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The cast-iron cookware is probably the most needed utensil in the kitchen for those passionate about healthy cooking. It could be used by you for just about everything – from making an omelette for breakfast to sauteing veggies for dinner. It’s truly a possession for its versatility and ease of use passed on by grandmothers in lots of households. The strong and Sturdy pan is created to last for a long time, but just like other cookware, it needs to be cared for well.
When you buy cast iron cookware it will be dispatched to you with pre-seasoned but for a better cooking experience, you need to take some steps to season it. Seasoning makes the cast iron cookware have a long life and give better results. It lasts longer when they are properly seasoned. Cast iron cookware is highly reactive so that it gets rusted easily when exposed to water content and if it is not properly maintained the food will stick on it.
The process of maintaining a cast iron pan and making it last a lifetime lies in seasoning it. Cast iron is a material that may rust if left water on it. Therefore you will need to maintain it repeatedly. If your meals stick to the pan, it’s most likely because your cast iron pan is not seasoned right. Proper Seasoning makes it a non-stick surface naturally. It is a process of adding a thin layer of coating that can help you use the pan better. In addition, a well-seasoned cast iron tawa and kadai can give you the crispiest dosas and the best-fried chicken with less oil. Moreover, the cast iron shall not rust if it is seasoned well.
If you purchased a new cast iron pan, it is time to season it. Seasoning a cast iron cookware is easier than you think and the following are the 5 easy steps for seasoning a cast iron cookware.
Step 1: Wash your pan with hot soapy water and a stiff non-metallic scrub brush. This is the only time you will use soap to clean your cast iron pan. Then, rinse thoroughly and dry it with a clean soft cloth.
Step 2: Apply any cooking oil to every part of the cast iron pan using a paper towel or a soft cloth.
Step 3: Heat the pan again under medium flame for 5 mins and then switch it off.
Step 4: Allow it to cool down completely, using a soft cloth wipe the excess oil and store the pan in a dry place.
Step5: Take care of your cast iron pan with proper seasoning. Never leave your pan to soak in water in your kitchen sink.
Step 1: Scrub your cast iron pan with hot water without using soap. If you already have used the pan before, check that all little food particles have been removed from it.
Step 2: Dry it completely with the help of a soft cloth or paper towel. This step is crucial because water will make the pan rust which you don’t want.
Step 3: Apply a thin layer of any cooking oil everywhere on the pan, including the cooking surface, sides, bottom, and handle.
Step 4: Place the cooking pan in the gas stove and heat it on a medium flame for 10-15 minutes.
Step 5: Once heated well enough, switch off the gas stove and let it cool down. Then remove any excess oil left over the pan. This way a protective layer will be formed over the pan and make it cook better.
Now, your pan is seasoned well and ready to use.
Step 1: Wash the Pan
There’s a myth saying that you should never use soap to clean your cast iron cookware. That’s not entirely true. A well-seasoned cast-iron pan will have enough of a coating that a little soap won’t damage the cookware. But, Still normal hot water is used to season the pan.
First, before you start seasoning you wash your pan with hot water to remove any food particles that are there in the pan. Thus you’ll be able to produce the smoothest coating. If you want to season a pan that is already rusted, take a steel scrubber and remove the rusting from the pan.
Step 2: Dry the Pan
Use a paper towel or soft cloth to dry the pan completely. Then heat the pan using the gas stove for a few minutes to evaporate the water molecule content present in the pan. Because little water will interrupt the process of creating a smooth layer on the cooking surface of the pan.
Step 3: Apply Oil to the Pan
Any cooking oil you use in your kitchen will work fine for creating a smooth coating. Apply it everywhere including top, bottom, side, and handle in the pan. After applying oil you leave the pan for 2 hours so that the pan will observe the oil and fill all the tiny holes present in the pan.
Step 4: Heat The Pan
Heat the pan under medium flame for 10-15 mins until the oil gets evaporated. Then rub the pan with a soft cloth or paper towel to remove any leftover oil. Then you will want to repeat the process three to four times to set down a good initial layer of your own.
Step 5: Take Care of The Pan
With the steps above you have formed a thick layer on your pan and it should work fine now. To maintain the same don’t ever leave water on your pan. Avoid soaking it for a longer time period. The layer you developed should protect the pan of course. But still, to be on the safer side you should never leave the water to damage your layer.
Re-Seasoning After Cooking
After using your cast iron pan, you should re-season it for next time. This is a simple method that’s generally done with a light coating of oil. Do the following: completely rub your pan with 1-2 teaspoons of any cooking oil and place it in a dry place.
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