Cast Iron Cookware
Most of the major manufacturers of cast-iron cookware began production in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Cast-iron cookware and stoves were especially popular among homemakers and housekeepers during the first half of the 20th century. Most American households had at least one cast-iron stove and cooking pan, and such brands as Griswold and Wagner Ware were especially popular; though several other manufacturers also produced kitchen utensils and cooking pots and pans at that time. Cast-iron pots and pans from the early 20th century continue to see daily use among many households in the present day. They are also highly sought after by antique collectors and dealers. Among the rarest products were those produced in 1920. Exporting and trade flourished creating a shortage for U.S. consumers.
How to season cast iron
1. Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water.
2. Dry thoroughly.
3. Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
4. Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
5. Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.
How to clean Cast Iron
1. Clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still hot or warm. Avoid soaking the pan or leaving it in the sink, or it may rust.
2. Wash the skillet by hand using hot water and a sponge or stiff brush. Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan’s seasoning.
3. To remove stuck-on food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water. Stubborn food residue may also be loosened by boiling water in the pan.
4. Thoroughly towel dry the skillet or dry it on the stove over low heat.
5. Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a light coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to the inside of the skillet. Some people also like to oil the outside of the skillet. Buff to remove any excess.
6. Store the skillet in a dry place.