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Quick backstory

I currently have 2 skillets -- one a 12" flat skillet and the other ribbed. They have both been used for meat and I learned my lesson awhile ago and try to keep them as far away from water as possible. I do not have an open flame as I have a glass cooktop.

Question

I saw a few recipes for desserts and cornbread using a cast iron skillet that I would love to try. The problem is that my cast irons have all been used for meat and I am afraid to attempt any of these recipes if it might come out tasting like last night's ground-beef.

I did have a look at this question: How do you clean a cast iron skillet?

Does the skillet even trap any flavors or will any excess just burn off as I heat it up? If it will have the meat flavor, will using a towel, oil, and kosher salt help get rid of any left-over flavors or is this insane and everyone has a cast iron specifically for desserts/breads?

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Tl;dr You can use your cast iron for anything if it is seasoned and cleaned well.

I don't have a ribbed pan and it seems that would be harder to clean so I will speak only to the smooth.

My cast iron pan is reasonably well seasoned. It could be better but I only get a little sticking.

Scraping it well and scrubbing with kosher salt and a paper towel cleans it spotless from almost anything. Occasionally I have to rinse it out which doesn't damage the seasoning at all.

When it is cleaned there are no lingering flavors from previous dishes. I often cook meat, onions, desserts, and cornbread with no problems.

Cornbread has a delightfully different and deliciously rustic texture when cooked in hot cast iron.

  • Great! Glad to hear that if I decide to make a cobbler tomorrow, it won't have a hint of Worcestershire ;) Now I just have to remember to buy some kosher salt. – TyCobb Jul 6 '15 at 4:58
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Related: it is inadvisable to cook fish in your cast iron skillet if you will use it for anything else as the fish oil can stick around for a while. I cooked salmon in one of mine and I ended up putting it on the camp stove outside and heating the heck out of it to burn off the oil. It wouldn't scrub out, rub out, salt out, or anything else I tried.

So for desserts... just don't use your salmon pan!

  • Thanks a lot. I would have ended up cooking fish in it sooner than later. – TyCobb Jul 6 '15 at 5:47
  • Scrub the pan with salt, rub it with oil, and let it heat on the burner until the oil is "dry". No fishy flavor can survive that treatment. The oils all break down and polymerize. – Sobachatina Jul 7 '15 at 5:19

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