How to Care for Your Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware has been around for.ev.ah. And no wonder! It is such a wonderful medium to cook with! Cast iron can be used on basically any stove top - gas, electric, ceramic. It can be used in the oven, on the grill, and put right into charcoal.
Cast iron cookware is a great conductor of heat, so the heat is evenly distributed through the pot or pan. Burgers on the grill do not touch burgers cooked in cast iron. That cast iron will sear in all the juices and give your burger those crisp edges you crave without drying out the meat.
Another great thing about cast iron is that it will last a lifetime. Mine, actually, is third generation, and I cook with it all the time. It just takes a little care, and less care than a lot of cookware.
And non-stick. Once your pans are seasoned, they get that nice, all-natural non-stick coating on there.
Seasoning your cookware
You'll need to season your cookware. If you buy it "pre-seasoned," you will still need to season it in the future. I find that I season mine usually a couple times in the autumn/winter, and once in the summer. You can tell it's time to season your cookware when it starts to lose its bumpy coating.
To season your pan, swirl a bit of oil in the bottom of your pan. Use a paper towel or your fingers to rub the oil all over the insides of the pan. Place upside-down on a baking sheet. This will catch any drips and eliminate any puddles.
Preheat your oven to 400°. Place the baking sheet with the pan on the middle rack. Let it season for an hour, then turn the oven off. Allow it to cool in the oven.
After it is cool, it is ready to go!
Washing your cookware
With any cookware, allow it to cool before plunging it into water. Once it's cooled, use hot water and a stiff, plastic-bristled brush or a plastic scraper to dislodge any stuck-on food. Wipe clean with a dish cloth, rinse, and dry.
Always keep your cast iron cookware dry when you are not cooking in it. Never allow it to soak in water or sit in a stainless steel sink. These things will cause rust on your cookware AND on your sink!