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Tips For Cooking With Cast Iron

Chicken and Vegetables Grilled in Cast Iron SkilletA cast-iron skillet can be one of the most versatile tools in your Fort Worth kitchen. If this is your first time using a cast iron pan, you might have a lot of questions 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, once you follow these few easy steps, you will be reaching for this pan every time you have to prepare 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. However, 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 using your cast iron pan, most manufacturers suggest that you “season” it first. It only takes some oil and your oven to create a hard, nonstick surface on your cast iron pan to make it work 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. The best thing about cast iron cooking is that this seasoning process occurs naturally every time you make chicken or steak in it. From the fat of the meat, a new coating is added to the pan’s surface. This will make your pan work even better.

Once 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. Finally, avoid cooking 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 dish you can make 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.

It is important to remember a few more tips so that your first attempt at cast iron cooking becomes successful. First, pre-heat the pan beforehand. Beginners often forget to heat the pan before putting any food in it, resulting in, at best, longer cooking times, and at worst, burnt or inedible food. If you ever you do end up burning something in a cast iron pan, do not try soaking the pan in water to remove it. Try using a salt scrub to clean your cast iron pan. Other cooks use salt and half of potato to scrub their cast iron pans. Then just wipe it with a little dish soap and water. Using soap or soaking the pan in water could damage the pan’s coating.

It’s as simple as that! With these simple tips, you’ll soon be a cast-iron pro. Would you like to learn more about how to care for and maintain other items in your house properly? Call us at 682-831-1300 or contact us online today!

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