Friday, September 25, 2009

Cast Iron Skillets

People the world over use cast iron skillets. Bacon tastes better cooked in them, pineapple upside down cakes call for 'em and they're good to have around when bad guys break into your house. Well a few years ago they did not come pre-seasoned and I really had no idea how to season one I got as a wedding present. So I used the directions which had something about coating it with vegetable oil and put it in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or an hour or whatever. That method my friends does not work. So I scoured the inter-webs for a solution and here's what I came up with.

You have to have a fair amount of fat which will stick to every part of the pan and you need a lot of heat. So I lubed up the pan with shortening (you gotta have it for biscuits anyway) and set my gas grill to high and left it alone for about 10 minutes or so. INSTANT CAST IRON BLACKNESS! It looked like it had been owned by my Maw Maw! I was stoked and now I hardly use anything else on the stove. I have a skillet, a grill pan, a griddle and a cast iron, enameled dutch oven, all made by Lodge Cookware. It now all comes pre-seasoned, but sometimes you have to re-season it.  

Never wash it with soap and water! You may wash it out with water alone, but make sure you let it dry thoroughly, or put it on low for a little while to evaporate all the water. If I have some schmutz on it I usually get it warm or mostly hot then put a small amount of cold water in it to loosen up the gunk, then it wipes pretty clean with a paper towel. I've also used kosher salt to soak up some the grease then use a paper towel to do a mild scouring with the salt.

Put your cast iron tips in the comments!

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4 comments:

Susan said...

I like using bacon grease to season my skillet!

The Aluminum Bride said...

The Midwesterner in me thinks not washing a pan sounds disgusting. Just so you know. ;-)

Aristocob said...

Right on the mark Drew. We have two Lodge pans and one off-brand Dutch oven and they get almost daily use. Have your tried Johnny Cake? We start by cooking some diced bacon (everything is better with bacon) then after removing the grease add Jiffy Cornbread mix to the pan. Move the pan to a 350deg preheated oven and cook until ten minutes shy of the time on the box. Top with shredded cheddar cheese (everything's better with cheese too, even bacon!) then return to the oven for the final 10. A few variations include adding canned corn to the mix and/or adding salsa to the mix AND to with the cheese topping. YUM!
Scott

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