How To Cook With Cast Iron

How To Cook With Cast Iron

July 27, 2019 100 By William Morgan


– [Narrator] We use cast
iron skillets all the time
in the Tasty Kitchen for a
million different reasons.
They’re virtually indestructible,
they last forever,
and unlike a lot of things
you’re gonna have in the kitchen,
they actually tend to get better with age.
People are often a little
bit intimidated by cast iron,
thinking it’s, you know,
very hard to deal with
or hard to clean.
It’s actually really easy,
you just have to know
what you’re looking for.
So, seasoning is a process
you want to go through
even if it’s new or you
have an old cast iron that
was passed down to you.
Often when you have a new
cast iron and there’s been
any water that’s left on,
they’re really susceptible to rust.
We’re gonna help you figure
out how to prevent that from
happening and how to clean that off.
So we’re gonna start by
getting some steel wool.
Whether it’s knew or has
a bunch or rust on it,
we’re just gonna scrub
it down with steel wool
with a mild dish soap and
just get it down to its
kind of base layer.
The way that cast irons are made,
it’s all kinda one piece
and you can’t just season
the part that you cook with.
You want to season the entire thing.
While we’re here we’re just
gonna keep scrubbing along
all of the sides, on the
back of it, turn it over,
get the handle.
Once you’re happy that all the
rust and or gunk off there,
you can go give it a
rinse under hot water.
And either use one of those
non-abrasive scouring pads
or the tough side of a sponge.
Just do another quick go around,
making sure you got every nook and cranny.
A good rule to remember whenever
you’re dealing with cast
iron is water will make it rust.
We always want to get it as
dry as possible before we store
or move onto the next step.
So because of that, we’re
gonna dry it off with a towel
and then you’re gonna
put it onto your stove
and turn it on.
And let all of that excess
water, any extra moisture,
boil off.
Once you’re happy your
skillet is bone dry,
we’re gonna take it off the
heat and start our seasoning
process with a thin layer of oil.
The new standard is that
flax seed oil is the best oil
for the job.
It actually drys the hardest
and creates the best non-stick,
longest lasting seasoning.
The only downfall is
it is pretty expensive
and if you don’t want
to spend that much money
or frankly, you just don’t
have it in your pantry,
canola oil will work just fine.
A little background on your skillet.
The surface is actually porous,
which just means there’s kind
of small holes or pores even
that we kinda want to
fill up to make a nice,
smooth cooking surface.
So once we have this thin layer
of oil all over the skillet,
we’re actually gonna do our
best to wipe it all off.
There’s enough oil that has
soaked into those open pores.
So take the clean side of your paper towel
and rub off as much of the oil as you can.
One of the biggest problems
people have is they don’t
wipe off enough oil and they
have too thick of a layer,
and then it comes out of
the oven very sticky still
and not giving them the
result that they want.
So you’re gonna put your
cast iron in your oven
on the highest temperature it can go,
between 450 and 500 degrees.
So this process is gonna
take about an hour.
The reason we need our oven
so high is that we actually
want to take the oil past its
smoking point so that the oil
actually starts to breakdown
and bond with the cast iron.
So if you’ve ever taken our
your skillet and it’s still
kind of brown and sticky,
it’s probably because your
oven wasn’t hot enough.
So after an hour, you can turn
off your oven and let it cool
in there.
The result is a hard glassy
layer that we’re looking for
that helps make our cast iron non-stick.
So, intro to cooking with cast iron.
You actually really do
have to pre-heat it.
It doesn’t necessarily heat evenly,
but it keeps the heat really well.
So just take your time, heat
it on a low to medium heat.
This may take five to ten minutes.
Because cast iron is such
a great conductor of heat,
if you actually just
carefully hover your hand over
the bottom of the skillet,
you can feel when the pan’s ready to go.
A lot of people are confused.
You know, they did all the seasoning
and their food is sticking to the pan.
Usually that’s because
they’re putting cold food
in a cold cast iron pan.
One reason to get a cast iron
skillet really is to sear
things like meat.
So another things that people
are maybe confused about
when they’re cooking with a
cast iron is they tend to wanna
just move the food around a lot.
And actually what we’re
trying to do here is build up
a nice caramelized crust.
So when you put any meat
in your hot skillet,
just leave it.
Let it cook.
When you see the kinda brown
crust forming on the outside,
that’s when you know it’s ready to flip.
So if you’re trying to lift
up your steak and it just will
not give, it’s probably
just not ready yet.
The meat will self release
when the crust has formed.
Why we love using cast
iron skillet for Tasty too
is because you can start
something on the stove
and finish it in the oven.
So you oven here that you
can’t cook acidic foods
in a cast iron skillets.
However, if you have a good
layer of seasoning on there,
that’s totally fine.
You don’t want to do a ton of, you know,
a big tomato sauce or a
bunch of wine or vinegar,
but a little bit’s not really
gonna kill your seasoning.
Don’t be afraid to roast
things like tomatoes
in your cast iron skillet.
The great thing about being
able to cook with something
on the stove top and finish it in the oven
is you just have a lot more control.
You can get a nice layer of
caramelization from a high heat
on the stove and then finish
something cooking in the oven
on a much gentler, radiant heat.
So when you’re cleaning your cast iron,
you want to hit a sweet spot.
If it’s cooled down too much,
the food will adhere and
really stick to the pan.
And if it’s too hot and you
put it under cold water,
you can risk it cracking.
So you want to wash the pan
pretty soon after you use it.
The most gentle way to clean
your skillet is with hot water
and salt and a non-metal scouring pad
or the rough side of your sponge.
The salt works as an abrasive
and helps to scrub off
any food that’s on there without damaging
the seasoning at all.
Once you’re happy that your pan is clean,
give it another towel dry and
then let it completely dry off
either on the stove or in a
warm oven just to make sure
there’s no lingering moisture.
And that’s gonna protect it
from rusting in the future.
So last thing, we’re gonna
put a protective layer of oil
on the skillet before we store it.
Carefully with a paper towel,
rub that all along the inside.
Turn up the heat until the oil is smoking,
then turn it off and let
it cool on the stove.
The reason why we want to
take up to the smoking point
is so that the oil doesn’t turn rancid.
Cast iron skillets may
seem like a lot of work
but just follow these simple
rules of seasoning and cleaning
and these pans will last you a lifetime.
It’s like loving a good woman.
The more you give, the more you get back.
(laughing)