Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Tips for cooking with cast iron

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Tips for cooking with cast iron cookware

Here's an update to my post from 5 years ago about cooking with cast iron! I've been using it a TON for my freezer cooking the past few weeks! :)

P.S. Freezer cooking/pantry challenge update coming tomorrow, and a family/photo/Q&A post shortly after. Joshua is recovering well; thanks for caring! :)

My cast iron skillet

One of the things I really enjoy about living a frugal lifestyle is the creativity involved! It's also exciting to me when I make new discoveries and learn new things. Although I've had a cast iron skillet since we were married, I'm just now putting it to good use. And of course, I'm wondering why I waited so long!

I grew up cooking with stainless steel cookware, for the most part. When Joshua and I got married, he had some Teflon cookware, and I got addicted to that nice big Teflon skillet, real quick. I mean, there was no scrubbing! I always dreaded cleaning stainless steel after cooking scrambled eggs, or anything with cheese... so much work! With Teflon, washing pans was as simple as washing a plate or cup, or maybe even easier, since the food didn't "dry on", it fell off!

Of course, I had my doubts about the safety of cooking with Teflon (and recent studies have indicated that it really isn't safe!) but it's easy to live in the here-and-now and just not want to give up convenience!

Although I've had this cast iron skillet since we first were married, I had bought it unseasoned (it was cheap that way!) and had worked on seasoning it but still much preferred Teflon. Yes, I knew that cast iron takes time to season... I just kept reaching for the easier (temporary) solution: Teflon.

Until recently, that is, when our Teflon skillet started wearing out, and food started sticking and burning. I decided to start using my cast iron skillet with a passion, and turn it into my new, "natural" non-stick skillet.

And you know what? I love it! I really do, and I'm liking it more and more all the time. Have you ever met someone who was attached to their cast iron cookware? (It seems most people are, when they've seasoned it themselves and used it for years and years!) Well, that's me... in a few years. ;)

Here's what I know about cooking with cast iron (it isn't much!):

Don't use sharp or metal utensils on it. (Update: I still usually use wooden utensils, but using metal isn't necessarily harmful.)

Wash with hot water, no soap. (Update: I usually scrub with a brush in hot water, and sometimes add a drop of soap. My preference is to wash the cast iron skillet LAST, in the only-slightly-soapy dish water that's leftover, and then scrub under very hot water, rinse, and dry.)

After washing, dry with towel and then heat the empty skillet on a burner for a few minutes to make sure it's really dry.

Cranberry Oatmeal Blender Pancakes recipe
Cranberry Oatmeal Blender Pancakes (cooked on cast iron)

Tips for keeping a well-seasoned cast iron skillet:

Use your cast iron for browning ground beef or turkey, or any cooking that already has a high fat content. This will speed along the wonderful seasoning of the interior of your cookware!

Conversely, cooking acidic foods like tomatoes or applesauce in cast iron will eat away at the seasoning. This doesn't harm your cast iron cookware, and will add some iron to your diet. Keep in mind that simmering chili or applesauce in cast iron could change the flavor of your food slightly.

Seasoning tip: Coat the inside of the skillet with oil or shortening and set it on your stove's heat vent (from the oven) when it's in use. This is a nice "extra" way to season cast iron, especially when doing lots of winter baking! :)

By the way, for those of you who don't have a cast iron skillet but are interested, mine is Lodge brand, from Wal-mart and (I think) cost about $8. I think they still sell them for under $10. Sometimes you can find them at thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales, too.

Turkey breakfast sausage crumbles cooked in my cast iron skillet
Turkey Breakfast Sausage crumbles in my cast iron skillet

Some of my favorite things to do with my cast iron skillet:

Make homemade refried beans. Mmmmmm!!! Somehow refried beans seem to taste better when made in a cast iron skillet! :)

Brown ground beef for tacos, casseroles or to freeze (for easy meal-assembly later)

Make turkey breakfast sausage patties or crumbles (pictured above). SO delicious -- I'll share the recipe later this week! :)

Stir-fry veggies. (I do use some oil when cooking veggies or non-greasy things like chicken breasts in my cast iron skillet. It's well-seasoned but still not quite like a Teflon non-stick pan would be, in my opinion.)

