Saturday, November 13, 2010
Because Fried Eggs and Bacon Go So Well With Coffee
How To Care For Cast Iron
I. Before you use your cast iron, make sure it's well seasoned.
Sometimes -- in fact, most often if you buy your cookware new -- it will come already seasoned. However, if you inherit it, or if you get it at a thrift store or garage sale (great places to find cast iron!), you'll likely need to give it some "lovin." Very often people give away their cast iron because they haven't learned how to take care of it themselves. But (HA!) their loss is our gain.
So, here's what you do.
2. Using the cheapest oil you can -- don't waste your good olive oil -- coat the bottom of your pot or pan with a thin layer of liquid oil (If you're using Crisco, melt it first). It should be more than a "spraying" of oil and less than a puddle.
3. Turn your cookware upside-down over the aluminum foil and let it bake for 1 hour.
4. After an hour, turn the oven off and let the pan slowly cool inside the oven. This takes a couple of hours. Then you're set to cook.
II. Now that your cast iron is seasoned, there are certain measures it's important to take in order to keep the seasoning.
First, what not to do:
2. Never soak your cast iron, as this will also wash off your seasoning.
3. Never take a hot pan and put it directly into water. Let it cool before washing.
Now what you should do:
1. Always scrape your pan well for cleaning, removing all debris from all the sides. You can use a good metal spatula for this, a spoon, or something like my favorite little scraper gadget, shown here.
2. Wash with plain, lukewarm water. Scrub with a wire scrub brush or an abrasive sponge if needed.
3. Then dry thoroughly with a dish towel. Avoid drip drying.
1. Either right after washing and drying or right before cooking, give your cookware a good coating of cooking spray or a rub of Crisco or other such grease.
2. When beginning to cook, heat your pan slowly, allowing the grease to "settle" in your pan. Avoid bringing your pan to a high heat too quickly.
Check it out. Just the right size for a two or three-egg breakfast. Over easy, a little salt and pepper. Side of toast with butter. And a cup of coffee.