Cast Iron Cookware Curing Made Simple

Cast Iron Cookware Curing Made Simple

What is this process of curing? Why is it necessary?

Curing stops cast iron cookware becoming rusty and because of the coating it gives, it stops food from sticking and a s a result giving you the perfect non stick pan!

Then again maybe you havent bought some new cast iron cookware, maybe youve found a bargain at the local market; or perhaps youve found your Grandmothers griddle lying lost in the garden shed. Whatever, in almost any state a quality piece of cast iron cookware is nearly always suitable for renovation and subsequent curing.

Before considering new cookware, lets start with your old piece of cast iron cookware. First give it a really good rub down with light sandpaper such that you can see the original surface.

Now we come to the curing step, whether you have a new piece of cast iron cookware or youre renovating an old on .

Before going any further, whether youre dealing with an old or new item of cookware, its important to clean your oven with hot soapy water both inside and out, no matter how perfect you may think it looks.

Now warm up your item of cookware. Do this ideally in a charcoal grill or if not available in the oven, at 200 degrees. A charcoal grill heated up outdoors is preferred, because of the odors and usually some smoke that comes off the cookware and which can linger.

When its warmed up put on your oven gloves and spread Crisco on all surfaces, both the inside and outside of the cookware; as alternatives, oil, shortening or lard will do the same job as Crisco.

After fully coating the piece of cookware place it back into the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

After 1 hour let the cast iron remain on the grill until the charcoal goes out. or if its in the household oven let it cool down inside the oven as the oven naturally cools. Never try to cool cast iron rapidly it can seriously damage it.

Once youve done this the curing process is finished; I said it was easy. Now your cookware is now ready for cooking.

Hereafter curing or the continuing seasoning process must continue over the lifetime of the cookware. Your role is critical here. After each occasion you use your cookware you should, follow this simple ritual:

1. After using the cookware you must wash your cookware; dont listen to old wives tales saying that you shouldnt, its not hygienic.

2. Ideally start by wiping out the cookware with a paper towel to get rid of all the spent food, then wash it in warm soapy water.

3. Wipe the pan with paper towels and leave it to dry.

4. When its dry wipe a little light oil or shortening, or lard all the cookware, absolutely everywhere, without exception! And dont forget the legs, the handle, the lid.

Thats it. If you keep up this ritual it wont be long before your cookware has that beautiful dark hue of a well looked after, well loved piece of cast iron cookware that youll be really surprised is remarkably easy to keep clean!

Finally a cautionary note:never use metal tools, heavy scourers or wire scrubbers or brushes on your cast iron cookware or youll ruin the seasoning because youll make scratches that food can get into, which in turn will burn and cause food to stick when cooking; meaning you no longer have a non stick pan and youll have to once again start the curing process from the beginning!