If you’ve ever wondered what on earth seasoned cast iron is, then we’re here to help!
Seasoned cast iron cookware, like our Victoria range, refers to cookware made from cast iron that has been ‘seasoned’ for easy release, non-stick cooking.
Seasoning cast iron involves baking a coating of oil onto the cast iron surface via a process called polymerisation, which essentially means that the fat in the oil has heated to a point where it has then bonded to the cast iron to create a smooth coating or finish. This coating provides a non-stick surface that with a small amount of care, will last a long time before it needs re-seasoning.
As to whether you need to continually re-season your cast iron cookware, it will tell you! If you notice food has started to stick to the surface you know it’s probably time to give the pan another coat of seasoning.
Another thing to note about seasoned cast iron is that the more you cook with it, the better it gets. Each time you cook something, oils and fats build up on the surface, creating additional coats of seasoning, which means a smoother surface that your food is less likely to stick to.
What’s so special about cast iron?
The main benefit to seasoned cast iron would have to be that cast iron is so incredibly durable and tough that it’s almost impossible to ruin it. Even if over time your pieces develop rust spots, these are easily fixed with a quick clean and re-season. A lot of modern non-stick cookware made from materials other than cast iron, such as teflon, tend to have a limited shelf life of between one and 10 years. Cast iron cookware on the other hand, will last you a lifetime. For this reason they are often considered investment pieces to be handed down from generation to generation.
Cast iron also enables even heat distribution and heat retention for even cooking and browning, and because it’s so tough and durable you can use it on any heat source from induction, to ceramic, electric and gas cooktops, to the oven, on the grill and even over the campfire.
Hot tips for keeping your cast iron in tip top condition
While we’ve mentioned that cast iron is virtually indestructible, there are a few things to remember to ensure you keep it in optimum condition.
Firstly, the main thing to remember is to make sure you dry it completely after each wash. Drip drying is not your friend when it comes to cast iron! Letting it drip dry can result in rust spots. These are easy enough to remove with a bit of elbow grease, but ideally you can avoid the extra effort of removing rust by drying your cast iron thoroughly before storing.
Make sure you don’t leave your cast iron pots and pans soaking overnight. You won’t ruin them, it’s just not encouraged as it can cause rust. When you’ve finished cooking, avoid plunging your cast iron into cold water; remove it from the heat and allow it to come to room temperature before cleaning. Use a nylon scrubbing brush or scraper to remove any food that has stuck to the surface and then rinse under warm water.
When it’s time to re-season your cast iron
When it comes time to re-season your cookware, make sure you follow these simple steps:
If you are seasoning your cast iron cookware for the first time, or your cast iron requires cleaning and re-seasoning, here are five easy steps to follow. If your cast iron is in need of re-seasoning follow from step 3.
- SCRUB: If you are cleaning your cast iron of stubborn marks or rust then sprinkle with salt, add water and scour with a stiff bristle brush.
- DRY: Place over a hot element for 5 – 15 minutes until any water has boiled dry. Use a paper towel or cloth to dry any excess water.
- SEASON: Using a paper towel, rub a thin coat of vegetable oil to the cast iron, being sure to season every cast iron surface.
- BAKE: Place upside down on the oven’s centre rack with a sheet of aluminium foil on the rack below to catch any drips. Bake in the oven for 180C for an hour. This is when the oil is polymerized to the metal’s surface.
- COOL: Turn off the oven and allow the cast iron to cool in the oven before removing.
More tips on how to season and care for cast iron cookware.
Our range of seasoned cast iron cookware – Victoria Cookware
Made in Colombia since 1939, Victoria Cookware remains a family-owned business, producing world-class cast iron cookware that has received international recognition and is enjoyed by millions of people in more than 30 countries.
From its signature tortilla press to grain mill to skillet, Victoria has an extensive range of cast iron cookware, tools, and accessories thoughtfully designed for the home chef.
Each piece in the Victoria seasoned cast iron cookware range is pre-seasoned with organic flaxseed oil for your convenience, so you can use it straight away without seasoning it yourself.