These are my newest TK Maxx acquisitions: A cast iron skillet and a marble slab for kneading bread.
The skillet is from Danny Seo, whom I had never heard of until buying the pan. I bought it because Teflon pans are starting to annoy me. I definitely need to replace the frying pan that I currently have. In the six years I’ve lived in Germany, I’ve already gone through three skillets. My sister in the Philippines is still using my Grandma’s pots and pans, which were acquired in the ’60s!
Too bad the cast iron skillet is very small, only about 20 cm in diameter. I plan to get a bigger one if I see it in the market. It is a raw iron skillet, and so I had the pleasure of learning how to “season” one.
The first cast iron pot I got was already seasoned before purchase. Seasoning in this case had nothing to do with spices. It is the process of coating/impregnating the pot or pan with oil to prevent rusting. This simulates the grime that accumulates in a pot through the years that turns your cast iron into a non-stick pan, with proper care.
Pre-heat your oven to 150°C. With a dollop (about a teaspoon) of oil, coat or rub the entire pot or pan from top to bottom, every crevice should be oiled. Place it in the oven for one hour. Take it out, let it cool to room temperature, and if there is excess oil, wipe it off.
I used olive oil, since I have one that has a very low acid content. Yes, oils have acids, since fat is actually a collection of amino acids. The instructions said that I should use a sponge or a towel, but I found it too wasteful and rubbed the oil with my fingers instead.
Once your pot or pan is seasoned, it should never be washed or scrubbed with dishwashing liquid, since this will remove the protective layer of oil on the surface. It sounds yucky, but my Teflon pans are also cleaned similarly. The only difference is that the pan comes into contact with the soft side of a dishwashing sponge full of dishwashing liquid twice a month.
I’ve been practicing cleaning my pot by boiling water in it and scrubbing the grime out with a stiff brush afterwards. It still feels weird not letting soap touch it, but I think that over time, I’ll get used to it.