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Tips For Cooking With Cast Iron

Chicken and Vegetables Grilled in Cast Iron SkilletA cast-iron skillet can certainly be one of the most versatile tools in your Smith Mountain Lake kitchen. But at the same time, if you aren’t experienced using a cast iron pan or are only about to start, you may have questions about how to cook with and care for your pan. While it is a matter of fact that there are different things you should understand before you cook with cast iron your first time, if you just follow and obey these few simple guidelines, you will right away find yourself reaching for this pan each time you are ready to whip up your next culinary masterpiece.

The first thing to know about cast iron is that there is a broad set of skillet types and sizes. It’s vital to choose the right size cast iron pan for the dish you want to make. Most professional chefs recommend a 10-inch skillet for everyday use. But remember, most cast iron pans can weigh up to 25 pounds! If you are not cooking large quantities most of the time, then the 10-inch pan should be a great option.

Before you use your cast iron pan for the first time, most manufacturers recommend that you “season” it first. Cast iron performs better when it has a hard, nonstick surface, which you can create using some oil and your oven. In order to season a cast iron pan, all you have to actually do is rub a light coat of vegetable oil over both the inside and outside of your pan. And then, place the pan upside-down in a 500-degree oven for just about an hour. The good 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, which will really help your pan perform even better.

Right after preparing your cast iron, you can start cooking. Though as you plan each dish, be aware that there are some foods you shouldn’t make in a cast iron pan. Scrambled eggs don’t work well in a cast iron pan because they tend to bond with the iron, creating a clean-up nightmare. Tomato sauce is one other item to keep far away considering that the acidity in the tomatoes will result in a metallic flavor in your food. Lastly, don’t try to cook salmon or other oily fish in a cast iron pan. The oils will bond with the pan’s surface and make everything you cook in the pan after that taste fishy. One widely-accepted dish to produce in a cast iron pan is cinnamon rolls. However, if you tried to make the rolls in a pan after cooking fish in it, the rolls will taste like salmon. Most people don’t want salmon-flavored bread.

To make sure that your first attempt at cast iron cooking goes well, it’s relevant to remember a few more tips. Firstly, ensure to pre-heat the pan before you start cooking. One big mistake that beginners make is to forget to heat the pan before putting the food in it, again and again, generating, at best, longer cooking times, and at worst, burnt or inedible food. In the event that you do burn something in a cast iron pan, do not try to soak the pan in water to remove it. But instead, try administering a salt scrub to clean your cast iron pan. Plenty of cooks even use salt and half a potato to scrub the inside of their cast iron pan clean. Then they will wipe it with a little dish soap and water. Putting so much soap or soaking the pan in water will damage the pan’s coating, so don’t do these cleaning methods.

There, as simple as that! Because of simply applying these suggestions, you will promptly become a cast iron cooking pro. Would you like to learn more about how to care for and maintain other items in your house properly? Call us at 434-215-3028 or contact us online today!

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