Friday, May 24, 2013

Curing Cast Iron and Thwarting Anemia

Wait, wait, wait!  I know a lot of people are scared of cooking with cast iron because the handles get hot and most people's experience is that food sticks when they're trying to cook.  Try curing your cast iron for a non-stick finish.  Just like trying all new things you need a few tips and then figure out what works for you.  My family cooks with cast iron but when it came time for me to start cooking I used stainless steel and non-stick pans.  
Then last year on the annual medical exam the doctor wanted to immediately throw me on pharmaceuticals meds because she thought I was anemic.  WHOA NELLY, a prescription does not fly for me when 10 minutes of googling anemia offers tons of alternative treatments.  Using cast iron pots was one possible way to bump iron intake. DONE.  

Set the Oven to 400 Degrees
Want to Cook with Cast Iron?

*Use plenty of oil and water while cooking

*Let the pan warm up slowly.  Cast iron retains heat forever so it keeps a constant temperature longer which means it also takes longer to cool down if you heat too quickly

*Cure your cast iron.  Don't know how?  Here ya go

Curing Cast Iron-Create your own non-stick pan

*Old or new cast iron, doesn't matter.  Your cast iron has rust?  Take the steel wool and get to scrubbing until that rust comes off.

*Apply a liberal amount of olive oil or cooking oil and grease your pans really well!  Just pour it in the pot and then wipe down the entire thing, focusing mainly on the inside.  

*Set your oven for 400 degrees

*Lay a sheet of aluminum foil down on your oven racks and place pots inside oven

*Cook your pans for 1 hour -*open the windows and doors*  they give off a really distinct earthy smell

*Let your pans cool down for 1 hour

Dutch Oven, Flat Griddle, Medium Pot, Skillet
When you pull your cast iron back out they will have a really nice finish that is pretty darn close to non-stick.  If the finish still looks dull it probably means you didn't add a thick enough coat of oil.  Just go through the process again.

Cleaning Cast Iron

*Water and a scrubby

*NO SOAP...but if you catch a helpful person cleaning your cast iron with soap don't worry because you now know how to cure your pans. 

*Let your cast iron fully dry before putting away in the cupboard.  I like to place it on a burner set on low until I see all the moisture disappear.  

Now check out this fantastic site for cooking with cast iron including some fabulous recipes.  


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