Pan-fry cod or pollock. A little oil, a little seasoning (garlic, salt, pepper -- very lightly!) and the fish cooks in just a few minutes per side. I've been serving my pan-fried fish with rice or cooked pasta, and sometimes a red or white sauce. It's a nice change from grilled or baked fish! :)

Fry pancakes. Except I now have a cast iron griddle for pancakes and don't usually need to pull out the skillet, too. I got the griddle for $39 on Amazon.com and while I like it, I wouldn't say I quite *love* it... :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!

In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Streamlining making water kefir (Katie at Kitchen Stewardship)
2. Covering large bowls (Frugal in Florida)
3. 10 things to do with stale bread (The Local Cook)
4. Cleaning a burnt on pan (Gwen at Gwen's Nest)
5. Drying ziplock bags (Anne Jisca at Anne Jisca's Healthy Pursuits)
6. Stretching meat for people who don't like beans (The Cheapskate Cook)
7. Asparagus tips (Where The Kudzu Grows)
8. How to turn a brownie recipe into a cake (Cheryl at The Bz House That Love Built)
9. What to make from things you already have (Cheryl at The Bz House That Love Built)
10. Tips for making chicken tenders in bulk (Alea at Premeditated Leftovers)
11. Ground beef time saver tip (2 Make Ends Meet)
12. Uses for orange peels (Rachel at Trial and Error Home Ec)
13. Serving brussels sprouts (Jodi at Lg Family Farm)

Comments

I've been reading your site for a while now and I just love it!

I adore my cast iron. Along with realizing that teflon is unsafe, I got tired of the money it took to replace it every few years. When little black flecks start getting in your food, you know it's bad stuff! Cast iron will last virtually forever unless you break it!

One thing I do to mine is after I clean it I put a dime size amount of oil and use a paper towel to rub it in. It helps season, keeps rust away, and gives it a beautiful shine!

~Trish

Edited by Tammy: I removed the article that was posted, since it was copied from another website. However, here is the link for those interested: Cooking with cast iron (by Andrew Weil)! :)

I grew up cooking with cast iron, and when I got married last year, new cast iron pans were one of the first things my husband and I purchased. We got ours at williams Sonoma, because we had recieved gifts from there that we did not really need, so we had a some credit. We purchased one very large skillet, and a grill pan. The grill pan makes WONDERFULL burgers and steaks! Just be sure you have a splatter guard... Ours were lodge, and came pre-seasoned. At Williams Sonoma they were about 20 dollars each, but I know my dad has purchased a few at his favorite thrift store and only paid a few dollars for them. The bonus both ways is that they come pre seasoned! I recently bought another deap cast iron pan at macy's when they were on sale, and get to try seasoning this one soon!

The way I clean my pans is to either heat the pan up and then rinse with warm water, or emediately after serving, run the pan under water, then place it back on the stove with a little oil.

Before I was married and was still living with Momma and Daddy, we did have pans that lost there seasoning (we washed them with soap a few times I think), we started "washing" them with oil. We would put the pans on the stove top (I am not sure what tempurature) with enough oil to coat the bottom well, then simply wiped them out with paper towels. Sometimes I would have to really scrub with the paper towels, but it worked well, and the pans are now well seasoned again!

I have also heard that if you are anemic, it is good to cook tomato based sauces in cast iron, as it will leach more of the iron out of the pans.

I hope that is helpfull!

I have always used metal utensils on cast iron and never had a problem.

I have a new blog and I have linked to you. I hope you don't mind. I don't comment often, but I love your blog here. I have tried several of your recipes and they are always good! :-)

If you want to see my blog, it is:

http://randvfarmstead.blogspot.com

In Christ,

Ginny

I inherited my pan after my stepmother died. I love it. My sister wants it. Ain't gonna happen! LOL

It is the only pan I use for cornbread. It makes the BEST cornbread. After use I just wipe it out with a paper towel. If it has lost some of its shine I put a little Crisco in it while it is still warm and wipe with paper towel.I haven't cooked much else in it. I'm like you I always reach for the Teflon.

We actually have a whole collection of cast iron. It was my husbands parents. We have pans of all sizes plus a cast iron cook stove!!

