If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday - Pearl S. Buck


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oklahoma To Me - 29th Verse - Cure Your Iron

Oklahoma to me . . .
is curing your cast iron

Okay, they look bad don't they?  My babies, the only skillets I use.  I have to take good care of them.  So one Saturday morning I woke early and the house was cold.  The house needed warming up and I didn't feel like going on the cold porch to get wood for the stove.  I decided it was a good day to cure my iron.

I will give you some links at the end for curing your iron, but here is my quick tutorial:
1.  Case iron has to be seasoned or cured before use.  Even if I buy cast iron that states "pre-seasoned" I do it anyway.  Also, if you find a great pan at a garage or estate sale and it looks in bad shape you can bring it back to life with a little TLC.
2.  Wash the skillet with mild soap and warm water.  (DO NOT PUT CAST IRON IN THE DISHWASHER, EVER) If necessary, use a scrubbie or steel wool pad to get the stuck on stuff off. 
3.  Dry the skillet with a cloth. 
 4. Apply the oil or lard to the pan.  Some say to heat up the skillet before the apply the oil, but I didn't this time.  I use shortening.  Here is the secret:  When applying the shortening use a very thin coat all over the pan.

First coat of shortening then wipe off to look like this:
You do not want any excess shortening on the pan.
5. Now place the skillet in the oven set at 500 degrees.  Place it upside on the middle rack with another rack lined with foil underneath it or put a pizza pan under the pan to catch the grease.
6.  Cook for 1 hour.  Then let the pan cool to room temperature then repeat.  
It takes about 3 times to really get the pan "cured".
This is my pan after just one process:
Not good enough so I repeated the process 2 more times.  When you are completely finished "curing" put one more light coat of shortening on the pan.  In fact do that after every use.

NOTE:  Before turning on your oven you might want to turn off the smoke alarms or what my kids call the "dinner bell".  They are sure to go off when your oven is set at 500 degrees.  Do not leave the house while curing cast iron.
 Now you have beautiful cured cast iron so your homemade pizza will look like this:
You do make homemade pizza, don't you?

Have a great day.
Territory Mom

Love this site:  What's Cooking America includes recipes for cast iron.


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I love cast iron. I haven't cured the skillet I use for years but after every use I put a real light coating of oil on it and let it heat up on the range and then it cool down and it still works great.

Baloney said...

This makes me want to run out and buy more cast iron. That pizza looks delicious!

♥Georgie♥ said...

I got my daddys cast iron skillet and was soooo needing to know how to season it properly Thank You!!!!