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Old 10-25-2010, 08:57 AM   #1
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Cast iron pan

I got an used cast iron pan from a friend of mine and honestly this is the first time ive ever used anything like it.
i learned how to take care of it but was wondering if cast iron cookware are used for certain types of foods or if i can cook almost anything in them.
Also are there certain things to stay away from (like certain acidy foods)

thanks a lot

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Old 10-25-2010, 09:32 AM   #2
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HI idya, welcome to DC.

What size is your cast iron skillet?

My favorite recipe is to make cornbread in it. I simply use a Jiffy mix. Two boxes for a 10" pan or one box for my 8" pan.

To get fancy, I substitute creamed corn for the milk. You need to add up to 5 minutes cooking time for this one. I let the top get more of a dark golden then do the toothpick test for doneness.

There's lots more goodies you can add to cornbread.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:43 AM   #3
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I almost exclusively use my cast iron skillets. I have a Teflon skillet I use for omlets though I have fried and scrambled eggs in my cast iron. I've made spaghetti sauce in mine too. Some people talk about acidic foods like the tomato sauce leaching iron into the food. I've not found a problem with taste or damage to the seasoning. There's not a lot you can't make and as zhizara points out, the pan can be used as a baking dish as well as on the stove top. Very versatile piece of cookware IMO.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:54 AM   #4
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Acidic foods in cast iron can be OK, but it depends on how strong your seasoning is. if the seasoning is weak then acidic foods over time will eat into the metal giving you a metallic taste (it won't hurt you). The stronger your seasoning is the longer you can let acidic foods sit in the pan without getting the metallic taste. Only by trying it will you know how your pan will hold up. Don't be scared to try it though.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:39 AM   #5
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how about cooking things like jambalaya or mac and cheese
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:50 AM   #6
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We have one cast iron skillet that we reserve cooking eggs. My DH swears by it for making omelettes. It hasn't been washed in years, but has been cleaned with salt a couple of times.

I noticed that Little Caesar's uses cast iron pans for making their pizzas.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:52 AM   #7
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I tell you a one thing, until only a few years ago the whole humanity used nothing but cast iron pans and I am sure they've cooked all kinds of foods. All you have to worry about is proper seasoning of the pan and proper cleaning of the pan.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Acidic foods in cast iron can be OK, but it depends on how strong your seasoning is. if the seasoning is weak then acidic foods over time will eat into the metal giving you a metallic taste (it won't hurt you). The stronger your seasoning is the longer you can let acidic foods sit in the pan without getting the metallic taste. Only by trying it will you know how your pan will hold up. Don't be scared to try it though.
In addition to a metallic taste, cooking acidic foods in cast iron can make the food itself turn a greyish color.

I love my CI skillets and use them for just about everything but cooking acidic stuff.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:13 AM   #9
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how about cooking things like jambalaya or mac and cheese
Jambalaya would probably need a tight lid for the rice. At least that's how I make mine. CI skillets generally don't come with tight lids.

Baking mac and cheese could easily be done in one.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:51 PM   #10
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Cast iron pans don't need a lot of heat beneath to become hot. Their beauty is evenly distributed heat right across the pan. Their ownly drawback is their weight. That is, if you have a large one. As CharlieD said, you have to season the pan properly and clean it likewise.

I've never cooked anything acidic in mine. Never needed to. It's a large Le Creuset, teflon lined and I've had it a long time now. Sillets are alight. Just depends what you intend cooking in it.
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