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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 Baltimore City kitchen. If you are just beginning to work with cast iron pans, you may have some 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, following these simple tips will give you the confidence to reach for this pan each time you are ready to prepare your next culinary masterpiece.

The first thing to know about cast iron is that there is a wide range of skillet types and sizes. Make sure you pick the right size cast iron pan for the dish you are planning 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 are not going to be cooking large quantities on a regular basis, the 10-inch pan would suffice.

Before using your cast iron pan, most manufacturers suggest that you “season” it first. Cast iron works better with a hard, nonstick surface on it, one that can be created with the use of some oil and your oven. 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 cast iron cooking is that this seasoning process happens naturally each 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.

When you have prepared your cast iron, you can begin cooking. There are some foods you shouldn’t make in a cast iron pan. You should keep that in mind as you plan each dish.  Do not cook scrambled eggs in a cast iron pan. They tend to bond with the iron, making clean-up a 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. Cinnamon rolls are one of the dishes people enjoy making in a cast iron pan. But if you make the rolls in a pan after cooking fish, the rolls will taste like salmon. People aren’t usually fans of salmon-flavored bread.

Make sure to remember these tips to ensure that your first attempt at cast iron cooking is successful. First, you must preheat the pan before cooking. Some beginners usually forget to heat the pan before putting food in it. This results in longer cooking times and burnt or inedible food. If you burn something in a cast iron pan, you must not soak the pan in water to remove it. Try using a salt scrub to clean your cast iron pan. Some cooks use a salt scrub and half a potato to clean their cast iron pan. After that, 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 that easy! With these simple steps, you’ll soon become a cast-iron expert. Would you like to learn more about how to care for and maintain other items in your house properly? Call us at 305-501-1511 or contact us online today!

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