If your cast iron pan is new it needs to be seasoned. If it has been neglected and is rusty, it also needs to be seasoned.
Seasoning it means that you will cover it with a thin coat of shortening, vegetable oil or coconut oil. The oil will fill the pores of the pan forming a nonstick surface. If your pan is not seasoned well enough water can get into the pores and cause rusting. The more your pan is seasoned and used you will get a deep, rich black color.
Place the cast iron pan, upside down, in the oven, with a sheet of aluminum foil or a baking sheet under it. Turn your oven on 400 degrees F. and let it bake for about 30 minutes. Then let it cool down and repeat the process 4-5 times.I’ve also seasoned turning the oven on 150-200 degrees for several hours, this way produces less smoking in the oven/house.
Olivia found these 3 neglected pans at a yard sale.
The goal is to make them look black like the one on the right.
Steel wool to scrub the rust off.
I used some coconut oil to completely coat the pans (a thin layer).
A day of heating them and cooling them (and I smoked up the house- ;o) ).
The finished project – three beautifully seasoned cast iron pans.
Cast iron can be used on the stove top, in the oven and over an open fire.
Cast iron heats evenly and holds heat a long time.
- Never…ever, put cold liquid in a hot cast iron pan, it is very likely to crack and ruin your pan.
- If you are using an electric stove top heat your pan slowly on the eye and keep in on low to medium.
- Wash your pan quickly with hot soapy water, not letting water sit in it a long time, and then dry it quickly.
- Do not wash in the dishwasher.
- If you need to store the pan for an extended period of time avoid moist areas. Place paper towels or brown paper sacks between them.
- Always pre-heat the pan before frying in it.
- Don’t store your food in your pan.
- Your food will absorb iron from the pan, which is a good way to add iron to your diet.
- If you get rust on your pan, use steel wool and scrub the spots off and re-season with shorting/oil.
A cast iron pan that is used often and well taken care of will only improve with age, and it will last a lifetime, or two!
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