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Tips For Cooking With Cast Iron

Chicken and Vegetables Grilled in Cast Iron SkilletOne of the most versatile tools in your Williston kitchen can be a cast-iron skillet. If you have never used a cast iron pan before, you may not know exactly 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. You should pick the right size cast iron pan for the dish you are going to make. Most professional chefs recommend a 10-inch skillet for everyday use. You must remember that some cast iron pans can weigh up to 25 pounds! If you do not intend to cook large quantities regularly, a 10-inch pan would be enough.

Before you even use your cast iron pan, “season” if first as per manufacturers recommendation. With some oil and your oven, you can easily create a hard, nonstick surface on your cast iron pan so it performs better. 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. Making your pan even better, the fat from the meat adds a new coating to the pan’s surface.

After 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 cook scrambled eggs in a cast iron pan because they tend to bond with the iron and create a cleaning nightmare. Keep tomato sauces away from your pan as well. The resulting metallic flavor in your dish will be due to the acidity in the tomatoes. 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 popular dish to prepare in a cast iron pan is cinnamon rolls. However, if you try to make it in the pan after cooking fish in it, you would have salmon-flavored rolls. I doubt any of you would enjoy salmon-flavored bread.

Make sure to remember these tips to ensure that your first attempt at cast iron cooking is successful. 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. In case you do burn something in a cast iron pan, you should not soak the pan in water to remove it. A salt scrub is the best way to clean your cast iron pan instead. Some cooks use a salt scrub and half a potato to clean their cast iron pan. Then simply wipe it with a little dish soap and water. Regularly using soap or soaking the pan in water will damage the pan’s coating so you should avoid these cleaning methods.

It’s as easy as that! 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 802-861-6468 or contact us online today!

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