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Tips For Cooking With Cast Iron

Chicken and Vegetables Grilled in Cast Iron SkilletA cast-iron skillet may be one of the most useful tools in your Homewood kitchen. If this is your first time handling a cast iron pan, you might want to know more about 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, following these few simple tips will help you be comfortable enough to reach for this pan each time you want to whip up a culinary masterpiece.

The first thing to know about cast iron is that there is a wide range of skillet types and sizes. Choose the right size cast iron pan for the dish you will be making. Most professional chefs recommend a 10-inch skillet for everyday use. However, you should know that some cast iron pans can weigh up to 25 pounds! If you are not going to be cooking large quantities on a regular basis, the 10-inch pan would suffice.

Most manufacturers recommend that you “season” your cast iron pan before using it for the first time. 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. What’s good about using cast iron is that this seasoning process occurs naturally every time you cook 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.

You can start cooking once your cast iron has been prepared. There are some foods you shouldn’t make in a cast iron pan. You should keep that in mind as you plan each dish.  Do not cook scrambled eggs in a cast iron pan. They tend to bond with the iron, making clean-up a nightmare. Tomato sauce should also not be cooked in this pan since the acidity in the tomatoes will lend a metallic flavor to your dish. Also, avoid using a cast iron pan to cook salmon or any 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 popular dish to prepare in a cast iron pan is cinnamon rolls. But if you make the rolls in a pan after cooking fish, the rolls will taste like salmon. Most people do not enjoy salmon-flavored bread.

Make sure to remember these tips to ensure that your first attempt at cast iron cooking is successful. First, pre-heat your pan before you cook anything. Some beginners make the mistake of forgetting to heat the pan before putting food in it. This can often result in longer cooking times and burnt or inedible food. If you burn something in a cast iron pan, you must not soak the pan in water to remove it. Instead, try to use a salt scrub to clean your cast iron pan. Most cooks scrub their cast iron pan with salt and half a potato to clean it. After that, wipe it with a little dish soap and water. Do not use too much soap or soak the pan in water because this damages the pan’s coating.

That’s how simple it is! With these easy tips, you’ll soon be a cast ironmaster. Would you like to learn more about how to care for and maintain other items in your house properly? Call us at 205-793-0700 or contact us online today!

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