Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cast Iron

For some reason, just recently, I have been on a kick about getting some cast iron cookware, I’m not real sure why, maybe because of the look of  the food from a cast iron looks so damn tasty. Then luck has it, my parents had some they were getting rid of. A 12 and a 6 inch “The Lodge” brand cast iron skillets both covered in a layer of rust from not being used. “No problem,” dad says as he handed me a steel wool pad. After a few times of scrubbing and rinsing with cold water I removed the rust and was down to bare cast iron again. Now it was time to season the skillets. To season, I followed a few instructions I read on-line, heating them in the oven to 500ยบ for 20 minutes or so then wiping down with veggie oil and laying them upside down in the oven again for another 20-30 minutes. I put aluminum foil down on the oven rack to keep any excess oil from dripping onto the element. The oil helps keep the pot from rusting again and keeps food from sticking when cooking. After the second time in the oven I just turned off the oven and let them cool down while the oven cooled. I repeated these steps the next day.  Now it was a bit of work to clean a rusty cast iron skillet then season it but when it’s free it’s worth it. I don’t have any pictures of before but here is the 12 inch after a couple of seasonings. I cooked a couple of chicken thighs in the small skillet last night and it tasted good. No rust or metal taste at all.

There is a long list of benefits from cooking with cast iron from cooking to actual health benefits. A couple benefits that stick in my mind are a well seasoned pan allows you use less oil to cook and is a healthy alternative to using non-stick pans which may contain harmful chemicals. Another awesome benefit is you can use any heat source oven, stove, or even a camp fire. It truly is a versatile piece.

“One man with courage makes a majority.”                 -Andrew Jackson