Cast iron is finally catching on again and a lot of homesteaders are realizing they don’t make cookware like they used to.
This is evident even with modern cast iron. The surfaces of newer pans are rough, whereas the best old-time cast iron manufacturers took the time to give their pans a perfectly smooth cooking surface before putting them into the hardworking hands of Susie Homemaker.
Now we don’t know the difference… but once you’ve cooked on a classic piece of antique cast iron, you will.
Yesterday I posted a video on how I easily season dry and rusty cast iron pans and restore them to rich and shiny black – check it out:
Those cast iron pans cost me just $40 for the pair at an antique shop. That might sound a little expensive but it isn’t when you compare them to the cost of buying new cookware that won’t be half as good in the long run.
I always strive to buy good old tools that will last rather than new tools that won’t. Cast iron can last for generations.
One note on heat: you’ll often see instructions for seasoning cast iron that encourage you to bake your cookware at 350F.
This just doesn’t cut it. I’ve done that for an hour the pans were only partially seasoned. Bake them at 500F and the results are much better.
After you’ve seasoned cast iron, you can wash it with a little bit of soap after you cook, if need be, but don’t scrub it to death. I usually just wash out the pans with water, then dry and hang them. We also will oil the pans occasionally if they look a bit dry after cooking – yet generally a well-seasoned cast iron pan won’t need it. The oil soaks in and makes them slick and wonderful, provided you don’t cook a lot of tomato sauce or other acid/liquid food in them.
One final note on my over-the-sink cast iron rack:
This was really simple to make. All I did was buy a galvanized metal L-bracket with holes in it, saw it with a hacksaw to fit the gap over my sink between the cabinets, then stick a stack of washers underneath each end to keep it hanging straight. A screw through the wasters and into the cabinet top on either side and a few S-hooks and I was all set. Rachel loves it and we get compliments on the idea regularly. The whole setup probably cost about $5.00 and it holds some really heavy pans without bending.
Catch you all next week.