One of the most versatile tools in your Tulsa 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, as long as you follow these tips, you will see that you will be able to work comfortably with this pan in whipping up your future culinary masterpieces.
The first thing to know about cast iron is that there is a wide range of skillet types and sizes. You should 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. You must remember that some cast iron pans can weigh up to 25 pounds! If you won’t always be preparing large quantities of food, the 10-inch pan would serve its purpose.
Before you even use your cast iron pan, “season” if first as per manufacturers recommendation. 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 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.
When you are done preparing your cast iron, you can start cooking. 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. The pan’s material makes it unsuitable for cooking tomato sauce in. The acidity in the tomatoes would give your food a metallic flavor. Lastly, do not use a cast iron pan for cooking salmon or other oily fish. 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 most popular dishes people love to make in a cast iron pan. But if you make the rolls in the pan after cooking fish in it, the rolls are going to taste like salmon. Most people wouldn’t enjoy bread with a fish flavor.
Always remember these tips to make your first attempt at cast iron cooking a success. First, you must preheat the pan before cooking. Beginners often make the mistake of not heating the pan before putting the food in it. This results 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. Alternatively, you can use a salt scrub to clean your cast iron pan. Some use salt and half a potato to scrub their cast iron pan clean. Then 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 can be a cast-iron professional. Would you like to learn more about how to care for and maintain other items in your house properly? Call us at 918-532-7020 or contact us online today!
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