One of the biggest complaints people who use cast iron skillets have is knowing how to season a cast iron skillet. Seasoning bakes in a layer of fat into the cast iron, that gives your cast iron a non-stick surface that will prevent food from sticking, and will make clean up a snap.
If you keep a kosher kitchen, you are a vegetarian or even vegan, you will most likely not be able to buy a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet, since the fat used is either non kosher vegetable oil or lard, unless it is noted on the packaging that kosher certified oil was used.
In this case, you will need to buy a bare cast iron skillet and season it yourself. You can learn how to season a cast iron skillet here.
1) season your cast iron skillet yourself
2) Buy a Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron skillet
3) buy an enameled cast iron skillet, which does not require seasoning, since the enameled coating provides a non-stick coating on a cast iron skillet.
Seasoning your cast iron skillet adds a layer of oil or fat to the surface, that prevents food from sticking. Enameled cast iron cookware does not require seasoning since the enameled coating acts as a non-stick surface, but due to the non-stick coating, you can only use an enameled cast iron skillet up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven, while you can put a seasoned cast iron skillet in an oven up to 800 degrees.
A Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron skillet has a layer of oil or fat baked to the surface of the bare cast iron skillet at the factory. This works for most people, but if you keep a kosher home, the cast iron must have a notation that the seasoned cast iron has been certified kosher. If not, buy a bare cast iron skillet and follow the simple instructions below to season your new cast iron skillet.
1) Pre-Heat your oven to 350- 400 degrees F.
2) Wash your cast iron skillet in hot soapy water and then dry it completely with a rag or paper towel.
3) Coat the iron skillet with a thin layer of oil or shortening. Use canola oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil, which has a high smoke point, meaning it can take a lot of heat before it begins to smoke. Olive oil is not recommended as it has a low smoke point, and will create too much smoke in your oven and kitchen.
4) Place the skillet in the oven for 1 hour. Some people recommend placing the skillet upside down on a baking sheet to catch any oil drippings.
5) You’ll want to season your cast iron skillet 3-4 times to get a good non-stick coating.
6) Once your cast iron skillet is cooled, wipe of with a paper towel or soft cloth.
7) You should re-season your cast iron cookware once a year.
8) If you buy pre-seasoned cast iron skillets, just wash with hot soapy water and your skillet is ready to use. You will want to season your pre-seasoned cast iron skillets about 1 year after purchase.
For more tips on cast iron cookware please visit the-cookingpot.com