Seasoning your new Cast Iron Pan

Cast iron is strange mixture of incredibly durable and unusually delicate—especially for a cooking implement. The metal is physically sturdy, but also highly reactive, which means even a droplet of water sitting in your cast iron pan can leave a rust spot. To protect that nice black surface, you must coat it with a thin layer of hardened oil, a process called seasoning. To get a well-seasoned pan, you oil the inside of the cooking surface and then heat it until the fat polymerizes, repeating the process to build up a protective layer. Polymerized oil is more like a plastic than a fat, which makes it hard and resistant to sticking. By heating the whole pan to a high enough temperature, you permanently bond the oil to the raw iron. In this form it protects the metal from air and food. Modern pans, unlike the vintage stuff, usually come pre-seasoned. That’s a huge convenience, but it also means most people don’t have to learn how to season their cast iron up front. So when the surface erodes away, they don’t know how to re-season. Step 1: Wash out the pan, Step 2: Dry thoroughly, Step 3: Rub it with oil, Canola oil is a standard go-to for seasoning. Vegetable oil and corn oil both work fine, too. Step 4: Heat the whole pan in the oven, Put it in a 450°F oven, upside down, with another pan beneath it in case it drips for 30 min. turn off oven and let it cool down. Tip: Do not simmer tomato sauce in your cast iron. It’s tempting, but the acidic tomatoes will corrode the seasoning. Use a another non stick pan for that type of cooking……Ed
Source:Sarah Chodosh /Photo:Pixabay

Posted in All Stories, Ed McMahon

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