Lodge cast iron pans are made in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. They have an outlet with fairly cheap prices. I think we paid ~$5 for a grill pan.

http://www.lodgemfg.com

I have heard you shouldn't use cast iron on smooth top stoves. Does anyone know if this is true??

Tricia

I use my cast iron on smooth top stove. It's one of those things that they don't recommend doing (along with canning and homebrewing) on a smooth top stove. But it's all I have so I tried anyway. I haven't had any problems. I'm just careful to lift the cast iron rather than slide it accross the stove so it won't scratch.

I inherited my favorite pan after my stepmother died. I love it!! My sister wants it. It ain't gonna happen!! LOL

I always make my cornbread in mine. After use I just wipe out with a paper towel. If it has lost some of its shine or my cornbread sticks I just add some Crisco while it is still warm and wipe out with paper towel.

DH and I actually have a collection of cast iron from his parents. We even have an old cast iron stove his grandmother used everyday! We have pans of all shapes, sizes and ages.

Lodge Cast iron pans are made in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. They have an outlet with reasonable prices. We paid ~$5 for our grill pan.
http://www.lodgemfg.com/

I have heard you shouldn't use cast iron on smooth topped stoves. Does anyone know if this is true?

Tricia

I used to use my cast iron all the time. I'd use it for anything that I was frying. I got it when I first got married (25 years ago this summer!. But last year I got a new stove and it is a glass top (smooth) surface. The manufacturer's instructions say not to use the cast iron skillet because itis heavy enough to break the glass on my stove top. So, now it is in my cupboard not being used. My daughter wanted to take it when she moved out, but I wouldn't let her. I can still use it to bake cornbread in the oven.

Hi, I read your blog all the time. I love the ideas and information. Inspiring. Just for interest sake, my parents had three cast iron fry pans when I was growing up. We used them all the time. The third was inherited from a house fire. It was found when they were cleaning up the mess. They wanted to throw it away and my mom said, "no way, that is cast iron and indestructable! I''ll take it."
She took it home, scrubbed it and seasoned it and has been using it regularly for years. She always washed her pans with hot and soapy water, but we also had to season them regularly. I now cook with my own cast iron pan and love it. I am looking for a sale on one of the big cast iron dutch ovens. They are harder to find - not as common, so not usually found at tag sales. It is on my someday wish list.
Enjoy your pans.
Sarah

I inherited my cast iron after my great-grandmother died. She got it for a wedding present in 1928. :) It is one of my favorite possessions.

Two years or so ago, it was getting, hard to describe, but rough on the bottom. We took it camping with us and put it in the fire. It was glowing red (very cool! LOL), but it burned off all the excess. It was then easy to reseason it, and it looks lovely today.

Betsy

I have my Dh's great grandmother's cast iron skillet. it is perfect! But the best cast iron piece I own is hands down my dutch oven. I tossed my crockpot in favor of my dutch oven on low in the oven. Perfect roast! Cast iron sears meat perfectly

Enoy
caroline

If you use soap, does it ruin it? or just remove the "seasoning?"

I found one while "curbside shopping" in my neighborhood on trash day. It felt sticky, so I haven't used it yet.

Alton Brown uses cast iron a lot in his cooking. His books are great for explaining the chemistry behind what's going on in the kitchen.

Jo

I was just reading another blog and in today's post, he mentions using cast iron on a glasstop stove for 10 years. http://www.sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/

Tammy, I really appreciate you and the time you put into this blog. You're a blessing!

Jo

I'm the one who posted about not using my cast iron skillet anymore because of the glass top stove. I just forgot to sign in. This is good info to know. I may give it a very careful try this weekend.

My mom always uses hers on her glass top stove! No issues!

I have always used cast iron and I use soap on mine. It may take some of the seasoning off, but it makes it easier to clean for me. Also, there is nothing you can hurt by using metal utensils on it, i do not understand why they would say that. I have had mine for about 10 years and have had to maybe reseason them once. If they get sticky then I use a bit more oil when I cook or greasy meat.
If you use it to cook tomato sauce in it, it sort of takes off the seasoning a bit also, but it is also one of the best ways to get iron, I heard from a doctor!
My mom has several that she uses also, we used them for everything!

Hope that you enjoy your pan!

