Sunday, January 16, 2011

lazy Sunday...

Since I had to stay home from church today with dog problems, I decided to do some cooking and kitchen tool maintenance.  We use mostly cast iron for stove top (and some baking) and I know that many people I've talked to are put off by the unknown in regards to cast iron.  How do you clean it?  How do you maintain the seasoning?  I've found that it is really simple as long as you know the do's and don't of cast iron.  If you own any Pampered Chef stoneware, you can easily make the step to cast iron, as the care is very similar.

The do's:

DO use oil to help maintain the non-stick-iness of the surface.  This is a big help at clean up time.  Flour can also be used to help with food sticking to the surface.  Cast iron will become easier to cook with as far as sticking is concerned the more you use it (the more seasoning the better!).

DO rinse you cast iron with hot water, but as mentioned before do not soak it! Wipe it dry with a cloth or paper towel after you have rinsed it.

DO season your cast iron.  Especially if you have picked up a new pan or one from a flea market or thrift store.  Bare metal is much more prone to rust, and seasoning coats and protects the metal.  To season your pan, simple wipe cooking oil all over the inside and outside of the item with a lint free cloth or paper towel and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  (*do NOT use this method of seasoning for items with wood handles)

DO use your cast iron on the stove top and in the oven.

DON'T use metal utensils to cook with your cast iron.  They will strip away the seasoning and the resulting bare metal will be vulnerable to rust.  Wood is the best choice when cooking with cast iron.

DON'T use soap on your cast iron.

DON'T ever put your cast iron in the dishwasher.  You should always wash it by hand.

DON'T ever soak cast iron in water.  It will rust.  But if you do, there are ways to salvage it, so...

DON'T throw it away!  A natural and less damaging way to do so is to use cooking oil (vegetable, olive, ect.) and salt.  This is also a good method for regular maintenance of the pan.  These should be items you have around the house already, so it also saves you the hassle of getting special cleaning supplies.

My salt and oil are always right next to the stove/oven.

Drizzle some oil in the pan, then shake out some salt to cover the bottom of the pan, about a teaspoon.

scrub with a cloth or paper towel and...

Voila!  You have a gleaming seasoned pot to cook with!

I am wishing I was able to go to church rather than stay home with doggie dilemmas, so to all who got to go lucky you!  Hope everyone had a blessed Sunday.  Anything stand out for you at church today?

1 comment:

  1. The call to witness without apology or restraint from the pulpit this morning was compelling.

    Your food blog & cast iron advice was right on!

    Ummm... good thing your Mom just fixed me a great meal, or I'd be knockin' on your door asking you to cook up some grub in the cast iron skillet!

    :-) Gotta go - Mom thinks my "comment" is reaching novella proportions... sheesh!