01 March 2016

TWO ways -HOW TO - season or cure a cast iron pan in oven and on stove top|How to maintain a cast iron|How to prevent rusting on cast iron

Everything in this world needs to be loved and pampered . Well,you need,I need,every Joe and Jane needs,our pet-Goofy needs,Garfield needs,Nemo needs ,money plants needs,tomatoes needs,potatoes needs and even the non living things needs for example even each and every utensils in your kitchen needs ...well,if you are not going to hold that tea cup nicely,it may slip and break into pieces,if you don't take care of that Earthen pot ,it won't cooperate further ,don't believe me then read this ..

Likewise ,if you don't take care of your cast iron pan or skillet or Dutch oven etc ,it'll refuse to cook for you as you desire in the long run and one day it'll rust itself and die...why ?? Well,to own it ,you have to earn it ..it's like you are marrying (hope your spouse/fiancee/BF/GF is not reading this ...Ha..Got you !..I meant a non-living thing...oh did you say you are single?..Good news....not anymore .)..If you buy a cast iron cookware ,it's like ,you take an oath together that you both will be looking after each other through thick and thins,in hotness and coldness,in health and sickness ,in love and luster, in vitamins and nutrients ,in loyalty and commitment and  so will be happily ever after.................

When you marry a cast iron ....

So,if you married one  (Ohh not your spouse ..stop eye rolling at them or winking at them),I meant the cast iron cookware,you might be experiencing that phase ,"If love is blind ("everything looks good"),marriage is an eyeopener ("It's not always good!)."  

Now if you are nodding with me or you are in a denial or you are singled out and have no idea what I am talking about - listen :

Cast iron cookwares are an all purpose,dependable,versatile and built to last forever ..Let me explain ,how good they are - The benefits of a cast iron pan :

  1. Durable - Cast iron cookwares are strong ,sturdy and unbreakable . They are immortals - with no expiry date . They can stick not only with you for lifetime but also continue to next generation to generations ....looooong lasting they are!
  2. Heat and hot - Cast Iron are excellent at retaining heat and distributing heat evenly and once they are hot,they stay hot and they cook food evenly even if it's a whole chicken or steak.
  3. All purpose - Cast Iron can be used on stovetop to oven to gril to over a campfire to cook food evenly and aptly.
  4. Non stick - As long as it is seasoned well,it becomes and stays non-stick ,that means less oil for cooking (Read:healthy cooking!) and always ready to cook anything ..forever..
  5. Chemical free - Unlike other non stick cookwares that have a coating containing harmful chemical called PFCs(PerFluoroCarbons) which has been linked to many liver damage,cancer etc according to many recent studies ,which gets released when those non stick pans are heated on high flame and inhaled by us ...The cast iron on the other hand ,doesn't leech any chemicals as they become non stick only after a simple seasoning of oil at home ....Say no to chemicals !
  6. Promotes vitamin - Not a lot or many ,but when foods are cooked in a cast iron they enhance the iron content in the food and more the food is cooked longer or is acidic in nature ,the iron content increases tenfold.So,very apt for menstruating women or iron deficient/Anemic people..
  7. Economical - It is not that costly like other cookwares and lasts for lifetime ..Apt return of the investment !
  8. Easy to clean - No special dishwashing soap or liquid is necessary .All you need is a stiff brush and hot water or little salt instead of any harsh scrubber ...

Now,those were some of the good qualities of Mr.cast iron ,however,just like a good marriage,you have to also work on it - give him proper attention,acceptance,affection and dedication ...Again,let me explain :

Whether you bring home a new cast iron or a pampered one (read:pre-seasoned) ,you MUST pamper it well or again (in the latter case)  ,I mean,Cast irons must be always seasoned or cured properly.

