These days many folk are steering away from Teflon coated cookware and moving back to stainless steel, stoneware, or cast iron cookware. Often new buyers of cast iron quickly find out that cast iron cookware is not what they assumed it was. Cast iron is an extremely versatile cookware and with the proper knowledge, the cookware is deliciously rewarding to cook with. It is my hope to highlight a few tips to ease the transition to cooking with cast iron.
Make sure the new cast iron cookware is properly seasoned. Check out my previous blog Restoring Cast Iron to better understand how to season cast iron cookware.
Allow time for cookware to preheat. One should be able to drop a bead of water on the hot cookware and the water will quickly evaporate. If so, the cookware is ready.
Use liberal natural fats. My preferred go to is butter. I have also has success with coconut oil as well. (A well preheated and greased skillet will provide a nice non-stick cooking experience for most non-acidic items.)
If you cook with your cast iron cookware often, cleaning can be simply wiping the cookware off and placing back on the cook top or stove to dry a bit. It is not necessary to use soap to clean cookware, but if rinsing and soap are necessary, use a mild soap and be sure to dry the cookware well before storing.
Be sure to apply small amounts of oil on the entire cookware after drying the cookware. Keep in mind, if you do not use your cookware often, it is not recommended to use butter, ghee, or lard to season or oil the cookware with. If the cookware is to be stored for longer periods, it is recommended to use canola or flax seed oil.
Cast iron has the ability to get extremely hot and also retain that heat for longer periods of time. Because of this, it is important to have proper hand protection. Personally, I like the silicone handle covers. But also find myself using heavy duty kitchen towels as well.
Remember to use CAUTION when working around high heat.