I know that everything and everyone that uses cast iron says not to use soap but if you really feel the need to do so, it's ok. We do all the time. Just make sure that after you've dried the pan on the stove you add a bit of oil/shortening/ bacon grease (the best thing for seasoning EVER!) to put the oil you just took off back on the pan. I also grew up with cast iron and after my hubby finally learned how to cook with it we don't use much else. I grew up not using soap on my cast iron but hubby just couldn't handle that so once he started learning how to take care of it he started doing it himself and our pans are awesome!!!! He even rejuvenated his great grandmother's old dutch oven! I hope that anyone that was hesitant about using it because of the soap thing will now think about trying it. It's a wonderful tool in the kitchen!
Thanks, Tammy for all you hard work and recipes and insights. I really enjoy reading here.
Tracy

I love my cast iron cookware which I have bought at garage sales for around $2 each or so including my dutch oven. Nothing compares to cornbread or corn souffle made in cast iron! I am still looking for a grill pan (saw one at Cabela's but it was almost $40 for it I know I can do better than that!) I have the flat skillet too and nothing beats it for pancakes!

I grew up cooking on cast iron. We had all sized pans and a griddle. I have a "chicken fryer" which is just a 10inch skillet that is twice as deep and an 8 inch. They work beautifully. I use soap when cleaning the pan and always rub in a teaspoon of oil. One of the real keys to keeping cast iron nice is to NEVER EVER soak it!

Take Care,

Trixie

Tammy, I really enjoy your site, and appreciate the sweet perspective you bring to homemaking. I've been "just a reader" for months, but I finally got registered, so I'll comment on cast iron.
I have several size skillets, a grill pan, a double-sided griddle, a chicken fryer, and a couple of Dutch ovens, all acquired from different sources.
They are cheaper and pre-seasoned if you inherit them or buy them used. You can season and re-season easily by rubbing in a bit of oil, and put into a pre-heated 500 degree oven,then turn the oven off and let the pan sit until completely cooled.

Tammy - thanks for all the effort you put into this site and blog. Some of my best recipes have come from you!
I have several pieces of cast iron - a 3 pc. skillet set given to us as a wedding present, a chicken fryer, 10" and 12" skillets, a dutch oven, a biscuit pan and a cornbread/scone pan. Many of them were purchased unseasoned and several came from Amazon - they do have great prices, but I've learned to add things to my cart and then wait - the price can fluctuate, esp. around Mother's Day or Easter.

One of the best ways I've found to season a pan is to coat it with oil/shortening/bacon grease and leave it in the oven. Every time you heat your oven, you season your skillet. I had the hardest time getting the cornbread/scone pan seasoned because it's divided into wedges and the sides of the wedges didn't hold on to the oil very well. Leaving it in the oven for a couple of weeks has turned it into the perfectly seasoned pan I was trying so hard to achieve.
And they ARE indestructible! I left one on the stove just a bit too long and burned the seasoning off the bottom - this was a piece purchased preseasoned. I just scrubbed it well, added some oil, and left it in the oven for a while. Good as new!
As for cleaning, I don't use soap - just a hard bristled brush and hot water. I dry the pan with a paper towel, make sure it's completely dry, and then add some oil and spread it around with another paper towel.
The one thing I'm dying to get now is a grill pan/griddle. Prices have jumped on them recently - I guess because of the season.
And a tip for the person looking for a dutch oven - while I've never used enameled cast iron, Cook's Illustrated tested several enameled dutch ovens and found that a Chefmate brand from Target (not available on the web, but in the store) for $40 was just as good as the Le Crueset. Another item for my wish list. :-)

I love my cast iron skillet. I purchased it from Academy Sports. It was back in their camping supplies on clearance. It is a Lodge brand. I have had it for about 6 years and it gets better and better each time I use it. We even pack it when we go camping! I would love to find another on clearance.
I have seen the corn cob iron skillets. Oh that would be so cute for cornbread.
I do have a smooth top stove so I am very careful when I use it. I only use soap on my skillet if it is absolutely necessary. Most of the time I just rinse it in hot water, dry it really well and give it a quick wipe with oil. Then it is ready to go for the next time. I have enjoyed the posts on this because I see cast iron at the thrift store and they look so gross and sticky. But now I know I can bring them home and clean them up! Thanks to everyone for the information.

