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Old 08-06-2007, 02:29 PM   #1
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Question about cast aluminum caldero

Hi everyone. I do a lot of latin cooking and wanted something simple and versatile to cook in that I could use on the stovetop, in the oven or outdoors. So yesterday I bought a "caldero" from the latino section of the local grocery store. It's just a simple cast aluminum pot without a non-stick coating. My question is about seasoning the pot before I use it. The IMUSA web site says this about seasoning the cast aluminum calderos:

Quote:
With a towel or cloth, apply vegetable or olive oil to the inner walls of the caldero. Afterwards, add Ĺ cup of the selected oil to the Caldero. Place on a stove top and cover the caldero. Heat the Caldero at a medium temperature for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Then, remove oil and wipe with a clean towel removing all oil excess. You are ready to cook!
But the label I peeled off the caldero says just to wipe it with oil and heat it over medium heat for one minute. Since the label also talks about caring for the non-stick coating which this pot doesn't have, I'm thinking the website is probably the way to go. But I've never heard of heating 1/2 cup of oil on the stove top for 30 minutes. Is this normal? Is it safe?

Also, if anyone has some tips about cleaning and caring for this pot, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

Oh, here's what I'm talking about...


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Old 08-06-2007, 02:46 PM   #2
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Iíve never heard of heating a Ĺ cup of oil to season a pot or pan? Well, I have heard some people suggest making French fries a few times in the new pan, but that's about it. If you try that method, donít turn up the heat too high, and donít walk away from it!

Personally, Iíd season it like cast iron, and do it in the oven. First, wash it really good with hot soapy water (this will be the only time you use soap for cleaning!). Next, dry it well and rub oil all over the inside of the caldero, then place it upside down (preferably on a cookie sheet to catch the dripping oil) in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes to an hour. Turn off the oven, let it cool, then wipe off the excess oil. You can cook with it at this point, or repeat the whole process if desired.

After it is seasoned, never use soap to clean it (or youíll have to re-season it)! Some people just use salt and a paper towel. I use hot water (but no soap) with my cast iron. Wipe it dry, and then (using a paper towel) coat it with a light layer of oil before putting it away. If you use water, you can put the pot/pan/caldero over heat or in the oven to speed up the drying process.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
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I know the pots you have there... it is a Latino favorite and is Latino made. You wnat to seal the pores of the metal as it is not polished aluminum, so wipe with oil add the 1/2 cup cover and put in a 350* oven for the 1/2 hour. The stove top is too varianble. Your pot will darken with age and use (not so dark as cast iron) and that is as it should be. Do not store food in your pot, and ideally, you should serve from the pot to a platter so your food does not cool down in the pot, at least until it becomes well used. (Acids from the food on metal can taste harsh) Wash with HOT water and a stiff brush. It cannot rust, but you want the seasoning to build up over time.

Enjoy your cooking...you have a fine pot, trusted by many chefs and restaurants.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:21 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you for steering me in the right direction. I appreciate it so much!

Robo, I do have one small question. Since the top has a plastic handle and is not oven safe, should I just cover the pot with aluminum foil or would it be better just to go with the stovetop method despite the variable (it is an electric stove)?

And you're right, it is latino made -- in Columbia!

Thanks again!
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