Cast Iron — Green Way to Get Cooking

February 18th, 2010

There aren’t very many disadvantages of using cast iron. You can’t put it in the dishwasher, and it has to be seasoned before the first use. Plus, the handles get hot. Other than that, I don’t see where you can go wrong with this ultra-green cookware.

Cast iron is healthier and much more green than those chemical-laden nonstick pans. And cooking with cast iron makes the best cornbread!

Advantages of Using Eco-friendly Cast Iron to Cook

  • Evenly distributes heat
  • Withstands high heat without warping
  • Can last many lifetimes
  • Adds iron to your food
  • Features a chemical-free nonstick surface
  • Is 100% recyclable (if you ever managed the unlikely feat of destroying one)
  • Soap-free cleaning (just scrub with hot water and a plastic brush, then dry)
  • After seasoning, maintaining is easy (wipe with veggie oil after it dries from washing)

So, how do you season one of these eco-wonders?

If your cookware isn’t pre-seasoned or if you need to re-season, follow the advice of Lodge:

  1. Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).
  2. Rinse and dry completely.
  3. Apply a thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware (inside and out).
  4. Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any dripping.
  5. Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.
  6. Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven.
  7. Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
  8. Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.

If you don’t use cast iron, why are you hesitating? Put it on your shopping list.

(Image via flick/House of Sims)