One of my favourite pans to cook with is my cast iron frying pan. It brings back memories of roasting chestnuts when I was a little girl. The smell of roasted chestnuts wafting throughout our home gets your mind, on a cold winter’s night, thinking that you will get toasty warm very soon. Snuggled up with a warm blanket, a good book to read, in front of a crackling fireplace with red embers glowing to keep you warm.
The first thing you need to do once you are a new owner of a cast iron frying pan, is to season it. What is seasoning you ask? Well, how often have you seen a black cast iron frying pan? Probably very often. However, you need to season your new frying pan before you begin cooking in it.
To season your new cast iron frying pan, you first need to preheat your oven to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. By preheating the oven, you will get rid of any moisture that could condense on a cold skillet, thus leaving a fine rusty colour on your cast iron pan. Once preheated, place your new cast iron frying pan into the oven. Note that all cast iron frying pans will come coated with wax or grease. This is done by the manufacturer to prevent rusting.
Once you have seasoned your new cast iron frying pan, let it sit for a few hours. Seasoning opens the pores of the cast iron to allow the vaporize oil to fill them, creating the season. You only need to season the inside of your cast iron frying pan. Once cool, take a paper towel and wipe off any excess oil, then reapply a light coat of oil. Once this step is completed, you are now ready to cook with it!
Cleaning your newly seasoned cast iron frying pan is a very simple process. Rinse your pan under hot running water, gently wiping off any food with a soft sponge – no detergent. Dish detergent is there to remove oils from your dishes, thus, it not something you want to do to your cast iron frying pan. Instead, just use plain hot water.
Make sure your dry your cast iron frying pan once cleaned. Otherwise, you will have an orange rusty coloured pan within a few hours. If your pan looks like it is drying out, take a paper towel, drop a few drops of vegetable oil into your cast iron frying pan, and wipe in circles. You should have a nice black coloured pan ready for your next cooking experience!
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