"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-27-2005, 11:10 AM   #11
Executive Chef
 
AllenOK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA, Oklahoma
Posts: 3,463
"Seasoning" is a coating of oil or fat that rubbed onto a metal surface, then baked on. This basically renders the cooking surface nonstick. This is used for flat-top griddles, cast iron, panini machines, and plain steel woks.

"Shortening" is a fat in solid form, like lard. Crisco is the most popular brand, although there are some store brands.

You're right, though, that most cookware is ready-to-use after you buy it. Cast iron is the one exception.

You don't have an oven? Are you living in a dorm without cooking facilities? If that is so, you may want to look into an electric frying pan.
__________________

__________________
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
AllenOK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005, 11:38 AM   #12
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 40
So I have to season an iron-casted cookware before I can use it so it won't stick? And this seasoning will last me forever or do I have to reapply it again each time I use it?

I do have an oven, but it doesn't work. Only the stove works.
__________________

__________________
cyberian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005, 09:48 PM   #13
Master Chef
 
Michael in FtW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,592
The cookware you see at WalMart that has a black coating on the inside of the pan, and is ready to use out of the box, is generally made from aluminum and coated with a nonstick coating.

Cast Iron is both a formula of the metal (basically the amount of iron and carbon) and the process of making it. Since it's formula makes it very hard - it is melted and then poured into a mold (a process called casting - thus "cast" iron). Since iron rusts easily - cast iron cookware must be "seasoned" - a process of heating the pan, applying a very thin coating of oil, and heating some more so that the oil "bakes on" the the metal which prevents air from reacting with the metal ... this reaction of air and metal is called "oxidizing" and you see it as an orange powder (iron oxide) which is what we call rust. This is a chemical reaction between the air, moisture, and the metal - the metal is being converted from iron into iron oxide.

No - you do not need to "season" cast iron each time you use it - only when you do something that scratches the surface and leaves the bare metal exposed. Over time - treated properly - the protective layer will get thicker, and the dark gray color will turn black.

Shortening is a white creamy semi-solid form of oil which has been processed so that it become a soft solid. As someone noted - Crisco is the most common brand. For seasoning cast iron - liquid corn oil will also work, probably even better than shortening.

The cast iron cookware you will find at Wal-Mart will either be Lodge or Lodge Logic. Lodge is "green" (unseasoned) cast iron - Lodge Logic has had a minimal "seasoning" process. Read and following the instructions on the box.

To season cast iron on the stove ... (A) wash the skillet with hot soapy water, rinse, dry well, then (B) put on the stove and heat on high until VERY hot - about 5-10 minutes - then turn the burner off. Pour about 4-tablespoons of corn oil in the pan and wipe the inside and outside of the pan with 2-4 paper towels folded into a pad about 2x4 inches - add more oil if necessary to get a good coating of oil on all of the pan. Be careful - the pan will be very hot! Allow the pan to cool to room temp and wipe out any excess oil in the pan and off the outside with paper towels - wipe it as dry as you can get it. (C) repeat step B two more times.

I would recommend that you only use silicone, nylon/plastic, or wood utensils in the pan for the first year, at least, so that you don't scratch the surface and give it a little more time to "harden". The more you use it the harder the "seasoning" layer of oil will become. In a year or two - it will be harder, and just as good, as a nonstick coating.

NEVER ever put a cast iron pan in the sink to "soak" - or in the dishwasher - and don't use soap to clean it! Hot water and a nylon bristle brush is all you need to clean it up. And ALWAYS wipe it dry immediately!

What is a skillet? A skillet it a generic term which technically means a cooking device with a large diameter flat bottom cooking surface with sides taller than a griddle and shorter than a sauce pan. It could be either a frying pan (rounded sides) or a saute pan (straight sides). A cast iron "skillet" will generally have straight sides that flare out at 15-30 degrees. Don't worry if this seems confusing ... the pan that is often called a "chicken fryer" is a saute pan ... and what most chefs use to saute in is a fry pan.
__________________
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
Michael in FtW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005, 10:01 PM   #14
Master Chef
 
luvs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: da 'burgh
Posts: 9,673
like chocolatechef said, cast iron. it's cheap, durable and readily available.
__________________
i believe that life would not be complete sans comfy 'ol tee-shirts, the Golden Girls, and the color pink
& rock on, PITTSBURGH-
luvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005, 10:46 PM   #15
Executive Chef
 
AllenOK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA, Oklahoma
Posts: 3,463
I usually apply a fresh coat of shortening after I wash and dry my cast iron to insure that the pan is in tip-top shape. I dry my cast iron pans on the burner (to drive off all remaining moisture to it doesn't rust). Since the pan is already hot to the touch, I'll do ahead and just wipe some more shortening onto the pan and let set the pan aside. I let the residual heat in the pan "bake" the shortening on.
__________________
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
AllenOK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 12:23 PM   #16
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 40
Wouldn't the plastic brush scrub out the seasoning?
__________________
cyberian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2005, 11:21 PM   #17
Executive Chef
 
AllenOK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA, Oklahoma
Posts: 3,463
I doubt it. I use a "green scrubbie" made by 3M. If I scrub hard enough with that, I'll remove some of the seasoning. A steel wool will definitely remove seasoning. But, it's baked on pretty good, so I doubt a nylon-bristled brush would.
__________________
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
AllenOK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2005, 07:53 AM   #18
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
I like nonstick pans. Taking reasonable precautions keeps it viable for a few years, and it's inexpensive enough that I don't take a big financial hit when I decide one has died. For some reason I'm not good at anything that has to be "seasoned", having thrown away several rusting woks and cast iron skillets. I love to cook, hate to clean, and REALLY hate disturbing anyone who offers to wash dishes for me after a great food fest ("Oh, please, don't clean that like that, clean it like this," really ruins the experience of having someone help). Nonstick pans do it for me, and if they have to be replaced every few years, don't exactly break the bank (and believe me, I've been broke in my life).
__________________
Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2005, 11:40 PM   #19
Master Chef
 
Michael in FtW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,592
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberian
Wouldn't the plastic brush scrub out the seasoning?
No. The oil, during the seasoning process, get's very hard - harder than the nylon brush.
__________________
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
Michael in FtW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2005, 12:52 AM   #20
Master Chef
 
luvs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: da 'burgh
Posts: 9,673
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberian
Wouldn't the plastic brush scrub out the seasoning?
i've heard several times that you should not wash seasoned cast iron and should just rinse it and wipe it dry with paper towels, so that's what i do after frying.
__________________

__________________
i believe that life would not be complete sans comfy 'ol tee-shirts, the Golden Girls, and the color pink
& rock on, PITTSBURGH-
luvs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.