Are cast iron pans, skillets, and dutch ovens worth investing in?
We think so! After all, many of us are using cast iron cookware that were passed down from our grandparents. But the strength of these kitchen tools goes beyond simply being able to withstand years of wear and tear.
Cast iron pots and pans are not only incredibly strong and sturdy but will also literally last you a lifetime. Just try to put a dent in one of these things! Seasoned cast iron is rust-resistant and will actually improve with age. Even if you let your cast iron kadai get a little rusty, all you have to do is scour off the rust, re-season the pan, and you're good as new.
Cast iron is a dense metal that heats up slowly, but once it's heated, it retains heat for a long time. The metal also gives off steady heat that helps food brown evenly.
Seasoning a cast iron skillet not only protects it from rust, but also creates a natural nonstick surface. This way, we can cook pancakes, omelets, skillet breads, and other delicate foods without worrying about them sticking. A newly seasoned cast iron skillet might still have some sticky spots at first, but the surface will become more nonstick with continued use.
We adore the versatility of cast iron cookware for many reasons, one of which is that we can use it on the stove top over high heat, in the oven at a medium temperature, or even in the coals of a campfire. This is perfect for recipes that require starting on a burner and then being transferred to finish cooking in the oven.
A Multi-Tasking Tool – Cast iron can do many things in the kitchen. We use our big skillet to replace a roasting pan, to make pizza on the stove top, and as a burner plate when simmering something on very low heat.
How is seasoning a helpful method in keeping cast iron in use for long?
There are few kitchen tools as versatile and essential as a cast iron skillet. They can be used to cook just about anything, from lamb chops and chicken thighs to brownies and biscuits. I love that they can go from the stovetop directly into the oven. However, it's important to keep them in good condition by seasoning them regularly—cast iron skillets last for decades when properly cared for!
Seasoning your cast iron skillet is easy once you understand the science behind it. Plus, it's a breeze to keep clean! I'll show you how to season your cast iron skillet and keep it in great working order! Let's get started seasoning!
Before you begin, you will need dish soap, a sponge or stiff brush, clean dry cloths or paper towels. Additionally, you will need vegetable oil with high smoking point. To wash the skillet, use warm water with soap and a sponge or stiff brush. Although you shouldn't normally wash cast iron with soap, it's okay to do so now because the pan will be seasoned soon.
1. To clean your skillet, simply rinse it with water and dry it off completely with a towel or napkin.
2. Adding oil: Slowly pour in your desired amount of vegetable oil. It is typically recommended to use a tablespoon or two, as that should be more than enough. Vegetable oil is used most often for seasoning because it can handle high temperatures without smoking.
3. Rub the oil evenly around the entire skillet using a clean cloth or paper towel.
4. Be sure to flip the skillet over so you can oil the outside and bottom too. You want a very thin coat that covers the entire piece.
5. If you are going to use oven, before you start, make sure you have everything you need and preheat the oven.
6. To bake the skillet:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Place a sheet of aluminum foil below the rack on which you will place the skillet (this is to catch any drips).
- Upside down, place the skillet on the oven’s center rack.
- Bake for 1 hour.
7. If you are going to use a cooktop, then bring the cast iron cookware to high heat and one must look for smoke that will be dark in the beginning and after a 15-20 mins it will become lighter. You can switch off the gas as soon as you see less or no smoke. Let the skillet cool completely before removing it from the oven or from the cooktop. Once it’s cooled down, you can proceed!
8. A well-seasoned skillet is characterized by its smooth texture, shine, and nonstick properties. If you notice that food starts to stick to the surface or the skillet appears dull or rusty, it's time to re-season the pan.
What to do with Rusted cast iron pan?
There is a method of cleaning cast iron, which has been passed down to generations along with the cookware. Some cooks and cast iron enthusiasts refuse to let their cookware near water or soap, as it may rust.
Luckily, we discovered the tips and tricks on how to de-rust cast iron straight from Meyer product experts. With some easy methods, you can get your rusted cookware back into peak condition for cooking delicious meals.
The most frequent type of rusting on cookware is "profile rusting," which you can see and feel. However, don't worry, it's very easy to remove at home within minutes. Just follow the steps in this post and you'll be good to go. You will need several items including steel wool, dish soap, a scrubbing brush or sponge, and either a dish towel or some paper towels. You will also need vegetable oil with a high smoking point.
1. Get rid of rust by using fine steel wool to scrub the skillet until the affected area turns raw again.
2. Thoroughly wash the skillet: Wash the cast iron with warm water and mild dish soap. If necessary, scrub with a bristle brush, gentle scouring pad, or mesh sponge. After using your cast iron skillet, make sure to dry it off immediately with a clean dish towel or paper towels.
3. After you've gathered your ingredients, it's time to start cooking! Cover the pan with a thin layer of oil: use vegetable oil (or any other type of cooking oil) and spread a small amount evenly across the entire surface.
4. Oiling the bottom and handle is important, so don't forget those areas. A small amount of oil will suffice to avoid a sticky surface.
5. If oven-Keep the cast iron upside down on the top rack of your oven. To catch any oil drips, place a sheet of aluminum foil or a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack. Heat the cast iron for one hour at 180°C.
6. If you are going to use a cooktop, make sure to bring the cast iron cookware up to high heat. Look for smoke that is dark in color at first; after 15-20 minutes, it should become lighter. Once you see less or no smoke, turn off the gas.
7. Turn off heat, let cast iron cool completely, then resume cooking!