A cast-iron skillet is simply a cooking pan with a long handle that is made of cast iron. It is made to utilize the features of cast iron like heat retention, ability to withstand very high temperatures and high durability for cooking. The cast iron can be seasoned so as to prevent rusting, and also making it non-stick. Apart from a frying pan, some of the other cast iron cookware are listed below.
What Is A Seasoning?
To reduce the stickiness and corrosive nature of cookware, a process of surface treatment known as the seasoning is done. It is done by the use of heated fat. A seasoned vessel will be corrosion-resistant and nonstick.
As we all know, iron gets easily rusted when exposed freely to oxygen along with the application of heat. Since cast iron is a by-product of iron, it is also prone to rust. So, regular seasoning of cast iron is necessary to maintain the cookware resistant to corrosion.
Seasoning Of New Cast Iron Cookware
Before using the cast iron pan for the first time after purchasing from the manufacturers, seasoning should be done to make the cookware nonstick. This can be done after cleaning the pan by applying some natural oil on the surface and heating it for some time to get the oil absorbed by the pan. This process makes the cookware slightly nonstick. The protective coating of wax or Shellac should be removed from a new pan before seasoning.
What Is The Reseasoning Of A Cast-Iron Skillet?
The seasoning process done for the first time after purchase is called just seasoning. But, once you have used the pan for some time and you want to remove the rust and other residues deposited on it due to regular use for cooking, reseasoning should be done. This includes the processes of rust removal and deep cleaning. This process will be a bit more complex since all the build-ups created during the usage should be cleaned away.
Steps In Reseasoning Your Cast Iron Skillet
It may seem difficult to bring back your cast iron skillet to the same that you have bought, without any rust or deposits. However, you can make it better by following some steps of reseasoning as described below.
Wash away the pan with some hot water and soap.
A clean cloth or sponge can be used to rub the pan.
A steel or copper wool pad can be used to rub the skillet if it seems rusty that cannot be cleaned away by hands and soap alone.
Let the skillet get dried.
Spill the vegetable oil all over the skillet.
Spill some oil on the back and sides of the skillet also.
To make the oil decomposed into the surface of the pan, you have to heat it.
You need to heat in order to make a layer of polymerized oil that resists food from sticking and act like a plastic.
This heating can be by placing the pan upside down in an oven and baking for some time.
Oven should be preheated to a temperature of around 320 degrees before placing the pan in there.
Let the pan cool after heating is done, mostly after 1 hour.
Preventing The Pan From Getting Spoiled Again
The job is not done the moment you take off the pan from the oven. After getting a polished new pan again, it is your responsibility to keep it that way for a long time. You should avoid cooking acidic food that can cause damage to the pan; should clean the pan completely after cooking; using oil and heating the pan before cooking; and using brushes to clean off the residues often, etc. Acidic food can affect the seasoned layer so the possibility of rusting emerges again.
Time For Reseasoning A Reseasoned Pan
Although you reseason a cast iron skillet, you cannot guarantee that it won’t get rusted again. Seasoning is just a creation of a polymerized layer of vegetable oil that prevents the pan from rusting for a period of time. On regular usage of the skillet, it will surely look dull or rusted again after some days. If you feel it is time to reseason the pan again, the same process should be repeated.
Cast iron is the best choice for a metal to be used as cookware because of its response to heat and durability. So, corrosion should not spoil a cast-iron skillet. In the cases of rust or any other deposits in the pan, you feel to be removed for better cooking, reseason the pan using the above-mentioned process. Do not fear of seasoning effects since there won’t be any issues that arise because of seasoning.