"Cast Iron" news and stories
Here at Slashfood, we've offered a handful of posts on cooking and seasoning your cast iron pans. The popular way is to scrub it, lather it, and bake it upside down. But even if you get that great initial seasoning, do you have a hard time keeping it?
When I seasoned my large cast iron pan, it looked great. However, some things were just darned sticky. My potatoes never failed to stick like mad, and only my eggs (surprisingly enough) seemed immune. I would carefully scrub the pan with salt, rinse it out with water, dry it, and add a thin layer of oil each time, but it never got any more seasoned or perfect. Then something really stuck and removing it removed some of my seasoning.
After re-seasoning, I was determined to do better, and took a note from my friend. After he washes his out (he actually scrubs it with a regular kitchen brush), he dries it off by putting it on the stove. When it's dry, he adds some oil, coats the pan, and lets it cook for a little while before turning it off and letting it cool.
Low and behold, my pan is starting to get that perfect shine, and better yet -- the potatoes didn't rabidly stick this time around!
Filed under: How To
There are a lot of different kinds of pots and pans out there, and everyone's singing the praises of one or the other. Ignoring makers, Harold McGee of The New York Times put the different metals to the test.
We know aluminum pans to be the cheapest and lightest. Stainless steel looks beautiful forever and functions well at very high heat. Cast iron holds heat longer and is safe for popping in the oven after you've done what you need to on the stove--and it's even rumored to add nutritional iron to foods! Copper, the usual cream of the crop; typically the most expensive and prettiest, conducts heat evenly and quickly. Most copper pots and pans are coated with stainless steel (older copper pans coated with tin or nickel may be harmful, check your pans).
According to McGee's home test, electrical or open flame on your stove doesn't make much of difference, but the pans definitely all behave differently. His conclusions? To each his own.
In January, Marisa alerted us to an article at Kitchn about seasoning your cast iron cookware. This is the technique I have always used -- lather pan in the oil/shortening and bake it upside down in your oven. Unfortunately, the last time I did this, I put a baking sheet underneath, rather than foil, and made a mess that ruined my pan.
But it looks like there is an easier way! Michael Ruhlman posted an ode to cast iron the other day, and listed a seasoning technique from The Elements of Cooking. It's the same idea, but easier. Just pour a half-inch layer of oil into a pan, and cook it over high heat until very hot, or just in a 300 degree oven for an hour. Considering how wonderfully shiny and seasoned his pans look, I imagine it does the job!
But there is one other thing I wished I had read before: "Turn them upside down and use them as a pizza stone." Of course, I read this two weeks after I finally buy a stone. That's always the way.
Filed under: How To
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