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Cast-iron Pans - Seasoning And Usage Tips?

Discussion in 'Spotless Kitchen' started by startinganew, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    I had got a couple of cast iron pans almost a year ago but never got around to using them. I have been reading about how to season them well before beginning to use them. The oils suggested are canola, corn, vegetable oil or any type of shortening. I only have olive, sesame seed, mustard oil and coconut oil at home - has anyone used these oils for seasoning in the oven?

    Also please share any tried and tested tips or lessons to be noted while seasoning these pans? My plan is to use one as a dosai/pancake pan and the other to saute veggies.

    Some sources recommend applying oil and baking in 375-400 oven for 1 hours. Others say this should be repeated 3/4 times.

    Regards to daily cleaning, I see many differing opinions:
    1. Always wash in water immediately after cooking (when hot) and dry it immediately with a dry towel. (No soap)
    2. Wash only by scrubbing with powdered salt after cooling. Apply oil and then store in an airy place. (No water, no soap)

    Let me know what works for you?
     
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  2. Amulet

    Amulet IL Hall of Fame

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    Use the highest smoke point (temperature where it smokes, and acts "cool") oil that you've got.
    Or... use coconut oil and make a batch of rava dosas on the new cast iron tawa. Rava dosa is the batter that is idiot-proof for really really hot surfaces, and once you make the surface HOT, super HOT, the crannies (or is it also nooks?) expand to receive the oil that you put on it, and coat it well.

    Instead of baking in the oven (like the western people do) desi's should make some dish on that new surface that can take really, really hot temperatures. Rava dosa is a good candidate for seasoning a new cast iron tawa/skillet/flat-cooking-utensil.

    NEVER wash that with soap... just wet, scrub with (synthetic) coconut coir (aka Scotch-Brite pad) and wipe to dry.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  3. virtualkv2020

    virtualkv2020 Platinum IL'ite

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    I use both iron pans and lodger cast iron pans on a daily basis.
    For iron pans And tawas this is what I do
    1. I use one tawa exclusively for dosa and other for chapathi,omelette etc.
    2. To season a new dosa tawa (tawa from India)
    Rub coconut oil or any cooking oil of your choice on a tawa using an onion piece.Liberally sprinkle some plain flour or wheat flour and rub well with fingers for abt 5 mins, remove the flour and wipe
    the tawa. Repeat this procedure for a new Indian iron kadai.

    Rub the iron tawa with some oil with a freshly halved onion and heat it. At this point you can switch off, let cool, apply some more oil and store the pan for later use or if you are ready to make the dosa wipe with a moist cloth and make dosa.

    when you heat the oiled tawa, rub it with a freshly halved onion piece that has been basted with oil,sprinkle some water
    and wipe, make dosa, repeat this process for each dosa. The process of sprinkling water and wiping is done to bring down the temperature to an ideal point of spreading the dosa batter. After you are done making dosas, rub some oil on the hot tawa using an onion piece. After the pan cools down, store it in a dry place away from moisture.

    3. To season a new lodge cast iron pan or tawa, liberally baste the pan with coconut oil and bake it at the desired temperature for an hour as given on the lodge website. After baking, let it cool down, apply some oil and store for later use.

    4. To make dosa on a lodge cast iron tawa (after seasoning it in the oven)
    heat the oiled tawa, rub it with a freshly halved onion piece that has been basted with oil,sprinkle some water and wipe, make dosa,repeat this process for each dosa. After you are done making dosas, rub some oil on the hot tawa.After the pan cools down, store it in a dry place away from moisture.

    5.To clean a cast iron pan, rinse the pan immediately after use using hot water and steel scrub.Heat the pan immediately after cleaning till all the moisture evaporates, apply some oil to the pan, let cool and store.

    6. To clean an iron kadai/tawa (from India), rinse the pan immediately after use using hot water,little dish soap and steel scrub.Heat the pan immediately after cleaning,apply some oil to the pan, let cool and store.

    Note - never store an iron or cast iron pan with moisture in it as moisture rusts iron.When the sulfur from a freshly halved onion comes in contact with oil on a hot iron pan it creates a non stick coating (Teflon free coating), so healthy and tasty food can be easily dished out.The more you use them the more friendly they turn out to be. Grandma’s tips can never go wrong :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  4. armummy

    armummy Platinum IL'ite

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    I wash it after every use because and put it on stove for few minutes till it gets nicely heated..... no problems so far .....
     
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  5. SpringB

    SpringB Platinum IL'ite

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    Clean it after every use if possible when hot.

    when the pan shows signs of rust season it just for 10-15 mins in below method. Regular maintenance every few uses

     
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  6. virtualkv2020

    virtualkv2020 Platinum IL'ite

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    I bought a thick iron tawa which was slightly rusty.I scrubbed it with tamarind pulp to get rid of the rust and seasoned it with oil and Halved onion. It now helps in dishing out crispy golden dosas.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  7. SpringB

    SpringB Platinum IL'ite

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    Will try tamarind pulp and halved onion next time. My pans are heavy. Can use forwt lifts
     
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  8. startinganew

    startinganew Gold IL'ite

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    My heartfelt thanks for writing back with so many details @kveena @Amulet @armummy and @SpringB!!
    Tra-la-la tra-la-la this is my village right here! :hearteyes::hearteyes::hearteyes:
    It is going to take me a while to process and implement all of this. But I will definitely keep you all updated on how it goes for me.
     
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  9. virtualkv2020

    virtualkv2020 Platinum IL'ite

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    Video demonstration for seasoning an iron tawa
     
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  10. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I do wash mine with soap each time because I cook meats in the pan too. I have various shapes/sizes. I seasoned all stove top making egg omelettes with coconut oil. @Amulet - I didn’t know about rava dosa.
    I wash well with soap and scotch brite. I put it on the stove to dry and apply coconut oil with a kitchen towel after to keep it well seasoned.

    I’ve had one or two rusty pan occasions. I cleaned with tamarind, dried on stove top and brushed with coconut oil to rust proof.
     
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