I’ve been cooking in cast iron my whole life, and I think it’s the most versatile kitchen tool! But you have to take care of it and you have to season it properly. Check below for my top tips which will make cooking in cast iron a lot easier.
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Tip #1Don’t use paper towels:When you season your cast iron with a paper towel it will leave a lint behind. Over time, this will build up and can cause problems when cooking. I prefer to use a lint-free rag (bandanas are a great rag to use).
Tip #2 Steam Clean your Cast Iron: Cast iron is must easier to clean when it’s hot. Immediately after cooking, take your cast and run it under hot water. The hot cast and hot water will create a steaming effect and most of the residue will be removed. This is especially helpful for cast pieces that have ridges or grooves that are hard to clean. If you don’t clean immediately after cooking you can always gradually warm the cast iron back up and then rinse with hot water.
Tip #3Storage: When storing your cast iron, you need to make sure it’s in a dry environment to prevent rust. For Dutch oven storage, place a paper towel in between the lid and the oven to let air circulate. If you’re in a humid climate I also recommend adding a little dry rice to the bottom of the oven which will also absorb any moisture. I also prefer to hang skillets which will create good airflow.
Tip #4Seasoning: I’ve always been an olive oil fan to use when seasoning cast iron. As the old-timers used to tell me it will help keep your cast iron sweet. Sometimes lard or vegetable oil can become rancid over time, especially if you don’t use your cast iron regularly. Olive oil is also readily available. Flaxseed oil is also a really great oil to use. The problem I’ve found is that it is pretty expensive, but we got a great tip from a feller the other day. Go to the pharmacy or grocery store and pick up a bottle of the flaxseed capsules in the vitamin aisle, which are much cheaper than the liquid bottle. Clip the end and use 1 -2 capsules to season your cast iron. Flaxseed bonds very well to cast.
Tip #5Smoothing Cast Iron:Most new cast iron today is what they call pre-seasoned, meaning the manufacturer has added seasoning which they say you can cook in it right away. Well I don’t. Unfortunately, the seasoning they add is rough and can cause food to stick and also flavor food poorly. Now over time and frequent use this will go away, but I like to speed up the process. I simply take an electric sander and some 80-grit paper and slightly smooth down the seasoning. You then need to go back and build back your own seasoning for a smooth, non-stick finish. For the full step-by-step FREE guide on how to do this clickHERE