I grew up in a home where we only used teflon and so I have always used it as well. A friend of mine always uses cast iron and she made it sound very complicated to take care of. It scared me off. However, I recently found out that my daughter is anemic. I read that cooking acidic foods in cast iron multiplies the iron content phenominally, so I began cotemplating trying it. I was still wary of making the switch. Reading this thread has helped me to feel a little more confident about trying out cast iron. Thanks! :-)

I am the Cast Iron Princess, daughter of the Cast Iron Queen. =D My mom actually gave us two cast iron skillets for a bridal shower gift. I LOVE them. They are indestructible ... or so I thought. I had mine on the burner to dry and forgot about it. Oops. It burned really badly and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it all out. I ended up having to get rid of that one. After seeing Teflon pans that start to peel in your food, I never wanted to use that. As far as seasoning cast iron, when I first got mine, I would grease it generously and put it in the oven on a very low heat for a little while. That was only a couple of times before I cooked on it. Using it often is what really does the trick. = )

BTW, I forgot to add that I always use soap on mine. My mom always did and we didn't notice that it effected it at all.

Thanks for the tips, everyone!

My cast iron skillet is Lodge brand, also. :)

Ginny, I added your blog to my links page! Thanks for letting me know! :)

Ooooh, now I want a cast iron dutch oven! That sounds so fun! :) The grill pans sound nice, but we have an outdoor grill (it has a cast iron grate, actually) which is easy to use and makes less mess in the kitchen... :)

I don't think soap ruins cast iron, it just removes the seasoning, making foods more prone to stick.

My parents have a couple of cast iron skillets which they bought used. They always wash theirs with soap, and it seems like I have to use as much oil with them as with stainless steel, and food still sticks. I think the idea with cast iron being "seasoned" is that the food sticks less, and less oil has to be added to your foods. :)

Another cast iron fan here. I have had a glass stove-top for 3 years and have used my cast iron on them frequently with no problems. My owner's manual did not warn against cast iron and the salesman at Sear's said his wife used one daily on their's.

WE use ours everyday! And love it! We use just regular dish soap and water to clean them. I know you can find them for good deals at flea markets but didn't know you could get them that cheaply at Walmart.
We dry them on the stove, and yes they will stink to high heaven if you forget about them! But that hasn't seemed to damage them. Since we use regular vegetable oil to cook with and not spray, they are always being "oiled".

I love cast iron, but it can break. I had a flat griddle that accidently was set askew on a burner and the uneven heating caused the griddle to crack. I heard a very loud ping, and discovered the big crack. Science in action. Also, about using soap in cast iron; I was taught not because the pan absorbs the flavors of all that is put in it. I have some friends who have a pan strictly for potatoes and one for meat because of that reason/belief.

First, how disappointed you must have been about the cracked griddle! :(

And I do think my cast iron absorbs flavors. I can usually smell the thing that was cooked on it last, when I'm heating it up for the next use. I don't know if the smell of soap would be strong enough to flavor all of the food that's cooked in it, since I haven't noticed my food tasting like different flavors...

I have had cast iron skillets for about 15 years now. I grew up with them. I have a square skillet (good for french toast and sandwiches) two 8 inch and a dutch oven. I love them. I do use soap in mine when needed, but I just reseason by rubbing in some veg oil and putting them in a hot oven for a few minutes as described by another comment here. It's not as "stick free" as teflon, but it's great stuff. You can also clean one that has a build up or rust by building a big fire and sticking the pan in it. My great uncle used to do this. I inherited one of my skillets from him! The rest I got at auctions and some are old. I use my dutch oven to cook roast in the oven and I use the others for cornbread and my Irish soda bread in the oven. I'm thinking my dutch oven would be perfect for this new round of "no knead" bread recipes. Anyway, love cast iron and glad your looking into it!

p.s. I recently bought two Edgar Meyer CD's at half price books. I'm so glad you introduced me to him!

That last post was me. I always forget to log in!!!

