I am so excited to have Miranda from My Food and Life Encounters guest post for me.  I heard through the grapevine that she was in the midst of creating a post on cast iron.  One of my favorite subjects!  I love my cast iron and could not imagine cooking without it.  I immediately asked her if she wouldn’t mind guest posting at my blog.  I would love for all my readers to not only learn a bit more about cast iron but to introduce you to this wonderful mother of two.  Miranda is such a fun person that has a joy for life, her children, and especially her husband.  You can feel the admiration she has for him through every one of her posts and it’s this joy that reminds me what a gift the Lord has given us in a husband.  She’s a beautiful reminder of what it is to love and stand by your man and how to be an amazing mommy.   Also, this woman is not afraid to cook!  There is always something yummy going on at My Food and Life Encounters.  Thank you Miranda for sharing at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

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This will be my first guest post and I am thrilled it is for Diana. She is the ultimate mother, foodie and friend whom inspires me to grow as a food blogger and person.

I am a foodie, a food blogger, wife and a mother. I am a Stay at Home Mommy for two little amazing girls. I have been cooking for years which is a passion my mother has passed down to me. I have been food blogging at My Food and Life Encounters for a year and half. Yahoo! I love my life!

Oh…Enough about me thats talk about the Cast Iron Skillet…..

The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet was founded by Joseph Lodge in 1896.  Over a hundred and fourteen years ago!  Do you want to know what is even more amazing?  It is still a family run business.  Not only that but the Cast Iron Pans made generations ago are still being used in kitchens today.  They are timeless!

Although I was always afraid to purchase one, I am now an owner of a cast iron skillet.  Not just any cast iron skillet a US made Lodge Cast Iron Skillet.

Why so reserved you may ask?  As I encountered the cuisine of Southern womanhood, each discussion about their secret weapon was intimidating. This was a club no Ohio River Valley Girl should attempt to join.  Besides, their wares had decades of uses to get that “unique” flavor.  Seasoning?  I HAD NO IDEA what a seasoned pan meant.  I thought seasoning meant a little bit of salt and pepper on the pan and assumed it was really difficult to take care of and maintain?

Don’t tell the daughter of a Pipe fitter, raised in the rust belt, that this piece of metal was out of my league.  I have since learned a lot from my Lodge Cast Iron.  Again, this is my experience so please consult Auntie Lou Ann in case I missed something.

  1. Cast iron is naturally non-stick.  But if food begins to stick in a cast iron pan it may need seasoned.

    I have learned that seasoning is a way of maintaining the pan. To season a pan you lightly oil the pan with a neutral oil (that is high in saturated fats) on the entire inside of the pan and flip and put it in the middle of the oven. Put a foil lined baking pan below on the last oven shelf. Bake on 500 for thirty to sixty minutes. Remove. Repeat if needed.

    If a pan is not seasoned correctly food will stick and it will be prone to rusting.

    Seasoning correctly causes the oil to become permeated into the pores of a cast iron skillet. It causes a tough and hard film in the pan. This is the BIG secret of maintain a non-stick and an amazing cast iron-skillet.

  2. If seasoned correctly nothing will stick to your cast iron pan.
     
  3. Cast Iron pans last a lifetime. Many lifetimes. Pass them down to your kids…….
     
  4. The Cast Iron Pan heats and cooks all food evenly!

WHAT NOT TO DO WITH A CAST IRON PAN:

  1. You should not wash it in the dishwasher or like other pans. Cast iron needs to be wiped clean without soap.  No harsh brushes or sponges.  If you have a lot of residue that is hard to remove, boiling water should do the trick.
     
  2. You should not cook foods containing tomatoes, vinegar or other acidic ingredients. This will damage the seasoning that you have worked so hard to create. The best foods to cook in cast iron is high fatty foods. Such as: Bacon, Sausage, Chicken, Beef and Pork.
  3. Never try to cook on a cold pan. ALWAYS PREHEAT!

I love my Lodge Cast Iron Pan. I am not sure how I lived so long without one. In the last month I have made: Chicken Fried Steak, Oven Fried Chicken, and Apple Dutch Pancakes. It is a must have in all kitchens!

Did I do OK Auntie? Now how’s about sharing that that fried mac n’ cheese recipe

Thank you, Diana for the opportunity!

Miranda


9 Responses to How to Properly Take Care of a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have one cast iron skillet that is seasoned correctly and one that is a mess and everything sticks to it. I noticed lately it shows some rust. Do you know how to fix te problem? It has been seasoned many times over but stuff continues to stick.

  2. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal says:

    Thank you so much for these tips :)

  3. Miranda says:

    Anonymous-Are you whipping the inside of the pan with a neutral oil? Baking for 30 minutes to an hour upside down? Let cool. Then repeat the process.

    If I were you…I would season it over and over. I would whip the entire skillet with neutral oil. Make sure you have a lined baking pan at the bottom of the oven to catch any drippings. But the oil WILL become embedded into the pan causing the rust to go away and the pan to once again be non-stick.

    You will just have to repeat the process many times. I promise, it will work. It just may take more times because of the amount of rust.

  4. Foy Update - Garden Cook Write Repeat says:

    Maybe this is why cast iron never appealed to me: I don't cook with meat. I have a skillet. Perhaps this winter I'll look into these Dutch Apple Pancakes you speak of. It's way too hot right now to put the oven up to 500.

  5. Mandy says:

    I too have been intimidated to cook with cast iron. I have my grandmothers in storage! Maybe I should pull those pans out and give them a try – I bet they are good and seasoned by now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Miranda,
    I have seasoned the pan over and over with lard and coconut oil. I was wondering if I need to somehow scour all the rust out and start over as I don't sangria flaking of te rust or coating to enter the food.
    From your post I get yheidea that season again and again is enough to remove the rust?

  7. Diana Bauman says:

    What wonderful comments!

    Hi Anonymous, maybe I can help. I've purchased all of my cast iron skillets from antique stores. I've found them for cheap and most had rust. I used a steel pad and baking soda and scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed! The rust was mostly on the surface, so if it's penetrated deep within the pores of the skillet you may have more problems than it's worth. As soon as I scrubbed the rust off, I did coat it with EVOO and put it in the oven for a good 45 minutes. Although my pans are pretty well seasoned, after each use I do put a light coating of EVOO or lard on them. They are smooth as butter and stick free :D

    Foy – I use my cast iron skillet for everything. Including spanish tortilla omelets made with evoo. EVOO works like a dream :D

  8. girlichef says:

    Great post, Miranda! My cast iron skillets are my prized kitchen posessions!! =)

  9. Miranda says:

    Thanks Diana!!!! I do the same. I always put a coat of oil on mine when done cooking….

    Girlchef…THANK YOU

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