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Old 04-07-2007, 09:43 PM   #1
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Question What to cook in cast iron?

How do you guys/gals decide what to cook/not cook in cast iron? There are just so many things with tomatoes in it that you ask your self at what point do i not cook whatever in cast iron. I mean i know you wouldn't make your favorite marinara but how about chilli or vegetable soup which has tomatoes in it. I guess there are just so many things that have acidic ingredients in it. How do you determine what will work and what won't? Then comes frying. Many will tell you that cast iron will make your oil break down faster so you shouldn't fry in cast iron either...so what is left :).



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Old 04-07-2007, 11:02 PM   #2
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We sear steaks and I fry hamburgers all the time in ours. I also use it for salisbury steak and stroganoffAny whoo ... It's pretty well seasoned and I'm sure to give it an extra coating every time and I've never had problems.

(edited for spelling error and I finally remembered "stroganoff"!! - way to late last night ...)

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Old 04-08-2007, 03:28 AM   #3
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Trial and error, I'd say, with breaded fried stuff leading the way. Cast iron skillets make the best grilled cheese sammies I've ever had. Lamb chops come out great and chicken cutlets even better. Then there are home fries.....I've only had my skillet maybe three months and I hadn't cooked much before so I'm sure there are tons of stuff to try. Can't wait to do so..
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Old 04-08-2007, 03:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Spiritboxer
Cast iron skillets make the best grilled cheese sammies I've ever had.
If you get two of them hot and stack them, you have a panini press.
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Old 04-08-2007, 05:00 AM   #5
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I always start a roux in them for gumbo as well as preheating the iron skillet for cornbread--we like ours the southern way---crispy on the bottom. Those are the 2 best reasons in my family to hold on to them. I'm sure that you will be given lots of other great suggestions.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:11 AM   #6
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I saw Emeril use a cast iron pan last night to make a cranberry upside down cake.

I've done just about EVERYTHING in cast iron.

Cast iron is excellent for cooking because it can tolerate high temps much better than Pyrex, stainless steel or aluminum. And since it's black in color anyway, there's no need to worry if it looks pretty or not!

I've fried chicken, made gumbo, cooked rice, soups and stews in cast iron. It's very versatile and holds heat better and longer than most other cookware.

You can get it plain, seasoned or enamel-coated. About the only shortcoming with cast iron is that it WILL RUST, which is why it must be kept dry or greased and away from any kind of moisture.

It is also not DW safe. Once it's washed, it must be dried immediately and re-greased.
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Old 04-08-2007, 12:10 PM   #7
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Corey gave some excellent advice.

I mainly use cast iron and stainless steel. And the acid in the foods is a concern to me when using cast iron. If I can cook something in cast iron under 20 minutes that has acid, I will do so. If it takes more than 20 minutes, I use SS. i use cast iron for searing meats, sauteing vegetables, cooking pancakes and sandwiches. I use the CI so frequently, I often leave the pans out on the stove top.
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:12 PM   #8
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Thank you!
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:16 PM   #9
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I only use my cast iron to sear meat and fish. You can do lots of things with it, but then you run the risk of rust. My iron is about 135 years old though, a gift from my grandmother, so anything that has to do with a lot of acid or a lot of moisture goes into another pan, and I don't ever have to worry about rust.
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:27 PM   #10
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ncage, you might want to pick Uncle Bob's brain on cast iron cooking. I think he might have some excellent advice.

I have quite a few pieces and love the way they perform when they are seasoned to perferction, which most of them are. I have a large skillet that's probably at least 100-years-old that is "to die for" to cook almost anything. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

And, yes, acid-based foods will be quite a challenge to your cast iron pieces.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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