Seasoning is a layer of cooking oil baked or bonded onto the surface. This layer creates a non-stick property on the surface when used properly. Seeing from firsthand experience cast iron cookware should be seasoned only when necessary.
Overtime the more you use your seasoned tools the better the seasoning gets. In this guide learn how to season cast iron cookware and how to take care of seasoning. The process is not too difficult.
Initially I had thought that cast iron is a tedious material to work with in the kitchen. It was through constantly using my set that I experienced quite the opposite. The material is very tough allowing a wide range of use and care conditions. Maintenance can be strict and rigorous to maximize effectiveness, or it can be maintained to the bare minimal enough to keep longevity.
To begin the process you start with cleaning the entire cast iron surface. Check out our guide how to clean cast iron cookware if you are unsure how. Having a cleaning regiment is important for the condition of the seasoning. Next you will have to coat the entire cast iron surface with a thin layer of cooking oil. Place your cookware on the top rack in the oven with a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack. Set to 350° or 400° for an hour. Once finshed let it cool down inside the oven and your all done.
Choosing what type of cooking oil you want to season with is just as important as your . Every oil has their own properties for health and cooking purposes. The way an oil is refined is important to consider as well. Refined avocado oil happens to be one of the healthiest choices among other oils. Refined avocado oil has a high smoke point of 500° F. Just to get an idea of why 500° F frying is usually done between the range of 350° F to 375° F.
Seasoning makes all the difference when cooking with cast iron. The main reason being is the non-stick property gained from the process. Today we are going to go over how to season cast iron cookware . Originally I was under the impression that seasoning was going to be a process that is done after every use. Meal after meal I learned that seasoning can be done only when needed.
Gradually overtime any seasoning you use gets better. More flavor is added to the seasoning from what you are cooking. Using cast iron cookware for both salty foods and sweet foods can be done but is not recommended. Flavors will get mixed and taste slightly off. For pancakes this works out well but for other foods not so much.
Flavors are not the only benefit of maintaining the seasoning. Better non-stick results are achieved once the seasoning has been established rather than brand new seasoning. Maintaining the seasoning can be done with a consistent cleaning regiment.
This does not mean you never have season cast iron cookware. It means that sticking to a cleaning regiment can help avoid seasoning until it is necessary to do so. Making food with high acidity will usually require seasoning afterwards.
When I first started using seasoned cast iron I figured a freshly seasoned cast iron will have better non-stick properties than an established season. Long and behold I was completely wrong an established layer of seasoning will have better results for cooking. Knowing when to season is vital to know if you are going to be using cast iron in your kitchen.
Importance of Oils
Picking the right oil to cook and season seemed difficult at first glance. Overthinking the matter I started to worry about the potential harm in choosing the wrong oil for the job. Concern over picking the right oil lead me towards very helpful but not well known information.
Everybody has the common knowledge that food is cooked in order to make it safe for consumption. Cooking at high temperatures burns away many potentially harmful bacteria.
We are not commonly told of toxins given off from cooking certain oils and fats at high temperatures. The problem with cooking at high temperatures is some oils and fats do not have a high smoke point. Those that do not have a high smoke point will end deteriorating defeating the purpose of having it seasoned.
Naturally refined avocado oil turns out to be one of the best choices when choosing what oil to use for seasoning and cooking. With a high smoke point of 500° F, high in monounsaturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats. There is no need to worry about refined avocado oil breaking down when put at high temperatures. I trust Chosen Foods 100% Pure Avocado Oil I usually go for the 2 pack of 1 liter bottles.
Using a reliable oil that can handle high temperatures prevents it from deteriorating away. High temperatures and smoke point are not the only item to look out for regarding cooking oils. Depending on how you wash your cast iron you can end up striping away the cast iron cookware. Oils will mix with water when soap is added to it.
The seasoned layer of oil will begin to mix with water if too much soap is used. This will create a couple of inconveniences such as an uneven seasoning and poor non-stick results. Normally water will slip right off the seasoning but when soap is added it can permeate into the seasoning. When evaporated you will begin to see what I am talking because you may start to see a light gray color throughout the surface.
Establishing the seasoning is going to be must if you want to cook acidic foods. The maintenance of a cast iron sounds overwhelming but it really is not. If you are still unsure on how to use cast iron cookware check out our guide.
Have fun With Your Cast Iron
It sounds silly to do right have fun with your cast iron? How do you do that with tool? Caring for cast iron sounds like too much for me when I was reluctant to purchase it.
Well after using my own set for some time I realized it is best to have fun with anything you do with your cast iron. Instead of viewing use and care as work change your perspective and try to view it as a form of play. It will make being in the kitchen a lot easier.
Season only when required it takes some pressure off of maintainance. Additional it helps to establish the seasoning. Be aware of what kind of oils you use for cooking and seasoning some may not hold up to what the labeling says.
What did you think? Learn anything new or have any questions about how to season cast iron cookware? Drop a comment below. Thank you for reading have an amazing day.