One of the most versatile tools in your Liberty Lake 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. It is important that you use the right size cast iron pan for the dish you want to make. Most professional chefs recommend a 10-inch skillet for everyday use. Some cast-iron pans, however, can weigh up to 25 pounds! If you do not intend to cook large quantities regularly, a 10-inch pan would be enough.
Most manufacturers recommend that you “season” your cast iron pan before using it for the first time. 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. The good thing about working with cast iron is that this seasoning process occurs naturally each time you make chicken or steak in it. Your pan will be made even better with every use. The meat’s fat adds a new coating to the pan’s surface.
You can start cooking once your cast iron has been prepared. But when you are planning each dish, keep in mind that there are some foods you shouldn’t make in a cast iron pan. Scrambled eggs and cast iron pans don’t go well together as they tend to bond with the iron, making it really hard to clean up. 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. One dish you can make in a cast iron pan is cinnamon rolls. But if you make the rolls in a pan after cooking fish in it, the rolls will taste like salmon. Most people wouldn’t enjoy bread with a fish flavor.
To ensure that your first attempt at cooking with cast iron is a success, here are more important tips to remember. First, pre-heat the pan beforehand. Most beginners often forget to preheat the pan before putting the food in it, resulting 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 salt and half a potato to scrub their cast iron pan clean. After that, they 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 509-462-1042 or contact us online today!
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