World News – UK – 7 main mistakes you make with your cast iron cookware (including skipping soap when washing)


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For many home cooks, a cast iron pan is the most valuable cookware in the kitchen. In this case, it will likely be used more often than any other cooking tool (apart from your beloved chef’s knife, of course). . It makes sense – cast iron pans aren’t just great for searing, baking, and roasting over high heat, but with proper maintenance, these versatile workhorses will last a lifetime.

This brings me to my next point: there are a number of characteristics unique to cast iron cookware that will help your precious pan last long enough to one day be passed down to your little ones. You probably already know that cast iron needs seasoning and that it requires a different cleaning method than your famous stainless steel pan, but trust me when I say this is just the beginning to getting to know your pan. The two of you have a long, fruitful relationship ahead of you – why not dig deeper? Here are seven common cast iron cookware mistakes and their solutions.

This is easily the biggest, grossest, and most common mishap I see while using cast iron. Here’s the thing: the spice on your cast iron pan isn’t just a thin layer of baked-on oil. It’s actually a layer of polymerized oil that is (chemically) more like plastic than fat. The seasoning is stuck to the surface of your pan, and a few drops of dish soap will definitely not remove it. In the love of God, please do not let harmful bacteria grow from the food in your cast iron pan. Soap, a soft sponge, and a bit of scrubbing are fine. If you need to remove burnt food, you can also try scrubbing it with a mild abrasive like coarse salt and / or a non-metal brush (like this one from Lodge). .

That being said, your cast iron should never be allowed to soak in water. The goal is to keep the amount of time your pan is wet as short as possible. Water is the enemy of cast iron. So once you finish cleaning, dry it thoroughly to avoid rust stains appearing on the surface of the pan. Coating the pan with a small amount of oil after it dries doesn’t hurt either.

You’ve probably heard that cooking with acidic ingredients is bad for cast iron – it will react with the metal that gets inside your food, and so on. You’re kind of right. As with the soap concept, cast iron is much more robust than one would think. If your cast iron is seasoned properly, your food should only interact with the polymerized oil on the surface of the pan. However, bare metal can interact with acidic foods. While I wouldn’t recommend making a slow-boiling Bolognese sauce in your cast iron pan, I wouldn’t think twice about adding a dash of lemon juice or a dash of wine to flavor the Brussels sprouts to degrease the chicken legs.

The spice is the secret sauce for your cast iron pan – after all, it gives it non-stick properties. You have to work to get this coating. As? Season again quickly after each use. After carefully washing the pan with soap and water and drying it thoroughly, coat the pan with half a teaspoon of neutral oil (a paper towel will help spread it) and place it on the hob over high heat. Keep heating until some smoke comes up, then rub it again and allow to cool.

Cast iron is valued for its ability to get hot and to stay hot. For the same reason, you need to be patient to get it there. Let your pan preheat on the stove for a few minutes – think up to 10 – before adding your mushrooms or meatballs. Why? Because you want them to start frying (instead of soaking up your oil) as soon as you throw them in. To see if it’s hot enough, add a spot of water to the pan. When it sizzles and evaporates, your pan is ready to burn.

While cast iron is a master at heat storage, it is a mistake to believe that the surface heats up evenly. In contrast to aluminum-coated stainless steel or anodized aluminum non-stick cookware, cast iron actually heats up extremely unevenly. I recommend avoiding cast iron if you’re making something fragile that you want to cook very evenly, such as:. B.. tender fish or crepes. For more even heating, you can move your pan around on the hob as it preheats so that the flame eventually heats its entire surface.

Like I said, your pan is a lot harder than you think. There is a reason these things are passed down from generation to generation! It is very unlikely that you will scrape the surface of a well seasoned cast iron pan with a metal spoon or spatula. If you notice black pieces peeling off, it is most likely burnt scraps of food from a past cooking adventure where you refused to use soap to clean up afterwards.

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World News – UK – 7 main mistakes you make with your cast iron cookware (including skipping the soap when washing)


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