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54

First, there is no difference between seasoning and reseasoning, unless you need to do some extra work to remove rust (see instructions below). In fact, for new cast iron, scouring is also usually a good idea since you need to get off whatever wax or protective oil the manufacturer or seller may have put onto the cookware. (They don't use cooking oil for ...


36

See this excellent article about the chemistry of seasoning. You want flaxseed oil (which incidentally has a low smoke point) but a high iodine value, allowing it to polymerize readily. I read so many blogs about oil "impregnating the cast iron," but this doesn't make any sense chemically. What happens is that the oil polymerizes, and you want an oil that ...


34

Butter is a very bad choice for frying at high heat, as it burns extremely easily. Cast iron is the ideal pan material though, so you are halfway there. Take the steaks out of the fridge an hour before cooking so they warm up a little. Take a flavourless oil like sunflower and brush it directly on the steaks - don't put the oil in the pan. Preheat the ...


31

Kosher salt and a small amount of vegetable oil. Scrub the pan with the salt on a rag or paper towel, if there are stubborn bits mix a couple drops of oil with the salt, wipe dry with clean towel. If you use a wet method to clean the pan re-heat it after cleaning to make sure it is completely dry before storing.


22

Ideally it should be matte to just-slightly-shiny black and very smooth. This article has some terrific information on the ideal oil to use (flaxseed) and method for seasoning, with actual scientific grounding.


20

Besides what @Janelle said, for really stuck on stuff, use a similar process as you'd use to deglaze the pan -- While the pan's still hot (or heat it back up if you've let it cool), and then add some cold water. Some should instantly steam, and should hopefully be hot enough to boil a little. (don't add so much water that you cool down the pan). Scrape ...


16

Copper can be useful for certain tasks due to the its metallic properties (heats quickly, distributes heat evenly, etc.), however I would not call copper pans good "all-purpose" pans. As for cast iron, you mentioned Le Creuset, and again I would tell you that they are more of a specialty manufacturer. They make some very nice coated cast iron-ware and ...


16

There are two parts to this question, the stated part, and the unstated "are you really frying an egg if there is no oil?" For the first part, most manufacturers of non-stick pans claim that their product makes oil unnecessary, and generally I've found that to be true. A little oil helps, but "necessary" might be a stretch. To maximize your non-stickyness ...


16

A vegan is not going to eat your pan, just the food that was made on it. As no animals were harmed in the making of your pan (well, probably but how would you know) the pan itself wouldn't be an issue. Of course if a tiny bit of pan seasoning could go into the food, however anything else used in the preparation of the meal like cutting boards could cause a ...


15

What is the advantage of a steel skillet over a cast iron one? I currently use cast iron for most everything and am curious what I might be missing. Pan sauces made with wine, vinegar, or any other acid are better in stainless steel. If you put any acid in cast-iron, you are harming your seasoning, and leeching iron into your food. This will affect the ...


15

"3-4 minutes of searing on each side" sounds very high to me, and likely to result in a burned steak, especially if you don't flip it frequently during the process. It's important to realize that there are (at least) two temperatures that matter when cooking meat: the peak surface temperature, which determines how well browned (or blackened) the meat will ...


13

Another alternative is to go to an East Asian grocery and pick up a wok cleaner, which looks like a tiny little broom made of stiff sticks. It does more-or-less the same thing as the coarse salt. I find it particularly useful for cast iron grill pans, as it's easier to get leverage on burnt-on material than when using salt. It'll cost you maybe two dollars ...


13

A metal pan will not crack simply from cold liquid. If you heat it up to a very high temperature and submerge it in cold water, that's not such a good idea. But deglazing is just a tiny amount of liquid. Now, aluminum is another story - if it's hot enough and you pour cold water (or cold anything) on it, it can warp, even with a relatively small amount of ...


13

I believe that the "clichéd image" you refer to is popular (and cliché) because of chili con carne's long history of being cooked outdoors in big cauldrons or at least over an open flame. As any camper will tell you, iron is the traditional material of choice when cooking with fire. As for what actually happens - cast iron is a porous material, unlike ...


13

The right way is simple and straightforward: preheat the skillet for about 5-10 minutes on medium, add a few table spoons of oil to coat the bottom, and continue cooking at this temperature. Flip regularly, to allow the sides to cook evenly, and wait for the middle to become fully cooked. Now I will tell you all the ways NOT to cook a hamburger with a ...


