|One of my favorite skillets|
My grandmother fried chicken often in this skillet.
Since I've grown up, I've discovered that not only is cast iron durable and beautiful, it may offer health benefits as well. Apparently cast iron adds a certain noticeable amount of iron to foods cooked in it! This makes sense but it's nice to have professionals in the health care field confirm it.
When seasoned properly, cast iron offers a fantastic non-stick surface which makes it a great choice for sauteing and frying. Well cared for, cast iron will last virtually forever. It's very simple to care for your cast iron.
|My baby decided my largest skillet|
made a great place to sit!
Remember these simple maintenance tips -
- Use plastic or wooden utensils to avoid scratching the seasoned finish
- Don't store food in the pan. This can cause your "seasoning" to break down.
- Don't soak your cast iron in water. (I've let mine soak for a bit when food is really cooked on but I try not to let it sit in water any longer than necessary)
- Don't wash your cast iron in the dishwasher
- Don't put cold water in a very hot cast iron pan. It could cause cracking. This is something I've done many times and luckily didn't experience cracking but the potential exists. Now that I know this could cause breakage, I won't be doing THAT again!
- It isn't a hard and fast rule but I try to never use soap on my cast iron. I just physically remove the food debris and rinse. Since I dry my cast iron on a burner, I feel any bacteria that I might be concerned with will be killed in the process.
|My smallest skillet next to my largest skillet|
1) Coat the entire surface of your pan, inside and out, with vegetable shortening and place in a 275 degree oven for an hour or two. It will have a smell, so don't be alarmed. I don't find the odor offensive but I suppose I associate it with a good thing so it doesn't bother me.
2) Take out of oven and wipe off any excess shortening. You may wish to line the bottom of your oven with foil or put a baking sheet under the cast iron in order to catch any drips of liquefied shortening.
One of the visual appeals of cast iron to me is that there are often markings from the manufacturer. Most products of course have a manufacturer's marking but for some reason I can't explain, I find the markings on cast iron incredibly beautiful.
|For a great starter skillet, Lodge Logic|
makes a very nice pre-seasoned one.
Lodge Logic L10SK3 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet