As I know, cast iron skillet is one of the most underrated kitchenware. Not so many people using it or threat if correctly. People outside western world not know it’s exist until 15th century. Cast iron kitchenware looks unattractive to someone but it has more benefit also using is more simple than you think. This article will tell your everything about cast iron skillet (which can apply to any kitchenware made from cast iron)
First, you need to seasoning the skillet. What is seasoning? The cast iron skillet made with the name implied, iron and you need to seasoning to keep them durable, easy to clean and smooth while cooking. First put skillet on the stove, coating with cooking oil and heat it with 350 F for an hour. After leave it cold you wipe remaining oil out with paper towel and that’s ready to use and store.
Proper seasoning will made your life easier with cast iron skillet and bring it’s potential to maximum, amount of seasoning depend on how often you using it. You can seasoning once or twice a month. If you do not want to seasoning it every time there are some product of skillet that you can use without seasoning (and it’s expansive than normal skillet, yeah it’s tradeoff hehe)
After seasoning it you don’t need much care for your skillet. Most people use clean them immediately after skillet put off stove (it’s still hot and easy to clean) and stain will come off easy. You can use soft abrasive such coarse salt to scratch remaining stain out (or see my recommended product to clean cast iron skillet below the page). I suggest not use soap on the cast iron skillet, you can use it only few drop it your skillet full of stain and plain water can’t wash it out. Because soap will make your seasoning coat come off very quickly.
Use steel wool and dishwasher soap to completely scratch it off and seasoning. That’s simple.
One of the best feature of cast iron skillet is heat distribution and retaining. You can cook almost every recipe that you normally using with your existing pan. Simple menu such as scramble egg to steak you can do with cast iron skillet, even bakery you can do it with this skillet because of it’s made of iron! yeah it’s looks cheap but if you seasoning and maintain properly it simple the best kitchenware I can imagine.
Cast iron skillet it’s good as I tell you, but you cannot put every recipe to cook in it. Recipe that acid-based such as Tomato sauce, Vinegar, Lemon it’s not suitable to put in cast iron skillet. Yes you can using it but not for a long time, because acid can extract iron from skillet to the food. Longer you cook with acid recipe, the more iron in your food (which is good or bad depends on each person) Thus I don’t recommend to use it for too long time. Other than that it’s fine.
Cast iron skillet is economic kitchenware. You can buy once and use it for life. If you threat it properly it lasts longer than your life (haha). There are several model which is cost from $35 to $100 or more. My opinion it not pay more than $40 for cast iron skillet because it’s just plain iron and you can seasoning it that’s enough for me. Another gimmicky feature it’s up to you if you like it or not because sometime it’s not necessary.
Here’s are model that I recommend.
15-inch cast iron skillet from Lodge it the best to start and it’s really cheap and pre-seasoned (you can seasoning immediately after you bought for more non-stick effect) and that’s enough for starter.
Smaller size for fun cooking such as breakfast, these come with set
Canola oil is great for seasoning skillet, but you can use almost any oil such coconut, vegetable, flaxseed, bacon, etc. except for Olive oil because it will make your skillet smell bad and butter it’s not great for seasoning too.
Other accessories make your life with cast iron easier.
Silicone handler (you can use kitchen towel just fine, but this is more convenience)
This pan scrubber will not make your reasoning skillet come off when cleaning
This Pancake flipper great for flipping any meat or pancake
For the hard stain. Chainmail scrubber is the must for cleaning cast iron kitchenware without strip off your reasoning