Season casting iron is a very important process, this is an initial process required to do. It is the foundation on which you are going to cook your food.
Everyone loves a beautiful and strong cookware set and they all want to protect it from any kind of damages from any kind of substances, hence it becomes very important to take care of the longevity of your cookware by protecting them from elements like moisture.
Protecting your cookware from elements like moisture is a very important process to be done if you wish your cookware remains strong and provides you with delicious foods.
If you ask an iron cast enthusiast he will tell you how important it is to season cast iron, if you ask five iron cast enthusiast about the process you will probably get six or seven different answers on the process but if you ask one right person about this he or she might give you all the answers on their own. Some people like using bacon grease or Crisco while others use anything they prefer.
Every answer is most likely partially right and will give you a pretty decent base to cook on.
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When you give high heat to something or if something is prone or subjected to the higher temperature of the heat, The fat molecules begin to break down into polymers that are short after this the polymers then bind with carbon and bare iron and form a glaze in this way.
And what we usually refer to as the seasoning of the pan is this.
If you Season cast your pan it becomes smoother and then there is a barrier formed between the air and the iron of the pan and this will ensure that any kind of rust is prevented. This seasoning of the pan tends to build up after each use.
It is recommended to use the iron pan frequently, if you want to build up the seasoning then one of the best ways to do this is by using the iron pan frequently.
This will help you build the seasoning cast on the iron pan. Whenever you use the pan this helps to create a thin layer of seasoning on the surface and these thin layers form a slick surface.
In the beginning after you initially, the season cast your pan the coats of the seasoning might not look sufficient but after every use, they tend to increase so it is recommended to use the iron pan regularly or frequently. At first, the original seasoning coats won’t look correct, but the more you cook with the pan, the more the layers start to look. To build a robust layer of seasoning, the layers need time to interlock and reinforce.
When you season your iron you can enjoy a lot of benefits and it is a very good thing to do if you want to improve the lifespan of your cookware. One of the biggest benefits is the fact that the pan will continue to get better after every use.
This is a very rare thing happening with your kitchen equipment because we have noticed that they become damaged or old after using it regularly but a pan gets better if it is seasoned cast and then used frequently.
A pan that is properly seasoned can last with you for years and years if it is maintained and taken well care of then it can also be used for a lifetime. If you use it frequently then your pan will serve you for a very long time. Many of your other pans will surpass and it will become just as smooth and nonstick as the others.
Another major benefit of a well-seasoned pan is that it can maintain heat. Cast iron holds on to heat instead of heating evenly or just transferring heat. This simply helps you to save a lot of gas or fuel as once this pan gets heated up it will maintain this heat and stay hot for a very long time when compared to a stainless steel pan. Since it is capable of holding heat it is the best to be used for browning meat.
It also adds up to the durability factor of the products which simply means an iron which is seasoned cast will stay with you for a very long amount of time. It will be commonly passed down through generations and still serve well. It will be indestructible enough if you take well care of it and use it frequently.
Cast iron is also able to develop a non-stick coating which adds to the versatility of the equipment. The good news is that if you are more of a minimalist and want to get rid of unnecessary pots and pans, then you can simply use cast iron and your cast iron will replace some of those unnecessary pans and pots and work for almost everything you like.
Once you’ve cast your iron they become very easy to be cleaned in comparison with other pans you will not be required to use a lot of elbow grease to scrub away excess food particles and then argue that iron cast is too difficult to take care of. This will surely not be the case. You can dry it off and eat your meal if you rinse the pan out while it is still warm and get rid of any leftover food.
Once you are finished doing this you can add some oil to the pan. This will help you to prevent any kind of rust. You can keep the pan and let the oil on it heat up while at this time you can just clean your kitchen or do something else which is important during this and this also won’t take long actually it does not take much time at all.
- The first thing to do is preheat your oven at 250 degrees F
- After this, With soap and a stiff brush, wash your cast iron cookware in hot water.
- Now, Dry fully with paper towels and put for 20 minutes in your oven.
- Now you have to wear a heat resistant glove and carefully take out the cookware, apply oil, bacon grease, or reduce with a paper towel to cast iron so that it is coated entirely. Then get a fresh towel or paper and wipe the excess oil off.
- Now repeat what you just did, wipe off all the oil seen, and shorten that you can.
- Increase the heat of the oven to 360 degrees F and put the iron back inside the oven. Now keep it inside for at least 60 minutes. Allow 60 minutes for the cast iron to sit. Use the same method as before to apply the oil or the shortening again.
- Once 60 mins have been passed it’s time to raise the temperature to 550-550 degrees F.
- Now you will have to again wait for an hour. After this let the iron get cooled for several hours and this will take a good time. It is good that the hot iron cools down slowly in such cases.
Once this process is complete you will get minimal protection for your cast iron and now it can easily do the job. The only thing you’ve to keep in mind is to use this cast iron for cooking again and again.
Cook your breakfast, use it for dinner, use oil, grease, or fat on it. They do this again and again. What I am trying to say is to use it regularly. This will increase the coating and also the durability.
This will not only improve the seasoning but also the cast iron’s non-stick characteristics.
Talking about seasoning, there lies a lot of discussions on which oils are the best while seasoning cast iron. The simple answer is that if we are talking about the best ones then the oils that are rich with polyunsaturated fatty acids are the best ones.
They are otherwise known as drying oils and, when met with air, typically thicken and harden. A lot of people who season cast iron believe that flaxseed oil is also one of the best for this purpose, but there are also debates that this may become brittle because it tends to be too high in these fatty acids.
When you season your pan in the oven, you will want to steer clear of oils such as lard and coconut oil as these oils tend to break down and will not be able to open any bonding points effectively.
It is not suggested as it is not ideal, but it is said that any of the greases can get you there. We are not working in an ideal situation. We are rarely working in it so it is okay to not use optimal fat.
Bacon grease is fat so it is not possible that it will mix with water and any kind of grease is going to do the work for you if it is fat. The cast iron will be protected from water as the bacon grease does not mix up with water.
If you have purchased a pan that is already pre-seasoned then you will be able to directly start cooking it as soon as you get it home but one most important thing to be kept in mind is that they can not also be nonstick.
Many of these types of pans are marketed as pre-seasoned and they also come with a coating of a couple of layers of oils on the top of the pan but actually, they are less seasoned because these oils are not actually been baked into the pan and also the pan is not being used after they are pre-seasoned, you can still season cast a pre-seasoned pan and this pan will also make your work easier and give you a good head start for seasoning of the pan yourself.
There are still a few things to keep in mind after the seasoning the pan. Once you have seasoned your pan and started regular cooking on it does not consider that the job is fully done, You will have to remember a few things will you cook with the seasoned pan.
Using a couple of spoons of butter or oil whenever you are going to cook is very good for the pan as this will help the pan to stay properly lubricated. You can use any kind of butter or oil but it is suggested to use grapeseed oil in the initial usage after seasoning the pan.
You have to keep in mind and remember to keep the temperature low while cooking anything for a few usages after you have recently seasoned your pan, this is to be done because the pan can still be a little sticky and it will take time and a few uses to get better. If you keep the temperature high the food may still tend to stick to the pan. You need to regularly keep cooking so that the layers are built and then you will enjoy the pan as you want to.
Thera er some types of food items that can cause a little problem with newly seasoned cast iron cookware.
Tomatoes, lemon, liquor, and vinegar can start to chip away at the seasoning and can also trigger a sickening taste to some of the more acidic foods you cook. In the initial stages, it is advisable to stay away from these types of food items until the layers are built up properly.
It is a very important thing to be done after using your cast iron cookware. It is very crucial to clean and rinse our cast iron cookware after every use.
To do this properly you will have to wipe the inside of the pan when it is still warm because once it comes back to the normal temperature the food items become very rigid and it becomes difficult to remove them.
You can use paper towels to clean the inside of the pan, this will help to remove any excess food and oils that are still on the pan after you are done cooking.
Once you are done wiping out everything, now you can rinse the pan, for this, you can use hot water. Rinse the pan under hot water while doing so you need to scrub it with a brush that does not have any kind of metals in it.
You can also use a nonabrasive scrubber for doing this and try removing anything that is stuck on the pan.
A very small amount of soap can also be used if you are willing to do so. If you are using soap make sure you do not use it too much.
Rinse the pan well and then dry it completely and properly. You should also apply a little amount of oil to the skillet after every cleaning process is done. After this, you need to make sure there is no moisture on the skillet.
For this, you have to heat the skillet on medium-low heat as this will help to remove any kind of moisture present on the skillet. Now you can add approximately half a teaspoon of your oil with a paper towel.
Keep wiping the surface of the skillet until it appears dark and smooth and there’s no residue left over it. Now let the pan cool down completely before you put it away.
You need to make sure to avoid using steel when you clean your cast iron.
The steel wool can rub away the layers of the seasoned cast iron and all that you have been working so hard on will get wasted.
