Back in August I took this picture:
I’ll admit I was pretty smitten with myself for making my first garden fresh batch of tomato sauce. What I was too scared to admit was that my cookware was likely leeching aluminum into those beautiful tomatoes. Yes I read, and even highly touted, The Conscious Kitchen and knew that anodized aluminum is not the preferred choice for healthy cooking. And yes I understood completely that cast iron was the way to go. So why did it take me nearly a year to make the change? Plain and simple, I was intimidated.
A few months ago I decided to take a baby step. I ordered a cast iron muffin pan from Amazon and thought I was on my way. The box arrived, the pan was heavy and despite the manufacture’s claims that it was pre-seasoned and ready for use, my muffins did not fare well. I cleaned the pan and sent it back as defective.
About three weeks ago there was a post on our local mother’s club seeking advice from cast iron using mammas because she was ready to make the change. She knew that the price of her All-Clad did not translate into healthy cooking. She knew that she no longer wanted to risk any aluminum or other metals leeching into the food she cooked. The responses were inspiring, and in that moment I was ready to conquer my fear.
This time I did my research. I decided on cookware by Lodge and called the company for advice. I learned that “pre-seasoned” was misleading and to season any pieces I purchased several times before using. I chose a 10″ skillet and 4 & 8 qt. dutch ovens to replace my three most used pieces of cookware. I seasoned each 6-8 times which ended up being much easier than the multi step directions. I took a deep breath. The picture now looks like this:
Cast iron cookware is EASY! How crazy I was to be intimidated. No longer do I cringe as I cook knowing that harmful metals are leeching through the scratches on the bottom of my pots and pans. Tonight as we sat down to dinner I knew, without a doubt, that I was feeding my family the absolute healthiest meal I was capable of making. That makes me giddy! The days of coveting sleek, high-end cookware are behind me. I’m thrilled that much needed iron is being added to my children’s food. I embrace the extra step of clean up that cast iron entails. And I envision a couple more pieces in the near future!
Easy Seasoning Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place a thin coat of cooking oil. I use olive oil (preferred) or organic canola (however not a fan of it for cooking) in and around the cookware.
- Place cookware in oven for 2 hours
- Let cool in oven
To clean your cast iron cookware:
- Let piece cool
- Water and a wet sponge to clean. You don’t even need soap however you can use a warm, soapy sponge if no soap feels too risky. If you do use soap make sure it’s mild and do not use a harsh abrasive. Do not immerse in water.
- Dry immediately!
- Place cookware back on burner or in oven on low to completely dry
- Once completely dry put a thin coat of olive oil (my choice) on the inside surface of cookware
- Let cool and put away
If you have ANY questions call Lodge and they will put you steer you right. Enjoy!