Cooking with Cast Iron

Why I Love Cooking with Cast Iron!

Did you grow up with your Mom and Grandmother cooking with cast iron skillets and other large, heavy black Dutch ovens, pots and pans? Well, I did! My Mom and Dad used our cast iron skillet daily. From breakfast to dinner, it seems there was usually something either on the stove or in the oven that involved cast iron cookware.

Today, my skillet of choice is still cast iron. Using cast iron means our food is not compromised by harmful chemicals produced by the non-stick coated cooking items. Cooking with cast iron is healthy.

We cook bacon and eggs in it many mornings.

I’ve used it to bake pineapple upside down cake, corn bread and Aunt Bill’s brown candy comes out perfectly using cast iron.

Many people have received cast iron skillets as a gift but it seems a lot of people are somewhat reluctant and intimidated using cast iron. They believe it’s too hard to clean or that they cannot easily get the hang of mastering the ease of this heat-retaining, unbreakable vessel. Another intimidation factor is the “curing” maintenance…what?

Rule #1 of cast iron is to never use detergent or soap. Use only hot, hot water to soak your cooking utensil for 5 to 10 minutes. Empty the water and use your scrubber to remove any bits and pieces of food debris left behind. Rinse, pat dry and then always use a small amount of olive oil to coat your skillet or pan. Over time, a shiny black patina will develop.

If you slip and use soap on your skillet, use olive oil on all sides, put it in your oven at 350 degrees upside down and let it cure for 30 minutes. Turn off your oven, let the skillet cool before using.

One more great feature of using cast iron – you can use it on any stove top, yes, even glass. And, it is perfect to taking on a camping trip because you can use it on an open campfire.

Be adventurous, try cast iron!