Nowadays we hear a lot of anxieties about using cast-iron. Predominantly from people who are not using it.
Those who have cast iron pots, pans, skills, grills are very happy with their choice. Cast iron is withstand with really high temperatures which certainly one of the best benefits and making cast-iron oven safe cookware.
But there are different meanings about cast iron pans. On the one hand, there are people who treat theır cast iron cookware like a delicate little flower. On the other, people who do not care at all.
The point is that the technique of manufacturing includes a light seasoning which stops rusting. So if you buy cast-iron cookware it is pre-seasoned already.
- Myths about Cast Iron
- Benefits of cast-iron
- There are also small disadvantages
- Seasoned and Pre Seasoned Cast Iron: what is the difference
- What is pre seasoned cast iron
- When I can use my just unboxed cast-iron
- How to understand that Cast Iron is seasoned?
- How many times should I season a Cast Iron Skillet?
- When should I re-season Cast Iron?
- Tips and tricks of seasoning Cast Iron Skillet
- What if cast iron sticky after seasoning
- Why do cast irons get sticky?
- What is the best temperature for seasoning Cast Iron?
- Should I season Cuisinel Cast Iron Kettle?
- How to use your cast-iron correct
- A bit more about Cast Iron
Myths about Cast Iron
There are some myths about cast-iron cookware. I will tell some of them.
First one is that the material is a chip, starts rusting, and can be easily cracked. Reality is very tough and it’s pretty difficult to ruin it. Besides new cast-iron comes pre-seasoned which means that the hardest part of care is done
Second one is that cast-iron heating evenly. Actually, it’s bad for heating evenly. If you put in one fire you will get hot spots on top of where flames are, but the rest of the pan will stay cold. But cast-iron cookware keeps hot if it is heated already for a long time.
Third one is that you can’t wash your cast-iron with soap because you will wash your seasoned oil. That’s wrong! In a properly seasoned cast, iron pan oil is already broken down into the surface of the metal.
Fourth one is that you can’t use metal utensils on your cast-iron pan. The reality is that while seasoning oil is not just stuck to the surface like tape. It’s chemically bonded to the pan and it’s not that much to scrape it.
Benefits of cast-iron
Cast-iron is not sticky so you do not need to add oil while cooking.
The technique of manufacturing includes a light seasoning which stops rusting so you can start using it directly after unboxing it.
It’s much easier to clean it than stainless steel (If it was seasosened was good quality)
Cast-iron cookware has very good thermal density. Once it gets hot – it stays hot for a long time.
When you cook with cast-iron a small dose of iron comes to your food which is very good for your health.
It’s very long lasting. If you remember some cast-iron cookware in your grandmother’s kitchen, you will understand what i mean.
It’s pretty cheap. Cheaper than enameled cast-iron or some stainless steel cookware.
Versatiles of cast-iron will surprise you. You can cook too many yummy things on it and even use it in the oven!
There are also small disadvantages
The handle of cast-iron also becomes hot.
It’s a bit heavier than other cookware.
Sometimes you need to re-season it. But if you take care of your cast-iron it will be only on rare occasions.
You will need a little more time to heat it.
Seasoned and Pre Seasoned Cast Iron: what is the difference
If you are looking at cast-iron cookware you see a shiny black patina which means it was seasoned. By the way, this patina built up over time while regularly used. Besides, this patina makes your cast-iron non-stick in a natural way.
Pre-seasoning is a light seasoning which cast-iron gets while manufacturing. All of the new cast-iron cookware is pre-seasoned.
What is pre seasoned cast iron
Pre-seasoned means a coating of wax or vegetable oil has been applied to prevent the cast iron patina from rusting while it sits on store shelves. You can start using it straight out of the box. This is exactly what does pre-seasoned cast iron mean. But if food starts to stick, you should be ready to season it again.
So pre-seasoned cast-iron is ready to use but the point is that it has been seasoned just lightly. Besides, you can’t be sure that it was seasoned not with a water-soluble shellac. For your health be sure that you wash it before first use.
When I can use my just unboxed cast-iron
The fabricator says “ready to use”. It’s pretty fair because they pre-seasoned it. But the reality is that cast-iron pieces are seasoned just lightly. But we remember about shellac which can be used by manufacturers.
