Ask any seasoned culinary crusader and they will tell you a cast iron skillet is without a doubt one of the best tools you can have in your kitchen. They are extremely versatile and can be used on top of the stove as well as in the oven. You can fry, roast, bake and saute with this one skillet. And the best part? If you care for this skillet the right way, it can last for several decades. Here are 5 tips to help you care for and cook with cast iron.
Tip #1 – Look For Pre Seasoned Cast Iron
When I say pre seasoned I am referring to the chemical free, all natural coating that comes with many cast iron skillets these days. These types of skillets make it super easy for the food to release once it is done cooking. It also makes it easy for the pan to be cleaned.
Tip #2 – Always Preheat The Cast Iron In Advance
For best results you should always preheat cast iron before placing any food on it. Generally speaking it will only take medium heat to warm it up. Once you have heated up the cast iron, add a touch of oil and start cooking. The oil will prevent the food from sticking to the skillet.
Tip #3 – Its Okay To Use Metal Utensils
Cast iron is nothing like nonstick cookware. Nonstick cookware has a coating that can be easily scratched. You are therefore advised not to use metal utensils when cooking with it. Cast iron cookware on the other hand can’t easily be chipped or scratched. You can use metal, silicone coated or wooden utensils to cook. If the seasoning happens to wear off you can always re-season it.
Tip #4 – Watch Out For The Handles
The handles on cast iron cookware can be scorching. Unlike other forms of cookware, there is no unique handle to protect your hands from the heat. Always use a pot holder or sheath when handling cast iron.
Tip #5 – Avoid Using Soap When Washing Cast Iron
When washing cast iron there is no need to use soap. As a matter of fact, soap can actually strip the seasoning. Instead of using soap, use hot water to rinse it out. Make sure you rinse it well as you don’t want any residue left behind. Once you have rinsed it out take a clean dish towel and dry it off. Never let it air dry as that will cause spots to form.
While still warm, take a small amount of vegetable oil and rub it on the cookware. You can also use coarse kosher salt to help scrub off any food that is stuck to the cookware. Boiling hot water will also do the trick.
If you love cooking you should have cast iron cookware in your kitchen. Doing so will provide you with a great deal of freedom and flexibility when it comes to preparing your favorite meals. You will never get bored when you cook with cast iron as your options are unlimited.
image thanks to dmartingirl