The old saying, “Everything old is New again”…never was more appropriate than in the case of a Cast Iron Skillet.
Your grandmother probably had one and hopefully she passed it on to your Mom. However, if you were never the lucky recipient of such a favored family heirloom, now is the time to get on board.
Chefs everywhere are touting its abilities for ALL types of cooking. More types than you may have been aware. This nonstick, oven proof, almost indestructible pan should be a favorite in your kitchen. There is simply no other pan that retains the heat so well.
PERFORMANCE; cast iron doesn’t conduct heat too well, therefore it is slow to heat up and cool down, but when it’s hot…it’s hot!!! This is a pan that is a top choice for multiple uses:
- SEARING – creating steaks and chops with a thick browned crust and juicy interior
- BRAISING – gently simmer lamb shanks at a constant low temperature to develop the most tender result
- FRYING – this is how “grandma” did her fabulous fried chicken
- BAKING – this is the one that probably surprises you, but the ultimate best cornbread comes from cast iron.
SEASONING – Creates a nonstick surface that builds up with use. Most modern pans come pre-seasoned from the factory, however, even pre-seasoned pans improve with use.
CARE -It is all about keeping the seasoning intact. There are 3 basic steps:
- Washing – don’t use detergents, merely wash out with hot water & sponge or nylon bristle brush – never a scouring pad or never, never the dishwasher. If food sticks a soak in hot water will do the trick.
- Drying – complete drying is essential to keep from rusting. Wipe thoroughly with paper or cloth towel, or put on low burner or in warm oven.
- Coating with Oil – While pan is still warm and before storing, wipe with a light coating of oil
For a great visual on Caring for your Skillet – check out this quick & clever video from Lodge.
For more Cooking School Tips be sure to see our Blogs on Brining and Pan-Roasting
Watch for our Contest to win one for your kitchen!