Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron (Time 0_00_15;15)Before you can cook with ironware, it has to be seasoned, and the seasoning does several different things. First of all, it keeps your ironware from rusting. It also creates a nonstick surface, so it makes it much easier to clean after you’re done cooking, and it also separates your food from the metal so you don’t get a metallic taste in your food when it’s done.

  • Cast Ironware unseasoned, washed and rinsed completely
  • Oil of your choice
  • Oven or Open Flame

So the idea of seasoning is to get multiple layers of carbonized oil on the metal. Cast Iron (Time 0_01_26;25)
Most oils work just fine, some better than others. It used to be that most people used animal fats like lard or beef tallow. Most people today use vegetable oil. We are using flax seed oil because it seems to give the hardest nonstick surface of any of the vegetable oils but it does go rancid rather rapidly so be sure that it is fresh however once it has been carbonized on the surface, you don’t have to worry about it going rancid anymore.

Make sure that your ironware is completely clean and that you have removed any wax coating or old seasoning and that all soap residue has been washed off completely, then as soon as it’s out of the water you want to warm it up and dry it off to make sure it doesn’t rust.

Cast Iron (Time 0_04_47;16)
Once your ironware is dry and warm wipe a thin coating all over the inside and outside. You want to make sure to have your work surface protected, because this is a messy job. Once we’ve got the oil completely covering this pot on every surface, then we can take a rag and we can wipe it off, making sure that we don’t have any excess oil. We don’t want it to pool up and get thick any place. We want to have just one thin layer.

There are two ways to fire your ironware. You can use an oven if your piece is small enough to fit inside or you can use an open flame. Either way, this is a smoky, smelly operation. If you choose to do it inside your home, you will need to open all the doors and windows to let the smoke out of the house.

If you choose to put it in the oven, preheat your oven to the highest temperature, 450 degrees or more, place the pot inside and keep an eye on it. When it starts to smoke and turn black you will want to take it out and put another coat of oil on it placing it back into the oven until you have at least a half dozen coats of seasoning or so.

Cast Iron (Time 0_05_10;27)
If you choose to do this on an open flame, you want to heat it up evenly until you start to see some smoke and the pan starts to turn black. Be aware that you can actually burn the seasoning off the pan if you let it set on the fire for too long. As soon as it starts to turn black, remove the pan from the fire and rub with another thin coat of oil making sure to get the bottom and sides as well as the inside.  Cast Iron (Time 0_05_30;07)
Place it back over the fire for a few minutes and repeat until you have at least a half dozen coats of seasoning.

Seasoning your ironware is a simple but necessary task for your ironware. When you’re taking care of this seasoning, you want to make sure that when you wash out these pots, you don’t leave them soaking a long time, you don’t use harsh detergents or it will go into the coating and make your food taste like soap the next time you use it, and you want to make sure to store them so that they stay nice and dry.Cast Iron (Time 0_06_13;20)

 


Transcript of Video:

If you seek the advice of 50 different people about seasoning cast ironware, you’ll likely get 52 answers. Today we’re going to look at how to season your cast ironware.

Before you can cook with ironware, it has to be seasoned, and the seasoning does several different things. First of all, it keeps your ironware from rusting. It also creates a nonstick surface so it makes it much easier to clean after you’re done cooking, and it also separates your food from the metal so you don’t get a metallic taste in your food when it’s done.

So the idea of seasoning is to get multiple layers of carbonized oil on the metal. The real questions are what oil do we use and how do we get it carbonized?

So, the first question, what oil? You’re going to get a whole lot of different answers about what kind of oil to use and most oils are going to work just fine, some better than others. In the time period, most people probably used animal fats like lard or beef tallow. Most people today, they use vegetable oil. Today we’re going to be using flax seed oil. Flax seed oil seems to give the hardest nonstick surface of any of the vegetable oils, it does go rancid rather rapidly so you want to make sure to use fresh flax seed oil. Once it’s been carbonized on the surface we don’t have to worry about it going rancid.

As for the how, we’re going to do two different methods of seasoning today and which one you choose really depends on the tools you have available to you and how big the piece is that you need to do. Today we’re going to season a small cast iron pot. Now this guy’s small enough that he’ll fit in our oven so we can simply bake the finish on. The pot we’re using today is a brand new one so it doesn’t have any coatings on it at all. If you have a pot that has any kind of wax coating or old seasoning on it you want to make sure to wash these off, even new ones like this, wash it off to get any coatings at all.

Make sure you get any soap residues washed off completely and then as soon as it’s out of the water you want to warm it up and dry off the pot to make sure it doesn’t rust.

Our pot is now dry and it’s warm. It being warmed up’s really going to help the oil soak into the pores. Let’s get some oil onto this.

We’re going to put oil on the inside and the outside of the pot. You want to get a nice thin coating all over the inside and all over the outside. You want to make sure to have your work surface protected because this is a messy job. Once we’ve got the oil completely covering this pot on every surface, then we can take a rag and we can wipe it off, making sure that we don’t have any excess oil. We don’t want it to pool up and get thick any place. We want to have just one thin layer.

Okay, so I’ve got the oven fired up. It’s 500 or 600 degrees in there. You may not have an oven like this, you can do this in a regular home oven, just set it for 450 or 500, whatever the maximum temperature is for your home oven, but be aware that this is a smoky and smelly operation. If you do it in your home, you’re going to need the windows open, the doors open.

While that’s baking, we’re going to season another method. If you’re object is too large to bake or if you want to do it outside on an open fire where the smoke wont harm your house, you can do the seasoning on an open fire. What we’re going to do is we’re going to take one of these little folding frying pans and we’re going to season this on an open flame. Our folding frying pans come preseasoned but if you want them to work better, it’s best to get another couple coatings of seasoning on the pan.

I’ve got this pan heated up just like I heated up the other piece, and we’re going to put oil on it.

We want to get a coating on this pan exactly like the other pot. We want to get a nice thin layer on all the surfaces on the outside and the inside. Let’s put it on the fire.

Now let’s heat the pan up until we start to see some smoke. So as this heats up it’s going to start smoking and it’s going to start turning black and what we want to do is make sure that we don’t get it too hot. It’s a bit of a fine line. If you get it too hot, you’ll actually burn the seasoning off. You don’t want to do that, but as soon as that turns black and starts smoking up, we’re going to put another thin layer on it. You also want to hit the bottom so that it gets a good layer on it and then we just put it back on again for a minute or so. We want to have a lot of layers on this. At least a half a dozen.

As you can see, for a job like this a good pair of leather gloves, it’s a must.

Looks like the pan is done. I’ve got a good half a dozen coats of seasoning on this. It’s a nice even black color on the inside. It hasn’t gotten too hot, hasn’t burned the seasoning off, so this pan is done. Now it’s time to look to see how our pot is doing in the oven.

This pot as just a single layer of seasoning on it, so we’re going to need to do the same thing. We’re going to need to use our cloth and put on more oil, nice thin coat, put it back in the oven.

Seasoning, it’s a simple but necessary task for your cookware. When you’re taking care of this seasoning you want to make sure that when you wash out these pots, you don’t leave them soaking a long time, don’t use harsh detergents or those will go into the coating and make your food taste like soap the next time you use it and you want to make sure to store them so that they stay nice and dry.

All the items you’ve seen in this episode today, they’re in our print catalog, they’re on our website and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Video and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s