How to clean and season cast iron cookware - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

How to clean and season cast iron cookware

Sauteed chicken and veggies in Mama Steph's sklllet (Source: KLTV digital team) Sauteed chicken and veggies in Mama Steph's sklllet (Source: KLTV digital team)

Caring for your cast iron cookware is a unique, simple process. Whether your cookware is inherited, acquired at a flea market, or brand new from the store, caring for this must-have kitchen staple will ensure you get years of use from it.

Here are the tips you need to know.

1. When your cast iron pan is new, typically the label will say it is pre-seasoned. Still, most cooks advise seasoning in your oven again before use. To do that, simply wash out the skillet with hot water with just a small amount of detergent in it, then wiping completely dry, and setting aside.
When it is thoroughly dry, pour a teaspoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pan, and, using a clean cloth, rub the oil over every surface of the pan: inside, outside and even the iron handle. Oil should not be dripping from the pan; use only enough to make it shiny, but not wet.
Place pan inverted on top shelf of oven, heat the oven to 400 degrees, and bake for one to two hours.
Allow the oven and pan to cool before removing the pan. 

2. After the pan is seasoned well, it is not necessary to wash with dish detergent, and it should never be placed in the dishwasher. Use hot water to rinse a pan that has stuck-on remnants on the bottom of the pan. Use a spatula to scrape the debris off. Immediately dry the pan, and oil again. The thin oil coating protects your pan's finish, so that it won't rust.

3. When using your cast iron on a glass-top or ceramic-top stove, don't drag it across the glass. Place it carefully down on the burner, and remove by lifting, so that you do not scratch the shiny surface.

4. If you buy or inherit a second-hand piece of iron cookware, the folks at Lodge cast iron say it can likely be fixed. Their method entails washing the pan with hot soapy water, and scrubbing with a stiff brush to remove rust. Dry thoroughly, and if all rust has been removed, season as detailed in number one.

Enjoy your well-seasoned cast iron frequently, and you'll find out why it has been a mainstay in kitchens for generations. 

You'll find many skillet recipes on the East Texas Kitchen app by searching "skillet" in the search box. Download the free app here.

Or, try a few of these on your desktop:

Apple-pumpkin skillet pie

Bear Bottom skillet chili

Parmesan-vegetable skillet bake

Sauteed garden vegetables with pan-fried grit cakes

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