Seasoning Your Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is designed for slow cooking with lower temperatures to let the flavors blend into the perfect dish. The best type of cookware for use with country recipes are the skillets, Dutch ovens and other items made from cast iron. One of the most effective ways to prevent food from sticking and causing food to burn is to season your cast iron cookware before using it.
First of all, wash the cast iron cookware in hot sudsy water, rinse and dry completely using paper towels. It is important to make certain that no water remains on any of the cookware because it can cause a place for rust to develop. Seasoning the cookware with cooking oil allows the oil to penetrate the surface. After spreading a thin layer of oil, heat the cookware in a 200-degree oven for at least half an hour. The heat causes the pan to expand and the oil can sink into the metal forming a better barrier for preventing food from sticking to it. After removing the cookware from the oven wipe the oil from the cookware and allow it to cool before storing or using.
Cast iron cookware should be stored in a place where no moisture can get onto it and it is a good idea to place clean paper towels in between the skillets to keep any moisture from developing. One additional benefit is that cooking with cast iron may increase the amount of iron in the diet, which helps all age groups to remain healthy. Cast iron skillets are easy to clean when properly cared for and maintained; seasoning is just part of this process. Never clean the cast iron cookware in the dishwasher, it removes the seasoning and you have to re-season the pan before using again.
There are many different sizes and uses for cookware from baking cornbread the older pieces are indented like corncobs; to the small sized skillet used for a single egg. Dutch oven cooking is fast becoming a great way to entertain company because it is easy to do. By using the outdoor fire pit in the backyard you can have a great bed of coals for roasting marshmallows after dinner is done.
Cast iron cookware also imparts just a bit of iron into the food so it’s a bit healthier as well as tasting better.