13

Fire is typically a poor heat source for direct cooking. It fluctuates with every breeze so the heating is very erratic. It also produces a lot of soot which tastes terrible and is bad for you. When cooking on a campfire much better results are had by cooking next to the coals than above the flame. Cooking with a gas flame is more reliable of course. A ...


12

Purpose of Seasoning protect bare cast iron from rust make the pan surface non-stick How often to season the pan? You'll need to season it more when it's new. Use it frequently and you'll need to season it less often. Don't cook beans or tomatoes in it at first; if you do so later, you may want to re-season it. Regarding adding butter, you're ...


12

my 'nuclear option' for cast iron skillets is to put them in a basin of lye solution, and let the pan sit for a week or a month (depending on how fresh and how concentrated the lye solution is.) We keep a plastic basin out back for this. lye is bad stuff, so if you have kids or pets, do please be careful. The lye, however, will take off anything organic, ...


12

I have friends from Hong Kong who always use steel woks in their take-away. A cast-iron wok would require a different technique for stir frying. It would be slower to heat up and retain heat when you didn't want the food to continue cooking. Stick with the one you have ...


12

You're going to die horribly from cooking in a rusted pan! Just kidding! A little iron in your food isn't going to hurt you, and can actually help prevent anemia. To quote On Food and Cooking (pg 790): "Excess iron is readily eliminated from the body, and most people can actually benefit from additional dietary iron." Now, to back this up further: ...


11

The first rule to keeping food from sticking to cast-iron is to keep it well primed - it sounds like you're doing that already. Beyond that, read these tips for cooking with stainless steel - they'll also apply to cast iron. To summarize: Food sticks when chemical bonds form between the food molecules and the metal. Very hot oil helps to reduce sticking ...


11

I personally had never heard of it, but after doing some research online, I found another set of instructions that called for boiling potatoes in the pan before seasoning: After boiling potato peelings for 15 minutes, the skillet had a nasty slurry of grey looking sand in the bottom Once the skillet was heated, the pores were opened, and the ...


11

Can you get leached iron from cast iron? Yes Is it consistent in the amount that you get? No Is it dependent on the food in the pan? Yes How much? It varies hugely dependent on the food. More liquid, acidic foods leach more. How long its in the pan also plays a role. 3 oz of spaghetti sauce could leach as much as 5mg - that's almost 1/3 of the ...


11

You'd have to ask your vegan to be absolutely sure. If they're practical, they'll acknowledge that there might be a bit of meat fat polymerized onto the pan but they won't be actually eating it, as long as you've seasoned and cleaned well. If however they're sufficiently strict, they could conceivably say, no, it's touching an animal product, I won't eat it. ...


11

The reason for seasoning is to prevent foods from sticking while cooking. The polymerized fats that constitute the seasoning layer provide an extremely slick surface which doesn't bind well to foods, so sticking is vastly reduced. None of this has applications in a tea pot, where sticking is not a concern, so seasoning is not necessary.


10

I thought that as it was cast iron you could just put the whole thing in a big fire and it would burn off whatever was burnt on and then you could scrub off the ashes, which should be fairly easy to do once the are realy just char.. The second comment here seems to think you can do this as well. You might also be able to do this in a couple of other ...


10

You can season the exterior of the kettle to help prevent rust, if you like. The interior of a cast iron tea kettle is often rust-proofed through chemicals that accrue during normal use. One of these is lime scale. Repeatedly boiling water, especially hard water, will build a coating of lime scale that will keep rust at bay. Another set of chemicals ...


9

That is just the seasoning - the nonstick carbon that is formed after years of use - coming off. If big pieces are dropping in your food or you are freaked out by it, simply give your pan a good scrubbing with some steel wool and soap then re-season it. To season the pan: Take a paper towel and soak a bit of oil into it Coat the inside of the pan with oil ...


9

I'd like to refer you to my answer to the question about chili in cast iron, from which I'll summarize the relevant parts: Typical cast iron corrodes at a pH lower than 4.3; pure white vinegar (5%) has a pH of 2.4 and wine is around 3.2 to 3.8. If you plan to use either of these in cast iron, you'd better make sure they are heavily diluted, otherwise you ...


9

All my attempts to "clean and repair" a sticky-seasoning layer have ended badly as well. I know who already snickers in the background, but my opinion is: start clean. Give the pan a lye bath and a good scrub, then reseason with a better seasoning. "The new hotness" of flaxseed oil goes back to the fact that it doesn't go rancid easily, without heat it ...



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