Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kitchen Tool of the Week...

A Cast Iron Skillet.

I finally got around to buying myself one. I was hesitant to get it, because I have so many things in my kitchen, I'm running out of room! Plus, it's heavy & as is, I'm already cursing my 9 quart Le Creuset for breaking my back while washing it.
But, now that I have one, I really don't know why I've waited this long. Ever since I got home from the store with it, I've been using it constantly. For everything from pancakes, to skillet cornbread, to oven roasted potatoes {it makes the crispiest potatoes ever!}.
Cast iron is ideal for cooking, as it's a great heat conductor. If well cared for, it will last for many lifetimes, needs no special utensils for use {like an enameled dutch oven, or non-stick pan}, is naturally non-stick {when well-seasoned} & just gets better with age.
If you get one, go for the Lodge 12" skillet. It's the perfect size & comes pre-seasoned & ready to use, right out of the box.
Many people recommend you clean your cast iron cookware with nothing but a steel brush & some hot water. But, I find that if there is excessive amount of oil left in the pan, it will become rancid & effect the flavor of your food. I often find I do need to clean it more thoroughly. If you do decide to use soap to clean it {which, is okay to do}, wash the pan & dry it very well. Then, re-season it by heating the pan, using the stove top, or oven & apply a very thin layer of a neutral oil {canola, grape seed, coconut} to the surface & rub it in. Your cast iron skillet is now ready for it's next use!


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