You always wash your fruits before using or wash your clothes after buying. So why wouldn’t you prepare your kitchen stuff?
How to understand that Cast Iron is seasoned?
It’s easy! It’s obvious if you look at cast-iron you will see shiny black patina. Exactly this patina makes your cookware non-stick. The black patina is a seasoning that builds up upon cast-iron through regular use.
How many times should I season a Cast Iron Skillet?
Recommended to the season when you first get your new cast-iron. If you noticed that iron looks dull or (this is a very important thing!) food you are cooking start stick to your cast-iron.
In extreme cases you should ASAP season it if you noticed rust growing on cast-iron.
When should I re-season Cast Iron?
If your food starts sticking even when you use a lot of oil while cooking. Also when drying cast-iron starts to looks dull, dry and the patina does not shine anymore.
Using unseasoned cast iron makes your cookwares sticky!
Before starting seasoning you should choose oil. You should remember that seasoig builds upon cast-iron naturally. We all know that there exist too many types of oil from different products.
The most important thing chosen oil should be pure and cold-pressed!
Your unseasoned cast iron skillet will start rusting, so let’s learn how to season Cast Iron Skillet.
Tips and tricks of seasoning Cast Iron Skillet
Seasoning a new cast-iron at first will take around 2 hours.
- Heat your oven or grill to 350 °F or 200°C
- Clean and dry your cast-iron
- Rub oil over the piese (including underside and handle)
- Put into the oven or grill for 45 minutes
- Let it cool for 30 minutes
- Repeat it twice again (if needed 3)
What if cast iron sticky after seasoning
That means that you used too much oil or the pan was not heated to the smoking point.
If it happens, set your oven up to 400-500 °F, invent the pan on a tray or aluminum foil and leave for one hour. So oil will be burned off.
When it cools, try it if it is still sticky. Seasoned meaning that your iron-cast is not sticky anymore.
Why do cast irons get sticky?
If you are adding too much oil while cooking your cast-iron will become sticky. To effectively build up a natural barrier oil should heat.
Only when the cast-iron cool sticky residue becomes noticeable.
As I recommend, use your oven, heat till 400-500 °F, invent your cookware on aluminum foil or tray. It will take around one hour.
After the procedure check the surface of the cast-iron (first cool it!). If it’s still tacky or sticky – repeat.
What is the best temperature for seasoning Cast Iron?
200 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius)
If you will ask if it is necessary to season pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet the answer is “no”. But my recommendation is “yes”. Seasoning it you are making sure that you, your health, and your iron are protected.
Should I season Cuisinel Cast Iron Kettle?
Cuisinel is a premier brand but still I would recommend first clean it and give a light season.
On their web-site they have further information about their product and some tips and advices from professionals.
How to use your cast-iron correct
There are some rules to make your cast-iron live longer
Season it after unboxing and before first use. Yes, pre-seasoned cast-iron better needs some extra protection.
Also, clean it every time after using with soap and water. We remember that soap is okay with cast-iron. A properly seasoned cast iron pan oil is already broken down into the surface of the metal. The seasoning won’t be washed with soap!
Re-season it from time to time. If food starts sticking, cast-iron starts looks dull, dry and the patina does not shine anymore.
Don’t be afraid to sea and fry on it! As much you are using it, as much better seasoning becomes.
Be sure you dried it! After every washing cast-iron makes sure you let it dry. Naturally iron and water are incompatible at all. If some water will stay on cast-iron before you will take it away, most probably it starts to rust.
Even if you got some rust on cast-iron, you can fix it with some scrubbing and reseasoning.
To escape it, just use some paper towel after washing cast-iron. You can also spread some oil on it before storage.
A bit more about Cast Iron
We can’t say pre-seasoned cast-iron ist good or bad, it’s just pretty essential.
But of course it has benefits like not being rusty. Besides, it’s pretty important that you can re-season it yourself and the process is easy. All you need it’s just some time for a procedure. Besides you can use metal things on it. While seasoning oil is not just stuck to the surface like tape. It’s chemically bonded to the pan and it’s not that much to scrape it.