A prawn curry prepared in a cast iron skillet

How to Cook with Cast Iron Skillet | Easy Beginner Tips

I’ve been using a cast iron skillet for as long as I can remember. It’s my favorite kitchen tool. My mom used one, and so did my grandmother. There’s something special about cooking with cast iron. The food always tastes great and it’s so easy to use. If you’re not familiar with cast iron skillets, or you’ve been thinking about buying one but aren’t sure if they’re worth the investment, read on.

I’ll explain how to cook with cast iron skillet and why I love mine so much…you should definitely consider adding one to your kitchen arsenal.

How to cast iron

Working with iron is an ancient tradition. There’s something special about taking a raw material and shaping it into something useful or beautiful. This process involves melting down iron bars in the fire then pouring them once cooled (and hard) inside molds made out of sand/plaster [1].

These molds can withstand high temperatures so they’ll stay put when removed later on after cooling again naturally, without breaking apart during heating cycles due to tampering by hand.

What can you cook in a cast iron skillet?

A cast iron skillet is one of the most versatile pieces of kitchen equipment that you can own. Not only can it be used for cooking on the stovetop, but it can also be used for baking, broiling and even frying. And because cast iron skillets are so durable, they can last for generations – my mother-in-law still has her one from 30 years ago!

When it comes to cooking, a cast iron skillet is ideal for making meals that are hearty and satisfying. Stews, casseroles, and deep-dish pies are all perfect for this type of cooking. And because cast iron retains heat so well, it’s also ideal for making slow-cooked meals such as pot roasts and braised chicken.

In short, a cast iron skillet is the perfect tool for making comfort food. But it’s not just limited to savory dishes – a cast iron skillet can also be used to make desserts such as fruit cobblers and chocolate chip cookies. So if you’re looking for a versatile and durable cooking tool, look no further than a cast iron skillet.

Blueberry pancakes prepared using a black cast iron pan.

When to use cast iron skillet

If you’re like me, your mother probably handed down a cast iron skillet (or two) that’s seen better days. But don’t be too quick to get rid of it! With a little bit of love, that skillet can become your new best friend in the kitchen. Here are a few tips on when to use your cast iron skillet:

1. When you need an all purpose pan

A cast iron skillet is the perfect size for everything from frying up a couple of eggs to cooking a small roast. Whether you’re making breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this versatile pan can do it all.

2. When you want food with a crispy outer layer and a tender interior

Cast iron skillets are great for achieving both a crispy outer crust and a juicy interior. So whether you’re cooking chicken, fish, or vegetables, this is the pan to use if you want perfectly cooked food every time.

Two steak fillets fried in oil using a black cast iron skillet or pan.

3. When you need even heat distribution

Because cast iron conducts heat so well, it’s ideal for cooking at high temperatures. This makes it perfect for things like searing meat or blackening fish.

4. To serve guests food

There’s something about serving food in a cast iron skillet that just looks impressive. Maybe it’s the rustic appearance or the fact that food cooked in cast iron always seems to taste better. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to impress your guests, break out the cast iron!

So there you have it – four reasons to start using your cast iron skillet more often. With its versatility and ability to produce perfectly cooked food, this trusty old pan is guaranteed to become your new kitchen staple.

Cast iron tips

It’s versatile, durable and easy to care for. But sometimes, no matter how carefully I season my skillet or what type of oil I use, my food still sticks or my cast iron starts smoking. Here are a few tips that may help you care for your cast iron:

1. Make sure to use the right type of oil

Some oils, like olive oil, have a lower smoke point than others, which means they can start smoking at lower temperatures. Choose oil with a high smoke point, like canola oil or peanut oil, to help prevent your cast iron from smoking.

2. Do not overheat pan

If your pan is too hot, the oil will start to smoke. So if you notice your food starting to stick or your cast iron starting to smoke, turn down the heat and give your pan a chance to cool off before continuing to cook.

3. Season your cast iron skillet

Seasoning a cast iron pan is essential to keeping it in good condition. This process helps to create a smooth surface that is less likely to stick. It also protects the pan from rust and makes it easier to clean.

  1. To season a cast iron pan, first rub it with a light layer of oil.
  2. Then, place the pan in a preheated oven and bake it for 1 – 2 hours.
  3. Carefully remove your pan/skillet from the oven, and apply another layer of oil.
  4. Place it back into the oven for 30-45 mins.
  5. After seasoning your pan/skillet will be ready to use.

Just remember to clean it with warm water and mild soap after each use. Make sure that you dry it thoroughly after washing, then apply a thin layer of oil to prevent it from oxidizing (rust formation). With proper care, a cast iron pan can last for generations.

A back cast iron skillet after it has been seasoned with oil.

Cast iron pan cooking

When it comes to cooking, cast iron pans are the best cookware for a variety of reasons. For one, they are very durable and last for years with proper care. Additionally, cast iron pans can be used on a variety of cooking surfaces, including gas, electric and induction stovetops.

They also hold heat well, meaning food can be cooked evenly without hot spots. Furthermore, cast iron pans are naturally non-stick, making them ideal for cooking eggs and other delicate foods.

Finally, cast iron pans improve with age, developing a patina that helps to further protect against sticking and rusting. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder cast iron pans are a favorite among home cooks.

What can you not cook in a cast iron skillet?

Even though a cast iron skillet is durable, can be used on any type of cooking surface, and is perfect for browning or frying foods, there are some things that you should not cook in a cast iron skillet. First, acidic foods such as tomatoes can cause the skillet to rust.

Second, delicate foods such as fish or eggs can stick to the skillet and be difficult to remove. Finally, sugary foods can burn easily in a cast iron skillet. For these reasons, it is important to choose the right recipe when cooking with a cast iron skillet.

When to add oil to cast iron skillet

Cooking with a cast iron skillet is a bit of an art form. If you’ve ever tried it, you know that there’s a bit of a learning curve. One of the most important things to know is when to add oil to the pan. The general rule of thumb is that you should add oil before each use.

This helps to keep the skillet seasoned and prevents it from rusting. However, if you’re cooking with high heat or if you’re going to be cooking for a long time, you may need to add more oil. Pay attention to how the food is cooking and add oil as needed. With a little practice, you’ll be a cast iron expert in no time!

Full carrots cooked using a black cast iron skillet or pan, sprinkled with herbs.

Do you spray a cast iron skillet before cooking?

No, you don’t. First time I used a cast iron skillet, so of course, I googled it. The first results that came up were “Do you spray a cast iron skillet before cooking?” and “Spraying a cast iron skillet before cooking?”

I read through the articles and it said that you don’t need to spray a cast iron skillet before cooking because it’s already seasoned. Seasoning is basically when you coat the skillet with oil and bake it in the oven (as explained above). So, if your skillet is already seasoned, there’s no need to spray it before cooking.

Wrapping up: How to cook with cast iron skillet

And there you have it! Be sure to experiment to get the most out of your pan and don’t forget the golden rule of cast iron cookery: always clean your pan after use, while it’s still hot. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert in no time! Happy cooking 🙂

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Charlene Gallant

Charlene is a lover of good food. She enjoys nothing more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen and sharing her favourite recipes with her readers. She also enjoys reading a good book.

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