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Old 08-18-2014, 11:01 AM   #1
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Help on Cast Iron Skillet

Hello everyone, this is my first post to the forum, i am 15yrs old and new to cooking.I was thinking of bying a cast iron skillet as i want to get rid of the cheap non stick pans. So , i want some advice on what cant you cook on it and also i have read that you cant wash it with soap as the seasoning will come off ,but i saw a clip in amazon from Lodge's cast iron skillets and they said if you wash it with soap , just apply a layer of vegetable oil and it will be just fine. Last question ( i know its getting too long , sry ) do you have to reseason the skillet and if yes how often. I hope you dont find my post too long to read and that someone will help me :D .Thanks in advance for the answers.

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Old 08-18-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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Well seasoned cast iron is not going to loose its seasoning over a little soap and water (or even a lot of it)

When I use soap and water I dry on the stove and give it a quick wipe of oil.

We have several piece of Lodge and are very happy with all of them.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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A cast iron skillet has to be seasoned before use. Each use after that will add to the seasoning. Once you have a well-seasoned CI pan, it will be non-stick and tougher than Teflon.

A pan with a good seasoning can be washed with soap and just dried and wiped with a THIN coating of oil.

You can do anything in CI that you can do in other pans.

If possible, buy a pre-seasoned pan (Lodge Mfg.) for a good start. Then cook foods that call for fat in the pan to add to the seasoning. Fry sausages or bacon for example.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:42 PM   #4
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cast iron

All good advice here. I regularly use several cast iron pans, skillets, etc. The main thing with cast iron is to wash it right away and make sure to thoroughly dry it before you put it away. If for some reason rust starts, it can be easily removed with original CocaCola (not Pepsi or diet Coke). Also, if you apply oil, whether before you put it away or before seasoning in the oven, make sure it is a very thin coat. Wipe it on and then wipe it all off with a dry paper towel. That will leave a thin coat on the pan which won't get sticky (bad).
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:35 AM   #5
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Cast iron is a great thing to use, a well seasoned pan can be used to cook anything. I do about 95% of my cooking in CI with no issues.

I would avoid soap, at least until you have built up a good layer of seasoning. After you wash it, it is heated to dry the pan completely which would be just as effective as using soap for killing bacteria. I use a thin layer of Crisco after every use. Just do a THIN coat, as stated above (otherwise you'll have a REALLY sticky mess on your hands... and your stove, counter, and everywhere else!).

As for seasoning/reseasoning, you should season your pan when you first get it, even if it is "pre-seasoned". It's a very easy process, wash it out with water and a nylon brush, dry it on the stove, add a layer of crisco, wipe it off with a towel to remove any excess, and place it in the oven upsidedown (prevents pooling of any oils that would create the sticky mess). Let it bake for an hour or two at 500 F, turn off the oven, and let it cool in the oven overnight.

This only needs to be repeated if your pan becomes worn out, your seasoning comes off, or you lose the non-stick qualities.

Another tip for ya, if you get food stuck on the pan that rinsing won't get off, make a paste of oil and coarse salt (I use sea salt, seems to work better for my pans, some prefer kosher salt), and scrub away at the stuck on food using the paste and a paper towel. Works great! And if that doesn't work, heat a little bit of water in the pan to loosen it up, just don't let the water sit for too long, or you'll be looking at rust!

If there is rust, a couple alternatives to using Coca-Cola (and usually cheaper) are the potato trick, cut a potato in half and rub the cut side on the rust. Or let it sit in a vinegar bath (50/50 water/white vinegar) for 5 minutes, no more than 5 though!

Good luck, and enjoy!
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Then cook foods that call for fat in the pan to add to the seasoning. Fry sausages or bacon for example.
Bacon is best, get the fattiest bacon you can find! You can even save the grease for cooking with later (or using instead of butter in biscuits or cornbread).
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:17 AM   #7
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Bake your CI skillet at 425F for an hour or so....keep your initial layer of lard, or fat or whatever...thin thin thin... (so many put on too thick a coating).

OK, here's what I'm saying.

After that, fry (or don't) some chicken or whatever. Pour some cooking oil into your cast iron pan and bring it up to fry temp for awhile. It will benefit you more than just frying bacon. Your CI pan will now keep shiny after hot water cleanings... your final water rinse will leap off the pan.

Cooking bacon a lot is still good. It still leaves a CI pan non-stick...but not shiny, and not as non stick as bringing a cup of oil up to fry temps.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:27 PM   #8
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Voultsi, I wished I'd begun cooking at your age! You're off to a great start. I have a large frying pan and large Dutch oven. I pre-seasoned them with cooking oil in a hot oven. Both of them are probably 30 years old and don't show a speck of wear. I use the Dutch oven for everything, especially when I need a high-temperature stir-fry. I'll have to pass my two cast iron items down in my will since both my children want them!
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:18 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the replies
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Bake your CI skillet at 425F for an hour or so....keep your initial layer of lard, or fat or whatever...thin thin thin... (so many put on too thick a coating).

OK, here's what I'm saying.

After that, fry (or don't) some chicken or whatever. Pour some cooking oil into your cast iron pan and bring it up to fry temp for awhile. It will benefit you more than just frying bacon. Your CI pan will now keep shiny after hot water cleanings... your final water rinse will leap off the pan.

Cooking bacon a lot is still good. It still leaves a CI pan non-stick...but not shiny, and not as non stick as bringing a cup of oil up to fry temps.
Frying in cast iron is so nice too! Who needs an electric fryer if you have a nice cast iron skillet (or chicken fryer, or dutch oven for those bigger things to fry)
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