Making Your Cast Iron Look Like New is Easier Then You Think
A great number of people swear by using cast iron pans for all of their cooking and frying needs, and let's face it, they have been around for a very long time, and people knew what they were doing back then. Here is a great post on Reconditioning Cast Iron, that will definitely come in handy if you are the proud owner of a cast iron pot or pan. The thing about buying cast iron is that you have to decide whether to buy old or new cast iron. There are obviously different pans that you can purchase, and a range of them available for sale, so it helps to do your research and it never hurts to look into buying used. Many people end up buying a used pan in the end, and couldn't be happier with it.
When you buy an old pan, you will definitely get the high quality of pan you want, plus, the pan will most likely be a lot cheaper that buying one of the brand new modern ones. Also, you will be recycling if you buy an old pan, and that is something everyone can approve of these days. They other thing that sways people in the direction of buying an older cast iron pan, is that all modern-day cast iron cookware, except for a brand called Lodge, is produced outside the United States; much of it is from Asia. It is good to stay with products that are made in your own country, because not only are you supporting your own economy and jobs of people, but you are not supporting the horrible labor practices in parts of Asia.
But, when you buy an old piece of cast iron, depending on where you get it, it may be very rusty and dirty, so it will be in need of some reconditioning. You want the pan, but you definitely don't want all of the layers of caked on crusty food and oil and grease. But you don't let it soak in water and dish soap as you would with any old pan... Cast iron is different and needs oils to function the best it can. It doesn't cost you much, just some time and some work, and all you need is oven cleaner, vinegar, gloves, steel wool, and some garbage bags. The author of this post has written a little bit of information on the use of oven cleaner, as some people are cautious to use something with chemicals in it. But the author assures us in the post that it is the best and safest thing to use on these pans to recondition them. The pans will also be neutralized with the vinegar, and the residue will be cleaned off of the pan completely.
Then, after this process is done, you re-season the pan, by putting lard or oil in it and working thin layers into the pan, little by little. Then, it goes into the oven and you keep checking on it and rubbing the oil in. Once you are done this process, you will have an awesome looking pan, that is ready to cook to your hearts content! The pan will become more seasoned with age of course. You never want to use water on it regularly though, make sure that you follow her directions to get the best results possible. Perhaps now you will be more inclined to use your awesome cast iron pans if you don't use them already. Or go out and find your perfect cast iron pan! Many people claim that they never use any other pan when they cook, only their cast iron pans. They are a wonderful, time tested and true kitchen item that has been used for centuries, and now we can keep the tradition going by keeping these pans in use. Happy cleaning and cooking!
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