The coating in the types of non-stick pans we all use is made from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – say that five times fast! This acid can be harmful to human health and the environment over time. There are some better alternatives out there to the chemical-ridden non-stick cookware we all use.
Why not go back to basics with good ol’ cast iron pans? Cast iron is naturally non-stick, retains heat, is durable and like a fine wine, only gets better with age. It’s also what our grandmothers and great grandmothers used for proper, delicious home-cooking!
If you decide you want to make the switch to cast iron pans, or you’ve got some already holed up in your cupboards gathering dust, you must first ‘season’ them. Essentially this seals the cast iron and creates a non-stick base (not to mention adds great flavour to anything you’ll be cooking.) Here’s how to season:
- Use a rich fat like animal grease (bacon grease, beef tallow or rendered chicken fat) and if you’re vegetarian use coconut oil
- Coat the bottom and sides of the pan with a thick layer of the grease
- Bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 2 hours
- Take out of the oven and drain any leftover fat
- Let sit to cool
In the beginning, you’ll want to repeat this process after the first few times you cook to get the season good n’ proper.
Cleaning your new non-stick cast iron pans is easy. Simply rinse and scrub gently or just wipe down with a damp towel. Do not use soap as it will break down the ‘season’ you’ve worked so hard to get.
What to cook first in your new cast iron pan? I’d go for some seriously delicious fluffy, golden pancakes…maybe with a cheeky side of bacon.
Tags: Cooking Tips