Now,what the heck is seasoning - before you torture your brain and eyes ..let me explain as always -

Seasoning is the process of giving a durable finish to the cast irons by coating a thin layer of oil and baking it in the oven or high heat and Tadaaa..they gain a super power - they become non-stick and immortal meaning as long as they are seasoned well,their surface stays immune to rust and uselessness ..will always work like a charm .....Mr.Charming he is ;)

Now ,pampering time -let me explain as always (rolling eyes) - Or, I'll take a break for a few minutes ..meantime why don't you watch my quick video that will give you a hands on demo how to season a cast iron with or without oven ,on stove top as well -two ways to season the cast iron properly at home:

Now that we gave Mr.Cast iron a makeover ,it ai'nt over yet ...This Mr.Cast iron, love being pampered ...forever .... How ? let me explain again...as always...

How to keep your cast iron pan/skillet stay in love and loyal to you forever a.k.a How to maintain a Cast iron ?
  • When you use the cast iron for the first time after seasoning well,try cooking some real greasy stuff on it as it will reinforce the seasoning on the pan and more you cook or use it,more seasoned it'll stay.
  • Once seasoned and used ,clean it with (a drop of soap ,if it is must) ,hot water and a non metal scrub .For stubborn crusts on the pan,use coarse salt,hot water and a non metal brush . Then dry it thoroughly,otherwise it'll get rusty .If it gets a sticky coating or rust overtime,scrub it with a steel wool and reseason it again with oil.NEVER use it in a dishwasher ,soak it in water in your sink or use any harsh cleansers.Moisture is its ultimate enemy and lubricant ,its best friend forever.Make sure it doesn't have oodles of oil seasoned as that may attract dirts and develop over-sticky surface.
  • Never store the Cast iron cookware with the lid on as they need air circulation.
  • Always store them in a cool,dry place wit no to low humidity.
  • Never put cold water or cold food on the cast iron pan as the sudden temperature change may cause the pan to crack.
  • Use lower heat to cook initially and increase it slowly as it retains heat and needs less energy to cook food properly and that prevents from developing any sticky coating over the surface.Also, it can get very hot and if it does,beware of its handle as well.It may burn - so keep a potholder/mitt/strong towel handy and keep any plastic containers/ladles/tongs away from it.
  •  If food sticks to the pan,or tastes metallic,or shows a rusty spot ,it is a sign that it's pampering time again- time to reseason.
Now,what to do if Mr.Cast iron gets a rusty look a.k.a how to remove the rust from the cast iron ?

  • If it's a thin rust on the surface that can be scrubbed off,then use a sandpaper or and a nonmetal scrub,kosher salt/coarse salt,a drop of soap and hot water to clean it off .
  • If you have an oven with a self -cleaning setting,that will be enough to clean the mess by itself.
  • Otherwise if it's a stubborn rust crust,use a sandpaper to scrap gently and then use a vinegar and water solution : Fill a large container that can completely submerge the entire cast iron cookware well with an equal quantity of water and vinegar.Let it sit for 1-4 hours (max).The vinegar will aid in dissolving the rust.Then remove cast iron pan from the vinegar solution ,clean it in warm water later,use the scrub if needed,dry it completely and reseason it again with oil.Don't allow it to sit in the vinegar solution for more than that duration or it will affect the original coating of the cast iron and destroy it.
Man,this tough and hefty guy,Mr.cast iron knows how to demand loyalty and to keep you committed.Ain't it ???

Well,there,those are the magic bullet points for all of us to remember to keep us compatible with Mr.Cast iron..forever..

So,now what are you waiting for - bring him home today ;) or ask yourself - have you been loyal to the one you own already ?? Well,better late than never ...Hope my counseling was helpful ! :P (Don't forget to pay your bill -> "Pls SHARE" ,if you find it useful,let others who are not aware reap the benefits of a cast iron as well,right? (sharing is caring!)  ;) )

May you pamper,treasure each other..happily ever after ...forever....

Fall in love and stay in love,


P.S. If you missed it also learn how to season an Earthenware/cooking clay pot