Experienced cooks who love cast iron disagree on the fine points of seasoning and greasing a skillet. However, the same sequence of steps are taken by the experienced user of cast iron. The purpose of seasoning a skillet is to prevent rust and to form a non-stick surface on the iron.
The first step is to remove the protective coating that comes on a new piece of cast iron. This is done by scrubbing. If the skillet is old, rust removal and deep cleaning may be necessary. Once the skillet is cleaned, it should be dried on the stove, then oiled with a generous amount of oil, lard, or hydrogenated shortening. Place the skillet upside down in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Knowledgeable people advocate oven temperatures raning from 200 to 500 degrees.
Place the skillet upside down on the top rack of the oven. The grease will fill all the pores of the iron. Leave the oven on for an hour or more. Then remove the skillet using oven mitts.
A cast iron skillet repeatedly seasoned will acquire a shiny black non-stick surface. This utensil is ideal for frying and searing, and making stews, cornbread and upside down cake.
Fri, 22 May 2009 04:54:38 +0000
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