Caring for Stone and Cast Iron Cookware
Natural stone and cast iron cookware are a favorite among many for their unique benefits and versatile uses. From pizza and bread on stoneware to steaks and meats, these pieces bring out the best in your food. But, proper care is key!
Care: Both stoneware and cast iron require "seasoning" before use. To season your cookware add a light layer of 100% natural oil, such as Olive Oil or Peanut Oil evenly across the piece (an oiled paper towel or basting brush works well). Once oiled, the piece is then heated in the oven to 450 degrees for a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes. This process should be repeated several times for new cookware. Caution: Be sure to only use natural oil. Processed oils or blended oils can leave a plastic-like coating which will inhibit the non-stick nature of a well-seasoned piece.
Cleaning: Cleaning your stoneware and cast iron is very simple, yet, counter-intuitive. NO SOAP - NO DISHWASHER - NO SCRUBBING.
Stoneware is cleaned by running extremely hot water over the surface and hand drying. If there is food baked on that is difficult to remove, simply run hot water and let it set for 5 minutes, scrape with a plastic scraper, and do a final hot water rinse. Until it's well seasoned, another light layer of olive oil should be applied before the next use.
Cast Iron cleaning is similar to stoneware, except a very small amount of naturally derived dish soap can be used, if needed. Use very hot water on your cast iron, but do not let your cast iron unit soak in water because that will cause rusting. If there is excessive debris, use salt and a sponge to scrub clean, followed by a hot water rinse and re-seasoning. The cast iron should be re-seasoned after each use.
If cared for properly, stoneware and cast-iron cookware are generational pieces. They develop their own appearance over time and add a very special flavor and texture to food.