One tool in your Palmetto Bay kitchen that has a lot of potentials can be the cast-iron skillet. If you are just starting to work with cast iron pans, you might not know how to cook with and care for your pan. While there are a few things you definitely should know before you cook with cast iron for the first time, once you follow these few easy steps, you will be reaching for this pan every time you have to prepare a culinary masterpiece.
The first thing to know about cast iron is that there is a wide range of skillet types and sizes. You should use the right size cast iron pan for the dish you want to make. Most professional chefs recommend a 10-inch skillet for everyday use. Some cast-iron pans, though, can weigh up to 25 pounds! If you won’t always be preparing large quantities of food, the 10-inch pan would serve its purpose.
Before you use your cast iron pan, make sure you “season” it first as manufacturers recommend. Cast iron works best when it has a hard, nonstick surface. You can create this with some oil and your oven. To season a cast iron pan, all you need to do is rub a light coat of vegetable oil over both the inside and outside of your pan. Then, place the pan upside-down in a 500-degree oven for about an hour. The best thing about cast iron cooking is that this seasoning process occurs naturally every time you make chicken or steak in it. The fat from the meat adds a new coating to the pan’s surface. This makes your pan perform even better.
Once you have prepared your cast iron, you can start cooking. As you plan each dish, keep in mind that there are some foods you shouldn’t make in a cast iron pan. Do not use your cast iron pan for scrambled eggs. They bond with the iron, making it hard to clean up. The natural acidity of tomatoes reacting with the pan will give your food a metallic flavor. This also happens with tomato sauce. Avoid using the cast iron pan for cooking salmon or other oily fish. The oils will bond with the pan’s surface and make everything you cook in the pan after that taste fishy. A dish people usually make in a cast iron pan is cinnamon rolls. But if you made the rolls in the pan after cooking fish in it, the rolls will taste like salmon. Most people do not enjoy salmon-flavored bread.
Always remember these tips to make your first attempt at cast iron cooking a success. First of all, make sure you pre-heat the pan before you even start cooking. Beginners often make the mistake of not heating the pan before putting the food in it. This results in longer cooking times and burnt or inedible food. If ever you end up burning something in a cast iron pan, do not soak the pan in water to remove it. Instead, try to use a salt scrub to clean your cast iron pan. Some use salt and half a potato to scrub their cast iron pan clean. Afterward, wipe it with a little dish soap and water. Don’t use too much soap or soak the pan in water as this damages the pan’s coating.
It’s really that simple! With these simple tips, you’ll soon be a cast-iron pro. Would you like to learn more about how to care for and maintain other items in your house properly? Call us at 305-501-1511 or contact us online today!
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