Cast iron cookware is timeless and for many an essential piece of cooking gear. In fact, many preppers keep several sizes and a variety of pieces of ironware on hand to use in case of a power outage as this type of cookware is equally at home in a fancy oven as it is over an open fire or tucked into a bed hot charcoal briquettes.
Before You Buy
If you are buying cast iron cookware, make sure a reputable company such as Stansport or Coleman makes it and avoid cheap cast iron cookware made overseas. Some of the cheaper grades of cast iron have been known to contain lead. It is hard to know for sure, so it is best to stick with quality and a reputable company.
Opt For Seasoned
Seasoning is a process used on cast iron ware such as skillets, dutch ovens and kettles to cure or prepare the metal for the cooking process. Today most cast iron ware comes pre-seasoned. However the seasoning will need to be maintained; to do so generously coat the inside with food grade oil such as olive, vegetable or lard with a paper towel to clean, dry cookware. Place cookware upside down in an oven heated to 350 degrees. Use a tray or foil under your cookware to catch any dripping oil. Turn oven off and let cookware cool.
Properly clean your cast iron before storing it. Hot water, a scouring pad and mild non-citrus based detergent works well. Occasionally you may need a pan scraper for dry or stubborn pieces, heating the cast iron to medium heat often make this task easier.
Dry thoroughly and store in a cool, dry place with a wedge of folded paper towel under the lid to allow air to circulate plus it soaks up any additional moisture.
Maintaining a perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet or kettle is not difficult if you follow these simple steps. If you do so, your cast iron cookware can last a lifetime.
Do you have a tip for cast iron cookware maintenance? Share it with us in the comment section.
Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.
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