Originally Posted by kwitel
So I just bought a 10 pc. Anolon Advanced non-stick set and, a 10 inch All Clad SS pan.
Ive been hearing/reading about Cast iron everywhere but because I am quite new to all this, I dont really know where the CI excels as opposed to SS, Anodized Aluminum, etc.
So in what areas would you recommend I try a CI skillet?
They are so cheap so I figured i'd try one; any particular brand to look at?
Can someone explain the seasoning process?
Hi Laurel, (That happens to be my mom's name, too!)
I think cast iron for cooking meats and birds, just tastes better. The iron seems to flavor it somewhat for the better. The heat is also steady, and if you have the patience to wait till it heats, and cook on LOW-MED and not higher, you will never burn anything. It will always be wonderful. (a few things need higher heat, and I prefer not to use my good cast iron for that. I have stainless steel for higher heats!)
The enamel covered cast iron cooks great but doesn't change the flavors like old black cast iron. I have much enamel covered, and when I cook most things or anything that has tomato sauce or fruits in it, I use them-- because the acidic foods or fruit acids will remove seasoning on the plain cast iron.
Cast Iron that requires seasoning is easy to do. Make sure it is clean, and not rusty. I prefer SPECTRUM PALM OIL SHORTENING because it has no hydrogenated oil in it, and I happen to be very highly allergic to hydrogenated oil. I get the Spectrum brand at Whole Foods, and it has no smell and no taste. It works great as a shortening. (When cooking or baking with it, I may add butter to it, like with pie crust for some added flavor.) For seasoning cast iron it is the best.
First take out a large cookie pan and cover it with aluminum foil, so you can throw away the mess at the end with no problems....
Heat your oven to 300 degrees. Towel Dry the cast iron pot or pan and coat it with a light to medium coating of the shortening all over, inside and out and the handles. Put this in the oven on the foiled pan for about an hour and a half, the first time. Later when reseasoning, about an hour after that.
Let it cool and wipe it so it isn't gooey or drippy, and leave it. I put a paper towel between my stacked pans so they don't get dinged. Then use the pan as often as you can. Cook burgers, bacon, steaks and don't use soap detergent unless you are going to reseason again. If it seems dirty or smelly, you can use some diluted Ivory Soap dishwashing liquid, but dilute it. DO NOT SOAK ANY CAST IRON it will rust!
If you do over-clean a pan, just re-season it. I season my cast iron about every three months, or if I haven't used it. I also coat it with a bit of vegetable oil in between uses, but don't do that if you plan on not using the pan often, vegie oils will go rancid on a pan. If that should happen wash it well with dish soap and RE- SEASON it.
If you never let it rust it will last forever!!!!
The enamel covered ones do have some visible black cast iron peaking through, and those areas need seasoning now and then too.