Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

Acast iron skillet may look out of place in a modern, high-tech kitchen but it definitely is a homestead staple. This heavy, clunky cookware is inexpensive and nearly indestructible, it can cook about anything, and, when ‘seasoned’ properly, is the original non-stick material. What more could a homesteader ask for?

5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

If you’re a beginner homesteader, using this unconventional cookware may pose a wee bit of a challenge. But fear not, we have five tips for you to make cooking with a cast iron skillet easier!

5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

Tip 1. Seasoning Your Cast Iron Skillet

Seasoning Your Cast Iron Skillet | 5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

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Using a new cast iron skillet can be aggravating especially if you’re a first timer; however, if you season it properly, cooking in an iron skillet is a breeze. Seasoning a cast iron skillet means that you slather it with a thin layer of shortening or oil and stick it in a preheated 400 to 500 degree oven for a couple of hours. Iron is a very porous material which means that the thin layer of oil will fill in the pores so that air, bacteria and food you cook with does not fill it and ruin the metal.

Tip 2. Cooking

Cooking | 5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

When using your cast iron cookware, preheat it first before putting in your ingredients. Cook over low heat as too much heat can crack a cast iron.  If you’re frying eggs or pancakes, make sure to melt the lard or oil first. Like any other non-stick cookware, it is best not to use metal utensils.

Tip 3. Scraping off the Stubborn Bits

Scraping off the Stubborn Bits | 5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

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Deal with stubborn bits of food by pouring 1 coup of coarse kosher salt into the still-warm skillet. Use a folded kitchen towel or a non-abrasive cloth to scour. Discard salt and food bits, and rinse the skillet with hot water.  Use cleaning process to finish.

Tip 4. Cleaning

Cleaning | 5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

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Cleaning a new cast iron skillet can be a real chore. But once you get the hang of it and when it’s already ‘seasoned’, cast iron is as easy to care for as any other non-stick cookware.

Do not pour cold water over a hot skillet, this will cause your cookware to crack. After cooking, allow it to cool off before washing it.

Use soap and water to clean your skillet before seasoning it. After that, never use soap again. NEVER. Use hot water to wash your skillet and wipe out your pan with a non-abrasive cloth to clean, this preserves the seasoning. After wiping, recoat it with a thin layer of coconut or olive oil.

Tip 5. Storing

Storing | 5 Must-Know Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

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Store skillet in a cool, dry place.  If you have several cast iron skillets and need to stack them, place a towel in between the pans to absorb moisture and prevent scratching the seasoning.