop a few drops of water on the surface to test. Water should “dance around” when sufficient preheating has occurred.
- Grease with butter, spray, coconut oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil
- Don’t use plastic spatulas, as they are not flat enough to lay closely enough with the porous cast iron. (The right kind of stainless steel spatula can be purchased here.)
- Be aware that the handles will be VERY HOT, so also get the appropriate safety accessories. (Such as, the Max Temp Handle Mitt etc.)
Cleaning Your Cast Iron Cookware
There are a few ways to do this, but I will share with you the best way 🙂
- Wait for pan to cool to a touchable temp, but still warm
- Scrub gently with a plastic scrub brush under warm water (no soap, remember that your preheating of the pan before each use will sterilize the surface)
- DRY IMMEDIATELY and thoroughly
- Coat with coconut oil
A few tips:
- If you don’t dry immediately, you may cause your pan to rust. DON’T FREAK OUT! All is not lost. You will just have to scour and re-season.
- Keep in mind if you cook acidic foods, the finished product may look darker than normal. Don’t worry, that is just the wonderful iron infusion.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Find the process that best suits you.
- Never store food in cast iron because condensation will occur which will rust your cast iron cookware.
- Have fun with it!
Here are a few of my most favorite cast iron cookware products and accessories
Lodge 5-Pc Starter Set
Lodge Silicone Hot Handle Holder
Lodge Scrub Brush