June 10, 2013

Cleaning Cast Iron.

Cast Iron. The best cookware, period. It is the safest, best investment, and most durable cookware around. That being said, it definitely needs some TLC.

If you don't have a lot of time but you need to do a quick clean the easiest thing to do is hand wash your cast iron with just a plain eco-sponge or scrubber and some warm water. YOU DO NOT NEED SOAP! Why? Cast iron gets extremely hot, think 400 degrees in 4 minutes on medium heat hot! Surfaces become sterile at 212 degrees which is why the soap is not necessary. Once it is clean, towel dry and then rub with a light coating of oil to season it. Seasoning essentially means baking the vegetable oil into the pan. It creates a natural non-stick property that only gets better over time. (I use my Organic Fair-Trade olive oil from Equal Exchange) and it will be in perfect cooking condition, ready for your next big meal! See the bottom of your post for how to re-season your cookware thanks to Lodge!

While maintaining the seasoning should keep your Cast Iron and Carbon Steel in good condition, at some point you may need to re-season your cookware. If food sticks to the surface, or you notice a dull, gray color, repeat the seasoning process:
* Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).
* Rinse and dry completely.
* Apply a very thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware inside and out. Too much oil will result in a sticky finish.
* Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven (not directly on bottom) to catch any drips.
* Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.
* Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven to prevent pooling.
* Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
* Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.
* Repeat as necessary.  


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