Cast iron cookware has been around for hundreds of years. Cast iron has excellent heat retention and diffusion. It can withstand and maintain very high cooking temperatures, making it a great choice for slow cooking stews, searing and frying. Cast iron cookware is also known to leach small amounts of iron into the food cooked in it which could be beneficial to those with iron deficiencies.
Seasoning cast iron cookware protects it from rusting and provides a non-stick surface for cooking. It is basicly a three step process, starting with cleaning, then applying a layer of vegetable oil, lard or bacon fat and then heating the fat to bond to the metal. Follow these easy instructions to season your cast iron cookware:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash cookware with hot, soapy, water and a stiff brush. Rinse and dry.
3. Completely coat inside and outside surfaces with melted vegetable oil or shortening (some people prefer lard or bacon fat).
4. Place cookware on middle rack for 30 minutes. Remove cookware and wipe it almost dry to prevent pooling of shortening or oil. Place back in oven for another 30 minutes.