Myths About Cast-Iron Pans Busted
Do you want to know the truth about cast iron pans? Like, for real, do you want to know what you can and cannot do with them, what they are good for and what they are not? Well, here are a whole bunch of myths about cast-iron pans – totally busted! Truly, cast iron pans are the best cookware you can find. In a world full of Teflon non-stick, it’s really difficult to find the good old, tried and true, cast iron panware anymore. But, let’s face it, even though they’re not ridden with harmful chemicals as non-stick pans are, they are still not totally perfect. Their efficiency and longevity totally depend on the way that you take care of them! Makes sense, huh?
So bring on the MythBusters! There is just so much false information circulating around out there about cast iron pans. We’re here to tell you the truth. First of all, cast iron cookware is NOT indestructible. It is downright fallible, okay. So stop putting it up there on that grand pedestal. Cast iron pans can actually break! Yes, imagine it. The very same qualities that make it hard can also break it down, making it become brittle. If you subject your cast iron cookware to intense impact, heat or twisting, you can indeed break it. It’s never a good idea to heat a pan on the burner if it doesn’t have anything in it. That’s a really good way to ask for trouble. Always remember: if you are going to cook, then at the very least add your oil to the pan just as you start heating it – and don’t wait too long before you start adding the rest of the ingredients.
The next cast iron cookware myth is that it you can best clean a dirty cast iron pan is by heating it over the fire. Nope! This is dead wrong, folks. If you heat your cast iron pan over the fire, you are going to severely warp it, so please stop right now. Put the pan down! Walk away from it. We know it’s dirty and covered in baked-on grease, but there’s got to be a better way. While there is a grain of truth in this story (yes fire will dissolve away all of the buildup), you really don’t want to take the change of damaging your beloved cast iron pan. Heating the metal to this high degree can actually even change its molecular structure, causing it to break down.
So how do you season a cast iron pan so that you can create your very own natural non-stick barrier? Well it’s very simple, really! First, give your cast iron pans a really good scrub. Fill the sink up with warm (not hot) soapy water and gently scrub the cast iron cookware with mesh or a medium-soft vegetable brush. Then rinse off the cast iron pans and allow them to dry by putting them in the oven on low heat. Once they’re dry, they’re ready to season!
To season your cast iron cookware, get yourself some coconut oil and rub about a teaspoon’s worth all over the pan – we’re talking inside, outside, top and bottom and even the handle! Do this with all of your cast iron pans. Then heat your oven up to four hundred degrees Fahrenheit and put all of your oiled-up pans inside, face down. Yes, this is going to create a bit of a grease drip, so keep your fan on and maybe even open a window. It will be worth it, trust us.
Heat your cast oiled cast iron pans like this for one hour, then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. You may want to repeat this process one more time to make sure they are all sealed and seasoned properly. Now you will have perfectly seasoned cast iron pans and your food won’t stick to them when you are cooking!
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