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How to Make a Cast Iron Skillet Last a Lifetime

If treated properly, a cast iron skillet can last a lifetime, or even longer. One of the most important ways to protect your skillet and prolong its usefulness is proper seasoning.  We’ll show you how to season it the first time you use it, and how to maintain its good condition while you use it.

When you look at a cast iron pan, you will probably see a smooth surface, but the truth of the matter is that cast iron is full of pores.  These pores can trap bits of food in them, causing your meals to stick, and making cleanup nearly impossible – unless you season your pan first.

Seasoning fills the pores with tiny amounts of fat, which has the same effect as a non-stick coating, without the risk of having your coating peel or scrape away with time.

To season your cast iron cookware, start by washing and drying thoroughly.  Then use a solid shortening to grease the inside of the pan well, just like you would grease your bakeware before cooking.

Place your pan upside-down on a cookie sheet and bake in an oven for an hour at 350F (175F).  The cookie sheet will catch any drips from excess shortening.

It’s a good idea to repeat this process a few times before using with acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, to ensure that you’ve built up enough of a coating that the pan won’t react with your food.

You should also repeat the seasoning steps any time the pan starts to look dry, or if you have trouble with food burning too easily.

In order to prevent disturbing your seasoning layer, you should never wash a cast iron pan with soap.  Simply use water and a damp cloth or brush with stiff bristles to remove food. 

Salt can also be used as an abrasive, to remove tough residue. 

Make sure you dry your cast iron pots and pans thoroughly after use, to prevent rusting and corrosion.

By following these simple steps, you can use your favorite cast iron pans throughout your life, and even pass them down to your children and grandchildren.

TIP

If you are looking to buy some new cookware then take a look at the following cookware reviews for professional cookware, stainless steel cookware sets, enamel cast iron cookware and much, much more to help with your decision as to which to purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

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