*Cooking With Cast Iron*
31 January 2021
I'm a huge fan of cast iron cooking.
In the initial stages, cook things with grease in the food.. sausage, bacon etc. or add butter, oil as needed.
This will help build up the layer known as "Seasoning"
Cooking things with tomato sauce will reduce or even peel some seasoning off. I typically don't cook tomatoee' foods in my cast iron. Some people do, I don't.
Two things I consider necessary to aid in cleaning is: a plastic scraper- Lodge makes them. They are contoured to the bottom bevels and have a sharper edge on 2-3 sides to lift off crusty stuff. Good tool to have.
And then a "Chain mail" scrubber for baked, burned on "crust" There are several ones to choose from.. I like this one. because is has a rubber insert in it to keep it in place. Use this lightly as it can remove your seasoning if used too aggressively. I don't like the "green scrubbers" as that will really take off your seasoning.
Another tool I like is a "thumb scraper" ... this is a secret weapon for removing the last, small reallllly stuck/burned bits.
I also use this to remove the really sticky, super thin price tags, labels, grease etc off of other pans, tools etc..
It works like a champ.
I really don't use soap.. and if I do, it's "a" drop on a sponge.
I dry everything on the stove for a minute or two and then season lightly with peanut oil. Some people are purists aka (iron snobs).. lol and use only organic flaxseed oil. To each their own.
If you want to get real "technical" The cast iron of today is reallllly rough for the cast finish. The iron of yester-year like Wagner, Griswald and older Lodge brands have VERY smooth finishes.
The finish is so smoooooth and when well seasoned, it is almost like a teflon type coating. You can buy it on line.. some of it is pricey, but well worth is.
I have a LOT of old iron- stuff I've picked up from garage sales, abandoned houses from inspections etc that I need to recondition. Someday.. when I don't have anything to do.. HA.. the Griswald and Wagner brands.. Good stuff.
Cast iron is my go to pans in the kitchen 99% of the time I cook.
Here is I guy I subscribe to...he's pretty funny and has a LOT of knowledge. He tests a lot of new iron. Compares new and old for cooking "ability", form, fit and feel.
Lots of recipes to refer to.
Kent Rollins Cowboy Cooking Channel...you'll enjoy him.https://www.youtube.com/user/krollins57
Be careful.. it can become addicting.
In response to a comment from another Rubie regarding using salt to scrub a pan, Stats added:
Be careful w salt.. It's pretty abrasive as well.
One time I was camping and used sand out of a creek bed to clean up some real black, hard crust.. The sand just abraded off the seasoning in like "THAT" fast.
What I do now to clean burned on food is I heat the wiped out pan to where is starts to smoke slightly.
Add water (about a 1/2 cup or so..) to the pan. As it is boiling-steaming I use a thin edged spatula or flipper the scrape off the burned food. Repeat as needed.
The foo foo "culinary term" is "deglazing" it works pretty good.
Note.. adding too much water cools the pan too quickly.. you want the "steamy boiling" action to lift the burned bits off the bottom.
Scraping with that thin edge spatula while steaming off realllllly helps.
I wipe out all my cast iron vs rinsing with water. Paper towel wiping helps keep the drain pipes clean of grease build up.
I had to pay 1700.00 bux to replace about 10' of 100% grease clogged piping in the crawlspace a few years ago. Couldn't blast it out of there.
I can buy a LOT of paper towel for 1700.00 bux to prevent that from evah' happening again.
Cleaning: Start sparingly with the water like a (1/4 cup) and as it steams off.. add a little more till it doesn't steam anymore.. scrape as needed.
Drain, wipe and reheat as needed. 1-2 times should do most of the deglazing with the thing metal spatula.Stats
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