You should use a bit of coarse kosher salt and some water if you notice food trapped on it and stubborn. This won’t affect the seasoning layers, it will help brush away any messes that are caught. Rinse the pan until finished and dry it like you would every other day.
If you are in doubt if you have done the work right then you just have to do one thing. One of the easiest ways and the most common one to test whether you have seasoned your pan well is to try frying an egg on it.
If you have done the work right and the pan is well seasoned then it will have a darker almost semi-gloss looking finish. It’s not going to be dirty or feel greasy, because there will be no rust or patch signs.
To do this, take one tablespoon of oil and heat it on the pan over medium heat for around 2-3 minutes and then take the egg in your hand and crack it using anything you want. If your pan is well seasoned the egg won’t stick to it. If the egg sticks to the pan then you have to preheat the pan and repeat the seasoning steps.
One cast-iron frying pan is what you need if you want to fry some good food items like pancakes, sear tomatoes, bake a cake, or stir-fry vegetables, or sear a fish. When you season cast iron they provide you with numerous advantages.
There are a lot of reasons why cast iron is good for cooking and they dominate in most of the kitchens, some of them are explained below.
By using cast iron cookware you will be able to enjoy chemical-free food. If you are extremely health-conscious or at least concerned about your health then this is the best thing you should do. This will help you to avoid any kind of harmful elements that are present on non-stick pans. Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are the repellent Teflon coating which prevents foods from sticking. This is a chemical that has been proved that causes certain health problems including cancer and liver damage.
When you heat your non-stick pan these are the chemicals that are released and this can also enter the food items that you consume which will, in turn, be very dangerous for your health. To prevent this you can use season cast iron cookware which does not have any chemicals and are very good to maintain your good health.
You know that cast iron does not allow any kind of chemical in your food, but they can allow the iron to saturate and enter in whatever you are cooking. This can be very beneficial to those who expect iron-rich foods and are facing iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency is very common in many people across the globe and this is mostly found in women. At least one out of 10 American women are having this as they are unable to receive an adequate amount of iron in their foods. The iron content in a cast iron frying pan can be raised by as many as 20 times.
As we have seen all the steps that are required to season cast iron. If you follow this properly then the cookware gets a natural non-stick coating. It has polymerized oil and fat as a natural non-stick surface. Carbonized and super slick, fatty, and renewable products.
Properly seasoned cast iron can be even better than Teflon, but if you do not do it properly then there are chances where your food items might stick.
Have you ever come across some cookware items that your grandma used and it still looks as good as new and have you ever wondered how this happens?
One of the miracles of cast iron is that, when constantly exposed to high temperatures, it doesn’t warp over time. Other kitchen equipment while used frequently may end up after a short time. Seasoned cast cookware stays longer and becomes better when used frequently.
Many typical pots and pans can lose their form since the form of the pan is shaped by exposure to heat and use over time, but cast iron continues to look the same.
Cast iron is warp-resistant and they can stay strong enough through generations
This is one of the biggest advantages for you if you are a health-conscious person and do not love oily foods.
Did you ever know that cookware which is seasoned well uses fewer amounts of oil to cook your foods? And this type of cookware is also very healthier than a nonstick one.
Fortunately, though, when cooking with cast iron, you won’t need to use piling quantities of oil to sear chicken or brown crispy potatoes. You sometimes don’t need to add any extra ingredients before you start cooking if you use cast iron skillets daily.
One of the main reasons why cast iron cookwares are so loved is that they are very versatile. They can easily bake and are also good for deep frying. These pans can also be used for baking, stir-frying, searing, and deep-frying.
You can use it for deep frying. And if you frequently deep fry food items using cast iron cookware you will get tasty foods and deep-frying also helps to keep the cast iron in a good shape.
Seasoned cast iron may look like an old fashioned choice and people do not consider how valuable and useful they can be. If you are having a seasoned cast pan or any cookware then do not throw it away I bet they are still better than many nonstick cookware sets.
Seasoning iron can be very helpful and if you want a long-lasting life of your cookware then probably you should consider seasoning your items. This will add up to its durability and there are a lot of advantages that are backed as a few of them are already mentioned above when you do so.
As long as your cookware does not have major cracks you can keep using them for any of your cooking needs.
I hope this information mentioned above was useful and now you will be able to season cast iron easily and properly without making any mistakes. Make sure you do exactly as it is mentioned above. In this article, we explored a lot about seasoning cast iron and why it is important.
We also saw the steps that are to be followed and the benefits that we get after seasoning iron cookwares. Ensure proper safety while performing such tasks.