In the kitchen, the cast iron casserole dish is a real centerpiece for lovers of simmered dishes and slow cooking. Its strength and ability to retain heat make it a favorite tool for preparing tasty and comforting dishes. But a common problem jeopardizes the success of a dish: food sometimes tends to stick to the bottom of the cast iron casserole dish! But rest assured, there are simple tips to prevent your ingredients from sticking and burning at the bottom of your casserole dish.
Most new casserole dishes like those from the Staub or Le Creuset brand are already seasoned and ready to use. For old or vintage casserole dishes, it may be necessary to season them so that they become truly non-stick again. Seasoning consists of greasing the material by heating the cast iron which expands and becomes impregnated under the effect of the heat. This process has been used for several centuries by our grandmothers. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by washing the casserole dish in hot, soapy water to remove any traces of machining. Dry it carefully with a clean cloth.
- Apply a thin layer of peanut oil to all internal surfaces of the casserole dish, including the bottom and sides.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and place the casserole dish upside down on the central rack. – Let it cook for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the casserole to cool completely inside.
Seasoning should be carried out approximately every 4 months. To avoid removing this protective layer, it is recommended to wash it without using too much soap and not to put your casserole dish in the dishwasher.
A common mistake when using the cast iron Dutch oven is heating it too quickly over high heat. Casserole cooking requires patience. To prevent food from sticking, preheat the casserole dish over low heat. Once it is hot, add your ingredients.
To avoid scratching the surface of your cast iron casserole, opt for wooden or silicone utensils. Avoid metal spoons and spatulas which could damage the non-stick layer you have patiently developed.