Cooking with Cast Iron – Seasoning Your Pan

I love-love-love cooking with cast iron pans! Whenever I fire them up on the stove, I am literally invoking the culinary talents of my ancestors because most of my pans were handed down from my grandmother and mother. I never thought about buying a “new” pan but I was gifted a cute small cast iron server for Christmas. It is black and the label read “pre-seasoned and ready to use”. The goal, however, is to have a non-stick vessel and if the pan is seasoned correctly, food will not stick, I promise!  My good ol’ used pans are non-stick – I can even cook eggs on them without scraping. Here are a few tips to help season your cast iron:

  • If you can, buy “used” cast iron at garage sales, estate sales, Goodwill stores, etc. They are already well on-the-way to being completely seasoned, even the rusted ones.
  • To clean and remove rust from cast iron use a paste of vegetable oil and coarse salt, as the salt is a natural abrasive.  Heat the pan with oil, add the salt, and scrub with a paper towel adding more salt as need.  Rinse the pan with hot water, wipe with a clean paper towel, and rub well with a thin film of vegetable oil before storing.
  • Do not use dish washing soap to clean your cast iron! Each time you cook with your pan, you are seasoning it and the soap will nullify your hard work. Rinse pan with very hot water and wipe with a large wad of coarse paper towels.
  • A large wad of aluminum foil works wonders at removing burnt-on gunk from your pan.

Check out the recipe section for an entree that’s perfectly suited to season your pan: Chicken Under A Brick. We’re sure you’ll want to make this dish over and over again. Go ahead, show your pan some love!

Happy Eating,
Chef Donna and the Your Plate or Mine Team

Information Source: whatscookingamerica.net