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Cast Iron Skillets

Posted by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM
  • 15 Replies

I have only ever cooked in non stick pans. Recently my DH bought a very nice cast iron skillet to pan sear steaks in. I have to admit, those steaks were the best he had ever made. I was duly impressed.

Does anyone else cook with cast iron? If so, what other types of foods or dishes can you make in the iron skillet? I had always thought that food would stick in one.

by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM
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Replies (1-10):
crazymomof4787
by on May. 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I only use cast iron while camping.  I have a glass top stove at home.  You can't use cast iron on that.   I make my corn bread in the oven in my cast iron skillet.  

bamababe1975
by on May. 7, 2012 at 7:39 PM

 I love to cook in an iron skillet, but the only thing I can do is something that goes in the oven because I have a glass stove top and you can't cook with iron on those. My favorite thing to make in the skillet, though, is cornbread. MMMMMM, so good! I've also had a super delicious coffee cake made in one - best ever!

amonkeymom
by Member on May. 7, 2012 at 8:17 PM

I have never cooked with cast-iron, but I'd like to.

Mommee42boyz
by on May. 7, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Same here.


Quoting amonkeymom:

I have never cooked with cast-iron, but I'd like to.


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AmosFarkle
by on May. 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM

OMgosh, SEASON THAT BUGGER!  That's your first step to having something that can be passed down through generations. 

Gotta go read other responses....

AmosFarkle
by on May. 8, 2012 at 10:28 AM

OK....have read.

Here's what you do, and once its done properly you will have a treasured heirloom.

Cleaning and Seasoning a Cast-Iron Skillet

With a little TLC, this versatile pan should last a lifetime.

Cast iron panWendell T. Webber

Seasoning

Traditional cast-iron skillets don't emerge from the box with a nonstick surface. That comes with seasoning, or coating the skillet with cooking oil and baking it in a 350° F oven for an hour. It won't take on that shiny black patina just yet, but once you dry it with paper towels, it will be ready to use. You'll reinforce the nonstick coating every time you heat oil in the skillet, and you can hasten the process by seasoning as often as you like.


Cleaning

A cast-iron skillet isn't ideal for a set-aside-to-soak sort of person. For best results, rinse the pan with hot water immediately after cooking.  (NOTE FROM AMOS:  I DON'T.  I WIPE IT OUT WITH PAPER TOWELS UNLESS I'VE MADE SOMETHING STICKY LIKE PINEAPPLE-UPSIDE-DOWN-CAKE)

If you need to remove burned-on food, scrub with a mild abrasive, like coarse salt, and a nonmetal brush to preserve the nonstick surface; you can also use a few drops of a mild dishwashing soap every once in a while. If the pan gets a sticky coating or develops rust over time, scrub it with steel wool and reseason it. To prevent rust, dry the skillet thoroughly and lightly coat the cooking surface with cooking oil. Cover with a paper towel to protect it from dust.


Tips

  • Although everything from Dutch ovens to cactus-shaped cornbread pans comes in cast iron, nothing is more versatile than a basic skillet. Either a 10- or 12-inch will do.
  • There's only one thing you shouldn't attempt in cast-iron cookware: boiling water, which will cause the pan to rust.
  • Cast iron takes longer to warm than other surfaces but retains heat remarkably well and diffuses it evenly.
  • Cast iron remains hot long after you remove it from the stove. As a reminder to be careful, drape a thick towel or a mitt over the handle.
  • To avoid getting smudges on all your kitchen towels, designate one to use exclusively for drying your cast-iron skillet.
  • Cooking in cast iron increases the iron content in food. The longer the food is in contact with the skillet, the more it absorbs.


I'll just have to say right now that this is a great investment.  It will gradually take on a black appearance and will be almost non-stick.  The little girl takes some TLC, but it's worth it.

Here's another benefit:  Some of the iron leaches into your food, giving you that nice dose you might regularly take in your multi-vitamin.  You might see your...um,....how do I put this delicately....feces/poo take on a little bit of a darker hue.  That's IRON, which is good for building strong red blood cells.

It's not enough to OD on it, ok?  Just a healthy little boost.

