Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

I must confess – I love heavy metal.

However, I am not simply talking about Tool and Meshuggah here, I am also making reference to Cast Iron Cookware, something I have come to love with a passion!

Whether it’s a French or Dutch Oven, a casserole dish, a baking/oven tray, or a something else entirely, cast iron cookware will last you a lifetime if you look after it correctly – a small amount of effort really for a lifetime full of dutiful service. If you look after your cast iron, it will look after you for a life time, and as such we need to make sure it is kept well seasoned!

How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

What Should I Know?

§               To season your cookware you will require some lard, which is easy enough to find at your local supermarket in amongst the block butters.

§               If your cookware is looking a little rusty (whether it was passed down from family, or bought at a thrift shop) you first must give it a good scrub with steel wool to remove any rust and crust.

What Now?

1.             Pre-heat your oven to 200C.

2.             Wash your cookware with some warm, soapy water (whether new or old) to ensure all oils, grease or dust is removed. Allow to dry thoroughly – oil and water don’t mix so it must be completely dry before you proceed with the next step.

3.             Using a paper towel, coat the cookware inside out, lids, handles and all with lard.

4.             Place the cookware into the hot oven for an hour to allow the lard to be absorbed into the cookware and help create a protective coat. This is your first layer of seasoning.

5.             Once the cookware has cooled, apply another coat of lard and place back into the oven for another hour.

6.             Repeat the above one more time, just to be sure.

7.             Now that your cookware is protected it can finally be used!

8.             However, it does need maintenance after use, so don’t forget apply a coat of lard after each use (after it’s been cleaned of course), set on the stove top over a high heat, or until it starts to smoke, and then turn off the burner, pop on the lid, and allow the lard to do its work and ensure a lifetime worth of Heavy Metal Meals.