Cast iron cookware lasts for generations if it is cleaned and seasoned correctly. Often, lucky shoppers can find vintage cast iron cookware. With a little bit of work, old, rusty cast iron can restore easily to its former glory. The more a cast iron pot is used, the better it gets. Once the seasoning is built back up, incorporate the pot into regular rotation in the kitchen to experience the joys of cooking with cast iron.
Why Use Cast Iron
Cast iron is solid cookware, and it transitions easily from stovetop to oven. Seasoned cast iron cookware is just as easy to use as non-stick cookware, with versatility that regular non-stick cookware just does not have. Once the pot heats up, it heats evenly, which makes cast iron excellent for all sorts of applications. If cared for properly, cast iron can last for decades.
Seasoning Cast Iron Pots
Seasoning cast iron means applying oil and heat to the pan so that the pan develops a patina that keeps food from sticking. First, preheat the oven to 176 degrees Celsius. Using a paper towel, coat the pot with a generous layer of cooking oil. Some people prefer vegetable oil, while others prefer lard or bacon grease. Any fat works. Put a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil on the bottom rack of the oven.
Place the cast iron pot in the oven upside down, directly above the baking sheet. Leave the pan in the oven for at least half an hour, and for as long as an hour. For brand new pots, or for those requiring seasoning after rust removal, repeat the process three to four times in order to get a good layer of seasoning onto the pot.
Cleaning Cast Iron Pots
Many home cooks find cast iron cookware intimidating, but properly seasoned cast iron is very easy to maintain. The big rule with cast iron involves protecting it from water. Soaking is never necessary with cast iron, and it can cause rust to form. Dish soap is also not necessary with cast iron, as that can damage the seasoning layers.
Older cast iron or pieces that have not been cared for properly may have rust. No matter how bad the rust looks, it is easy to remove. Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water in a sink and submerge the cast iron. Check the pan every few minutes and gently scrape to see if the rust is coming away from the pan. Once the rust is loosening, remove the pan from the vinegar and water solution and use steel wool lightly all over the pan. For stubborn rust, sprinkle salt and use a nylon scrubbing pad to remove it. Rinse the pan thoroughly and dry it well before seasoning it.
Regular cleaning is very simple with cast iron cookware. A rinse with just hot water and a nylon scrubbing pad is often enough to clean the pan. To dry the pan once the food rinses away, place the pan on a warm burner. This removes all water from the pan and renders it safe to store without the risk of rust forming. Once the pan is completely dry, add a thin layer of oil and wipe away any excess.
How to Buy Cast Iron Cleaning Products on eBay
Buying cast iron cleaning products from the qualified sellers on eBay is very easy to do. First, locate the search bar on any eBay page. Type in the name of the cleaning product that you hope to find to clean your cast iron cookware. If you know that you prefer a specific brand, include that in the search query. Do not forget to stock up on items such as pot holders and nylon scrubbing pads to make cooking with and cleaning cast iron even easier.