Q: How does one "season" cookware to reduce sticking in the pans? I have a set of the Scanpan 2000 cookware that's a few years old and EVERYTHING sticks unless bathed in oil or other fluids. I know the surface is not a non-stick type but can anything be done to improve the performance?
A: I'm sure someone will provide a more accurate post. Usually books on Chinese cooking will talk about seasoning a wok. As I recall, it requires scrubbing the pan to remove leftover residue with water and soap (or some detergent), then make sure that it is dry. Then, add some kind of oil (say, peanut oil) and lightly coat the inside. Heat this over moderately high heat. Repeat several times. The oil should get somewhat dark and produce a "nonstick" surface, which probably won't be anywhere as non-stick as Teflon. When cleaning, make sure to only use hot water and maybe a brush, to gently scrub food particles off. Soap is supposed to be avoided because it undoes the seasoning. I have *seasoned* several cast iron pieces, and nothing sticks in them now. You get them all shiny and silver and you need to get them nice and black -- that keeps the non-stick tendencies there. The previous post on how to season is correct -- only keep your cookware *absolutely* dry between uses and reseason occasionally. If something starts to stick, it needs to be reseasoned. There's no reason not to do this it only makes it better. BTW, if you find cast iron cookware at a garage sale or flea market or something, and it's totally *rusted* -- not to worry. Snatch it up! Simply remove the rust with sandpaper and reseason as if the piece is new! I have been told and have no reason not to believe it, that rust is caused when iron gets wet. All this means is some husband was trying to do his wife a favor and washed the piece and left it to dry in the drainer. *Rust*! Wife thinks ruined forever and sells (laughing evilly for unloading useless stuff) ) for *cheap*! Informed buyers snatch it up (laughing evilly for buying good stuff) for *cheap*.
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