About roasting and coating of oil-based cast iron cookware
Over the years since writing my first book, the cauldron has ceased to be a wonder. Now the Central Asian spherical boiler can be bought in many stores, in any market and, especially, on the Internet. And the cauldrons began to cast not only in Uzbekistan, but nevertheless, the offer hardly kept up with the demand. Honestly, it doesn’t matter where the cauldron is made, because cast iron casting technologies are about the same from China to Belgium.
Only the Made in Uzbekistan True Kazan has an advantage over the mongrel counterparts, in which many years before you were cooked by understanding people. But what the matter is - a good cauldron only becomes better with time, therefore, used cauldrons sell extremely rarely. The probability that you will be sold just such a cauldron tends to zero. Therefore, it is better to do everything yourself and pass on to your old age, "a real, properly processed cauldron in which for many years they have been preparing delicious food" to their children. Such a legacy in a casino does not lose, nor in restaurants not to drink.Moreover, the cauldron is transmitted not by itself, but with a grafted love of well-prepared homemade food.
And the main difference between a domesticated cauldron and a new one is that it is covered from the inside with the correct oil carbon, which works better than any coating invented in the last hundred years. The fact is that without soot, the food sticks to the porous cast iron and does not slide on its surface during the transfer, therefore everything will burn in this cauldron.
But soot comes with time, but in order to start cooking in a cauldron it is enough to process it once. Just keep in mind that this one time it will take you at least half a day and it is better to carry out all operations in the open air or under a very good hood.
If you are such a perfectionist at all, then examine the cauldron: is there any influx on its inner surface? They are treated with grinding discs and grinders.
And if you are the same slobs, like me, then do not pay attention to minor flaws, because according to the results on the plate, no one will tell you, “And you have a cauldron - you are covered in a flood!”
Now, if a cauldron has cracks or traces of attempts to brew a cauldron, then it is better not to buy such a cauldron.The fact that it cracked once - will crack and in the second.
Keep in mind that cracks may not be very noticeable, because cauldrons are already coming as if "processed", like, ready for use. Rarely you will find a rusty cauldron on sale, and meanwhile there is nothing terrible in that rust - a couple of pieces of sandpaper and soiled pants, and now the cauldron is clean of rust and is ready for further processing.
First of all, put the cauldron on a fairly strong fire and leave it alone. Soon smoke will come from it - it will burn out the remnants of engine oil that was used in the casting.
Well, the soot that covered the supposedly processed cauldron will also burn out.
Why it is necessary to burn out engine oil - I hope, of course. And why should we burn soot for which the money was paid?
The fact is that no one has bothered with your kazan and has never coddled - for a producer, it is just the same as an incubator chicken.
It was poured, then it was heated once and put in a barrel with oil. Or they smeared it once with oil and put it in an oven heated to 200C. I don’t know what kind of oil it was, but when you heat a cauldron to 300C and smoke comes from it, you will see that it didn’t differ much from the engine oil, or the first layer of engine oil that was used in the casting was not burned follows.
When the smoke from the heated bottom of the cauldron ceases to rise, warm its sides alternately.
A question may arise: if the soot from a cauldron is so easily and simply removed with the aid of ordinary heating, then the soot with which we are going to cover the cauldron will not burn during cooking?
I answer: no, it will not burn, because during cooking in a cauldron such high temperatures are not used. You have never seen a rag-tongue ignite when touched to heated iron dishes? And she will surely catch fire - keep in mind.
Look at the photo - see the dark spot above, on the wall of the cauldron? Submerged. We must once again warm up this place.
Do you see this bright, rusty, grayed spot? Overheated, but nothing terrible.
In general, it is enough to burn until the smoke stops flowing from the cauldron. And here not only the heating temperature of the metal plays a role, but also time.
The question may arise: will the iron not melt?
I answer: no, it will not melt. To verify this, open the table of temperatures at which various metals melt and find the answer to the question "why mankind needed a forge."
But if you pour water into a too-hot cauldron, it can crack. This does not mean that later, during cooking, it is impossible to pour cold water into the cauldron. You will not warm the cauldron for hours on maximum fire, and then pour water into it? And during the usual kitchen procedures nothing will happen to the cauldron, do not worry.
When the cauldron cools down, but will still be quite hot, moisten a paper napkin with oil and wipe it to remove all soot. You may need some napkins.
Wipe the cauldron dry and apply some thick oil on it with a brush. I keep old sesame oil for these purposes, linseed food is no longer suitable for food, because it has gone rancid, but it is the most for the processing of cast-iron dishes!
Now it is necessary to put the cauldron on the middle fire and heat it until the smoke comes out. Turn, make sure that the oil film lays down evenly, rub it with a brush.
Keep in mind that now the cauldron is heated up to 300C and above is not necessary, we have another goal. First, we burned the oil sludge, and now our goal is to apply it to the surface.
There is another way - a longer, but a little less smoky.
An oiled cauldron can be put in the oven. The higher the temperature in the oven, the faster the process goes, but the more smoke is produced as a result.
It would be good to cover the cauldron with oil deposits in several layers - three, four or even five. Even it is not necessary to remove the cauldron from the oven - wind a paper napkin on the brush, pour 10 grams of oil into the cauldron and rub it along its walls - let it be another cycle.
At a temperature of 180 ° C, one cycle can take five hours, and at 250 ° C - thirty minutes. The cycle can be considered complete when the next layer loses its stickiness.
It should be understood that in any case the same amount of smoke will be released - at any temperature. Just the speed of its selection will be different, so choose for yourself such a mode that your hood cope, that's all.
At the very bottom, where oil was collected during the burning, a deposit is not formed. Upstairs, at the side, the soot has a thinner layer. This could have been avoided if we turned the cauldron more often during processing. But there is nothing wrong with these defects. During cooking in the cauldron, its bottom is still covered with a layer of oil and this stain will eventually tighten.And drops of oil splashes will eventually cover the sides of the cauldron.
Boil water in a cauldron. If this water can brew tea, then you did everything right.
I foresee the question: maybe, well, him, this cast-iron cauldron, if there is so much trouble with it?
I answer: exactly the same hassle with any cast-iron dishes. All cast-iron cookware requires exactly the same preparation before its use, but then it serves for years.
I foresee another question: what is worse with aluminum cauldrons?
I answer: yes nothing! The properties of the material itself — thermal conductivity and heat capacity — are different, and the processing of an aluminum cauldron requires exactly the same.
And I anticipate the third question:
After all, there are cast-iron and aluminum dishes with coatings, where you can not pour the oil at all and it looks much tidier - maybe it’s better to buy one?
I answer: I have cauldrons from all possible materials and with all possible coatings. Read the book further - I will tell about each of them. All materials and coatings have advantages and disadvantages, each of my cauldrons is used in the kitchen - you just need to understand where and when, but I do not foresee materials that can replace cauldron made of cast iron or aluminum in the next thirty years.
Finally, I note that the strictest sanitary standards of the European Union prohibit the storage of ready-made food in aluminum containers. But storage is not cooking. And I already prohibit the storage of cooked food in a cast-iron cauldron.