Taking care of your cast iron is not quite the responsibility of caring for a pet, but it is easily the challenge of a plant. You are going to need to do a lot of things correctly to keep your skillet (or dutch oven) providing the best meals available for years to come. Keeping it alive, as it completes the example.
Cast iron is a campfire staple — it can also be used in the kitchen — and it is something that most everyone has an opinion on. From how to clean it — if you want my opinion — to how to season it, any comment can create a battle
There are plenty of viable ways to season your cast iron. My ‘best way’ is to start with veggies.
Yes, I said vegetables.
First and foremost, when you start the lifecycle of your cast iron, you need to be gently warming it before you cook. Start with heat on low-to-medium to warm the cooking surface. It is probably going to be best to add some bacon fat or high-temp oil (like grapeseed oil) in the early days of cooking.
Now, the reason for vegetables? Veggies aren’t going to stick to the cooking surface. You have to build towards that natural non-stick cooking surface that makes iron skillets so delicious. Do not rush to toss a steak on there. Be patient.
Veggies can cover a lot of surface space. They also will naturally slowly cook, which helps spread the oils and expedite the process.
There is no magic bullet. You can pick your favorite seared, roasted, or sautéed dish and get going. It is a battle against time and doing things correctly. The oil — and the time to cook veggies — will start to get your cast iron working.
Onions and Mushrooms Are My Preference
Onions are clearly a vegetable. Mushrooms are a fungi, but according to the NCBI, they also count as a vegetable. Don’t rush to the comments.
I prefer these two for two different reasons: I hate onions texture but I love their flavor; I want to start cooking them in. I love mushrooms, but no one else likes the texture. The earthy flavor is still too good to pass up.
Both will help you get a feel for your new skillet.
It is also pretty harmless test to start with these two items, too. Onions and mushrooms will give a new pan an easy assignment. It will also show you how to cook on the pan. There will be hot and cool spots that need managed. You will want to know them before you disappoint guests with a misfire.
The combo of caramelized onions and mushrooms can be used in so many recipes, so it is also functional.
The, once you get your dutch iron ready, here are 35 ideas to inspire you!