Oh, you're gonna LOVE your new iron skillet!  Your ancestors did!  They last forever and are healthy!  You just have to know how to take care of it.  And now you do!

HAPPY COOKING!!!!!

AmosFarkle
by on May. 8, 2012 at 10:35 AM

That part:

Cast iron remains hot long after you remove it from the stove. As a reminder to be careful, drape a thick towel or a mitt over the handle.

DO IT!!!!   I actually bought a little handle cover made of the silicone that's heat resistant to put over that handle.  You need a MAJOR potholder to pull it from the oven, and then make sure...I mean SURE...you put something over that handle or someone (including you) will come along and try to grab it.  That's a NO-NO!!!!  Or you can put a potholder over it.  Just make sure everyone knows that sucker is HOT.

LowryCuisine
by on May. 8, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I have some but never really get to use them. My mom made pretty much everything in her skillet, I have baked cornbread in mine last time I used it.

Reina13
by Member on May. 8, 2012 at 11:31 AM

I asked my DH about this, he seasons it everytime he uses it. Something I did not know. Good info. thanks

Quoting AmosFarkle:

OK....have read.

Here's what you do, and once its done properly you will have a treasured heirloom.

Cleaning and Seasoning a Cast-Iron Skillet

With a little TLC, this versatile pan should last a lifetime.

Cast iron panWendell T. Webber

Seasoning

Traditional cast-iron skillets don't emerge from the box with a nonstick surface. That comes with seasoning, or coating the skillet with cooking oil and baking it in a 350° F oven for an hour. It won't take on that shiny black patina just yet, but once you dry it with paper towels, it will be ready to use. You'll reinforce the nonstick coating every time you heat oil in the skillet, and you can hasten the process by seasoning as often as you like.


Cleaning

A cast-iron skillet isn't ideal for a set-aside-to-soak sort of person. For best results, rinse the pan with hot water immediately after cooking.  (NOTE FROM AMOS:  I DON'T.  I WIPE IT OUT WITH PAPER TOWELS UNLESS I'VE MADE SOMETHING STICKY LIKE PINEAPPLE-UPSIDE-DOWN-CAKE)

If you need to remove burned-on food, scrub with a mild abrasive, like coarse salt, and a nonmetal brush to preserve the nonstick surface; you can also use a few drops of a mild dishwashing soap every once in a while. If the pan gets a sticky coating or develops rust over time, scrub it with steel wool and reseason it. To prevent rust, dry the skillet thoroughly and lightly coat the cooking surface with cooking oil. Cover with a paper towel to protect it from dust.


Tips

  • Although everything from Dutch ovens to cactus-shaped cornbread pans comes in cast iron, nothing is more versatile than a basic skillet. Either a 10- or 12-inch will do.
  • There's only one thing you shouldn't attempt in cast-iron cookware: boiling water, which will cause the pan to rust.
  • Cast iron takes longer to warm than other surfaces but retains heat remarkably well and diffuses it evenly.
  • Cast iron remains hot long after you remove it from the stove. As a reminder to be careful, drape a thick towel or a mitt over the handle.
  • To avoid getting smudges on all your kitchen towels, designate one to use exclusively for drying your cast-iron skillet.
  • Cooking in cast iron increases the iron content in food. The longer the food is in contact with the skillet, the more it absorbs.


I'll just have to say right now that this is a great investment.  It will gradually take on a black appearance and will be almost non-stick.  The little girl takes some TLC, but it's worth it.

Here's another benefit:  Some of the iron leaches into your food, giving you that nice dose you might regularly take in your multi-vitamin.  You might see your...um,....how do I put this delicately....feces/poo take on a little bit of a darker hue.  That's IRON, which is good for building strong red blood cells.

It's not enough to OD on it, ok?  Just a healthy little boost.

Oh, you're gonna LOVE your new iron skillet!  Your ancestors did!  They last forever and are healthy!  You just have to know how to take care of it.  And now you do!

HAPPY COOKING!!!!!


Stevied13
by Steph on May. 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM
I cook breakfast sausage, eggs. Mine is so small I can't cook much.
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