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Using cast iron is easier than you think. Once you start using cast iron, you will be hooked!
Cast iron is one of those timeless pieces to add to your cookware. They are so versatile & they will last for generations. Not to mention, their simplicity.
I am currently using cast iron that I inherited from my grandparents & parents. If you read my post a while back about me inheriting my cast iron then you will probably remember reading that using cast iron is actually easier than you think.
Y’all know I am very passionate about using cast iron for cooking. We have been for quite a few years now and we never looked back. I even got our daughter-in-law hooked. Last year for Christmas, we set her up with two skillets & accessories. Our son has jumped on the wagon & has added to the collection. And now my 23-year-old nephew is on board too! Did I mention it is also great for baking too?
Cast iron is one of those kitchen tools that is a must-have in my opinion. I get a lot of questions on how to care for them. A few had said their food sticks or they can’t get the cast iron seasoned properly. Believe me when I tell you, my clan & I went through it too when we started using cast iron. You would think it would become second nature for me to know what to do, especially when my parents & grandparents cooked on cast iron daily. Let me tell you this, cast iron will last for many generations with proper care! It is pretty simple to properly care for your cast iron. I did a lot of research & even chatted with my sister who cooks on cast iron as well. She taught me how to properly season it. I promise you are not alone!
Here are a few simple instructions to get the best care for your cast iron.
You can use mild dish soap. There are some (old school) people that will disagree. But I am telling you, it is safe! After you clean your skillet with dish soap & hot water, towel dry it then place on the burner for about 5 minutes until you get the skillet hot. While the skillet is hot, add about a tsp of oil (I prefer to use Crisco shortening) & use a lint-free towel to rub that oil all over inside & out. Be sure not to add too much oil as it will not season properly. Leave on the stove to cool down. You just seasoned your skillet! Whoohoo!!!
Now there will be times you have stuck-on food on your skillet. No problem! I have let my skillet soak for a few minutes in hot water. I just use a scraper to get the excess off, then take a sponge to clean the skillet.
DO NOT SUBMERGE A HOT SKILLET IN COLD WATER. IT WILL CRACK!
It doesn’t stop there with your seasoning!
Every few months I will season my skillet again but this time, I will lather the skillet with oil, wipe the excess off & then place it in the oven face down at 500 degrees for 1 hour. I usually do this in the wintertime. It will get nice & toasty in your kitchen. Then let cool in the oven. Tip: place the baking sheet with foil in the oven to collect any drippings.
A few things I have learned is that when coming to using cast iron. You have to consider your stove. Hear me out! You can use cast iron on any stove. However, be mindful, that if you have a flat stovetop, do not slide your skillets across it as it will scratch it. On a gas stove or electric burners, no problem at all. I have a gas stove & I slide them across to the other burners with no issues.
How do I keep food from sticking to my cast iron?
This will take some time to get used to. You need to heat your skillet first. Once the skillet is hot, then turn your temperature down to medium heat. Add oil, shortening, or butter. Spread around in the skillet, Once that melts or gets hot, add your ingredient. This may take a few times to get it right. The more seasoned the skillet is the better it will be when it comes to being nonstick. Some ol’ schoolers will suggest cooking some bacon first to get that nice layer of grease. I have done this with all my skillets. Oh, and did you know you can save your bacon grease? I did a blog post on how to save that bacon grease to use the next time you are frying up something delicious in your cast iron! Not only will you will seasoning your skillet, i will give a delicious flavor to your recipe!
Be patient & research.
There are so many great tutorials on cooking & caring for cast iron. I am simply sharing what works for me & my clan! I am always open to questions. So please do not hesitate to let me know!
Until next time,
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