So as promised, I thought I would touch on the benefits and care of cast iron. I will admit that I am fairly new to the world of cast iron, but I love it and I’m not going back!
First of all cast iron pots and pans literally last forever! You’ll frequently find them in antique marts or buy a new one at just about any local super market. I bought mine at Target!
When choosing a cast iron piece think about the most used piece of cookware you have currently and replace it with a cast iron piece. I know it seems like you’re jumping in head first but do it! Once you discover the joys of these pieces you’ll be looking for excuses to use it all the time.
The one I bought is enameled on the outside, as far as I know this is purely aesthetic, I just thought it looked a little nicer for my kitchen. They are super affordable a large stove top cast iron skillet runs from $24.99-$35.99 depending on manufacturer and where you’re buying from.
Many new pieces come pre-seasoned. Seasoning a pan is an intimidating process for some people. But it’s actually pretty simple. If your pan is pre-seasoned there is no need to go through the process again. Seasoning consists of applying oil to the pan and heating it creating a barrier around the surfaces of the pan that will be both non-stick, and protective to the pan itself.
A well seasoned pan is a cinch to clean! Food will practically fall out of the pan and then wipe down with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly, and apply a light coating of oil to the cooking surface before putting it away. If you have a little stubborn spot that food is sticking simply apply a bit of baking soda and scrub it off, this works like a charm!
Drying your pan thoroughly is very important as cast iron pans can rust if not cared for properly. If rust develops in your pan it can be removed with a lot of elbow grease, and some steel wool but this is not a fun process, and the pan will need to be seasoned again once restored.
When cooking with cast iron always preheat the pan. Cast iron does not heat up very evenly but once hot it works like a charm. Start your pan on med-high heat for a few minutes before adding anything to the pan. To check readiness try the pop and sizzle test. Take some water and add a bit to the pan if it pops and then sizzles away the pan is ready. If it doesn’t it’s too cool, and if the water steams off immediately the pan is too hot! If the pan is too hot and you add oil you’ll have a smoky stinky mess! Just remember pop and sizzle!
Another thing to consider when cooking in your cast iron pans is that the whole pan will get hot, including the handles! So have oven mitts or hot pads ready for when you want to remove it from the heat or place it in the oven.
The ability for these pans to be used on the cook top or in the oven is another great feature! Imagine making chicken, pizza, cornbread, or casseroles all on the same one pan! It’s brilliant!
There is so much to share I may have to post more later. I’ll go into more detail on seasoning these pans too. Bottom line though try it! You will really love these pans!