Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Seasoning Cast Iron

We will be going on our very first camping trip as a family.  Many years ago, my husband worked for a sporting goods store that got bought out by another sporting goods store.  So they were getting rid of all the old inventory to make room for the new.  Everything was marked down, plus my husband had his employee discount, so we got a tent, 2 cast iron dutch ovens, and a cast iron skillet for a song!!!  Now it's time for us to use it! I haven't used the dutch ovens so I needed to season them.  Here are the step-by-step instructions that the cast iron manufacturer provided.
  1. Wash new cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush.  Rinse and dry completely.
  2. Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening to the entire surface (including lid if applicable), both inside and out.
  3. Line the lower oven rack with aluminum foil, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the cookware upside down on the upper oven rack.  The aluminum foil will catch any drippings.
  4. Bake the cookware for one hour, then turn off the oven and let the cookware cool before removing.
  5. Store uncovered in a dry place.
  6. After use, clean using a stiff brush and hot water only.  Towel dry immediately and apply a light coating of vegetable oil to cookware while still warm.
I used melted shortening. Here's what the cast iron looks like after being newly seasoned.  The one on the right is straight out of the box and is exactly what it looks like when you start.  The one on the left is how it will look after being seasoned for the first time.  With much more use, they will turn darker and darker.

  Now I've got to learn how to cook with it!!!  I've got a few recipes and I'm going to try dump cake so we'll see how it all turns out.  I'll keep you posted on the camping trip when we get back!
Happy camping and happy cooking!

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