Last summer my non stick skillet started flaking. I was disappointed. It was a very expensive skillet. We decided to replace it with a cast iron skillet for several reasons. First, it was a budget friendly $35. Score! Second, It does not contain PFOA (PFOA is a carcinogenic which will be taken out of non stick cookware by 2015. It was 2011 when I needed to purchase a skillet so that was no help to me.) It also adds iron to our diet. A pan that adds a mineral to our diet, how great is that?
Cast iron is not as complicated to work with as I feared. The main issue is keeping food from sticking so that there is not a problem cleaning the pan off. Cast iron is like stoneware, and soap or abrasives cannot be used to clean it. I have learned a few extra tricks to make using cast iron a little easier.
|Scrambled eggs in a cast iron skillet!|
· Oil the pan well. To create a no stick surface I melt butter or coconut oil at the bottom of the pan. A spay oil just does give enough coverage. I also don’t want too much oil, that just makes the food too greasy.
· Preheat the oil. I let the pan and oil get nice and hot before I add any food especially before cooking something like eggs. The way that I think about it is that I am cooking the food on a thin layer or hot oil.
· Boil off stubborn, stuck on food. If-no when food ends up sticking the easiest way to get rid of stubborn food is to boil it off. I don’t waste a lot of my time scrubbing pans. I would rather be cooking in them then cleaning them! After letting the water boil for a few minutes anything that was stuck scrapes right off! I also boil clean the pan if I am going to cooking anything like a white sauce that I don’t want to have a brown tint to it.
· Dry the pan completely after cleaning. Cast iron will rust. I felt like the Boxcar Children once taking sandpaper to my pan to remove the little orange rust ring!