Cast-iron cookware has numerous benefits, including the following…
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It withstands high temperatures, evenly distributes heat and can be used on a variety of heat sources such as open fires, stoves, induction ovens, conventional ovens, gas cookers and grills.
Cast-iron cookware can be taken directly from the stove to the oven. It allows for sautéing, pan-frying, deep-frying, braaiing, searing, baking, braising, broiling and roasting.
It’s made from one solid piece of iron and contains no coatings that can scratch, making it tough and basically indestructible.
The more you use cast-iron cookware, the more it improves. Regular use improves the skillet ‘seasoning’ (a thin layer of polymerised fat that seals the iron), making it naturally non-stick. (See ‘How to Season’ below.)
These cookware items have become heirlooms which are passed down through generations not only for their sentimental value, but because they last for so long. These seasoned pans have years of cooking already built into them, imparting better flavour to whatever you’re cooking.
How to clean cast-iron cookware
Simply rinse in very hot water (no soap!) while gently scrubbing with a brush. For stubborn food that’s stuck to a pot
or pan, boil water in the skillet and let it stand for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse again and scrub with salt, if necessary. Towel-dry and place on a low heat on the stove or in the oven for a minute or two to dry completely. Never allow cast iron to drip-dry, or it could rust. Rub with a thin layer of oil and pack away.
How to season
It’s time to season your cast-iron pan when food begins sticking to it or it starts losing its colour. Simply preheat
your oven to 180°C and line the bottom of it with foil. Clean your pot or pan with hot, soapy water and a scrubbing brush and dry it well. Spread oil over the entire utensil, place upside down on the top rack of the oven and bake for
one hour. Turn the oven off and let the pan cool inside it before packing away.
How to get rid of rust
Mix equal quantities of white vinegar and water and submerge the utensil in it. Soak for one hour or longer, depending on how badly rusted it is, until the rust flakes away. Wash the utensil in hot, soapy water with a sponge to remove all rust. Dry completely and re-season.
FEATURE: MARGIE ELS-BURGER PHOTO: STOCK.ADOBE.COM
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