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What is Cast Iron Seasoning and Why it is Important for the Longevity of Your Cookware?

Cast iron cookware provides you with a better cooking experience and healthier meals. However, there is a common problem that turns off some users from using this type of cookware. 

They claim that they don’t understand how to maintain cast iron cookware. Well, aside from the regular cleaning, you have to season the cookware. Well, you may wonder – What is cast iron seasoning?

It is a simple process you have to do from time to time to ensure the cookware prolonged life.

Cast Iron Seasoning

While it may sound like an unusual thing, cast iron seasoning is a mandatory maintenance process. Most manufacturers pre-season the cookware. 

But, it’s a sort of unwritten rule to do it yourself from time to time. Seasoning provides a few benefits, and some of them are: 

  • Easier cooking 
  • More taste 
  • Simpler maintenance 
  • Longevity of the cookware 

Before you get to all that and season your cookware, let’s learn a bit more about the seasoning process. 

The Process 

Dumplings with meat, onions on a big cast iron skillet.

The whole process of seasoning is about spraying oil on the surface and boiling in moderate heat. Well, that’s nothing short of mundane. 

When most people hear about seasoning, they believe it’s some secret process. Yet, it’s far from a master culinary technique. 

Seasoning exists as a mandatory maintenance practice for thousands of years. When you season the cookware, you get: 

  • A less sticky surface for cooking 
  • Cleaner cooking process 
  • Easier cleaning process 

That’s because that touch of oil prevents the food (usually meat) from sticking on the surface. And, it neutralizes the tastes and provides a sort of neutral scent environment during cooking. 

The final benefit is that it makes the process of cleaning easier. 

What You Need for Seasoning 

All you need to season your cast iron cookware is a teaspoon of oil and heat. So, you can do the whole process with basic kitchen supplies. 

The process itself consists of the following steps: 

  • Clean the cookware 
  • Let it dry 
  • Start the heat 
  • Put the cookware on the low-heat 
  • Add a teaspoon of oil 
  • Spread it around the surface of the cookware 
  • Let it evaporate 
  • Move the cookware from the heat 
  • Clean it with a mild paper or towel 
  • Wash it again 

The process is straightforward. However, there are things you want to avoid when you season the cast iron cookware. 

What to Avoid 

Fried meat and vegetables on a cast-iron frying pan

First, you want to avoid using any oil without vegetable origin. Avoid using any cleaning products, even in oil form. 

Vegetable oil works best for cookware seasoning due to its neutral ingredients. Another thing you want to watch out for is when is the right time to apply the oil. 

Avoid applying it before you heat the cookware. That way, you’ll miss the whole point of the seasoning. 

Another thing you want to consider is the maintenance equipment. While you can slide through with elementary kitchen supplies, you may want to buy: 

  • Specific brushes for cast iron cookware 
  • Specific paper for cast iron cookware 
  • Olive or other vegetable oil 

With these supplies, you can season the cookware without worry. 

Why is Cast Iron Seasoning Important 

The reason you want to season cast iron cookware is to get tastier meals and long-lasting cookware. The cast-iron cookware is naturally durable. But, with these best practices, it can last for decades. 

And the process is simple. So, investing a bit of time in mastering the practice could benefit you for years to come. 

Simplicity of Process 

Leeks Cooking in Cast Iron Skillet

As for the cleaning process in the kitchen, seasoning is one of the simplest. Other types of cookware require much more maintenance than the cast iron pieces.  

Other types of pans require more cleaning, specific products, and specific maintenance routine. Instead of investing more time in cleaning and more money in products, hit two birds with one stone. 

The whole point of buying cast iron cookware is because it’s a good investment. You buy it due to the health benefits, versatility, and durability. 

The benefits outweigh the effort 10 to 1 in this case. 

Longevity 

Cast iron cookware can last for over 100 years. During the previous century,  the cast iron cookware rose in popularity. 

Yet, the method of making cast iron cookware dates back thousands of years. You can even find pieces of cast iron cookware as old as 200 years. 

The thing is that these ancient people know how to season and maintain their cookware. Back then, there were no cleaning products other than hand-made solutions. 

So, with proper maintenance, your grandchildren may acquire your cookware. 

Better Cooking Experience

Raw meat beef on cast iron plate. toned, top view

 

And, you want them to experience that. You want to experience this for yourself. 

When you cook with seasoned cast iron cookware, meat doesn’t stick on the surface. You can cook in a relaxed manner and enjoy the process more. 

Later, when it comes to cleaning, you’ll spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying the food. But, none of the mentioned benefits compare to the final advantage of cast iron cookware seasoning. 

Better Taste 

When you season your cookware the food tastes better. When you season the cookware, you make the cooking surface neutral. 

During the process you clean of scents and ingredients, leaving the surface ready for the next meal. This means that each meal has an authentic taste. 

Unlike other types of cookware, cast iron cookware allows ingredients to boil in their juices. It lets the meal soak up all the ingredients. 

With regular seasoning, you get to keep that fresh taste forever. 

Season Your Cookware

That’s why you should learn how to season your cookware. There are far too many benefits to not try it. 

And, once you learn how to do it, it’s going to become a regular part of the cleaning. Also, it can be quite fun. Give it a try. 

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