I love my cast iron. I spent years not knowing how to season them without starting a fire! lol We used to cover them with oil and throw them on a fire for a while. I finally found out how to do it in the oven about 3 years ago. (I've been out of my parents home with my pans for 22 years! lol)

I have always used metal utensils with them with no problem. I put a little oil in them and rub all over after I have to use soap and water on them. I have heard that they can crack but I have never known anyone who has had that happen.

I recieved 2 cast iron frypans when I was married 39 yrs. ago from my mother. I still use them to this day. To season a frypan you coat with oil, place in a oven at around 250 degrees for about 3 hrs. I have four grown children and when they left home I made sure they each had a cast iron frypan. These frypans never were out they only get better. I also have a cast iron dutch oven that was purchased by my husband's grandparents when they came to Canada from Brittany, France in 1910. I still use it for roast pork. You can't beat the flavor from it.

Found your blog looking for tips on cooking with stainless steel. I agree about the teflon coating.
I actually look at cooking with cast iron as a hobby. And, believe it or not, my wife does not object. I have a 10" skillet, 5 qt dutch oven, a 10" griddle, a square grill. When first brought home, I scrub with hot soapy water and rinse well. Wipe all surfaces with vegetable oil and bake at 350 for an hour and let cool in the oven. (FIRST!! - put a piece of foil under the pan, and place the pan on a rack above the foil upside down.) After each use, when the pan has cooled just a little, I run hot tap water and scrub out with a plastic brush, towel dry and wipe in side with oil. I place it back on the burner and let them cool off together. Almost stick free.

Corn bread recipe - heat oven to 425, place a few table spoons of oil in pan and place it oven; I cup of butter milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and beat, add in 1 cup of Martha White's self rising corn meal. When oven reaches cooking temp, remove pan, pour in mix, cook for about 20-25 minutes. GREAT cornbread. Butter, molasses, fork, apply liberally to mouth and enjoy.

I never thought about preheating the cast iron pan before pouring in the batter. Great tip! I'll try it this weekend. We do a lot of dutch oven cooking with our Boy Scout Troop by campfire. It's a lot of fun!

I found your website today and have marked several fn your recipes on PINTEREST to try later. I wanted to share my favorite recipe for my cast iron skillet.

Mama's Cornbread

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 1/2 cup self rising flour
1 egg
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cup milk

Heat oven to 400*. Mix all ingredients. Put enough cooking oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet to cover the bottom. Preheat the skillet and oil on stove top. (Skillet is ready when a drop of cornbread mixture dropped in the oil sizzles.) Pour mixed ingredients into skillet and place in oven. Bake 15-17 minutes until center springs back. Then broil until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately turn cornbread over from pan onto a plate.

This recipe was handed down to me by my mom.

I have several skillets that were wedding presents 32 years ago and have been given several pieces including a dutch oven by mother-in-love. My husband also has a dutch oven that he uses for camping.

Blessings,

Debbie in MS

Debbie, thanks so much for sharing your mom's cornbread recipe! I'd love to try this some time. :)

A friend of mine has the most well-kept cast iron skillet I've ever seen. She rubs vegetable oil all over it after every use and keeps it stored in a plastic grocery bag. I started doing that with mine, and it works perfectly.

I have a little video of how I streamline the process to make my kids' favorite probiotic drink:
http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2012/01/19/how-to-make-water-kefir-update-video/

Thanks, Tammy!

http://frugalinflorida.blogspot.com/2012/01/covering-large-bowls.html

I use shower caps to cover a LOT of things. Works so much better than plastic wrap, plus you can reuse them quite a few times ...

*Really need to be keeping an eye out for a cast iron skillet ... safe to use on a flat top stove?

Glad to hear Joshua is doing well (and hope you are hanging in there too!)

oooh thanks for the cast iron tips!

Today I'm linking up 10 things to do with stale bread as part of bread week in our Back to Basics cooking series
http://thelocalcook.com/2012/01/31/10-things-to-do-with-stale-bread/

Here is my kitchen tip for the week...I am SO excited to discover this cool tip for cleaning off burnt on food.
http://www.gwens-nest.com/family-favorite-recipes/kitchen-tips-cleaning-burnt-on-food

http://www.gwens-nest.com
Swing by my slightly cuckoo nest for family favorite recipes, herbal remedies, funny kid stories and more fun stuff!

Hi Tammi!

So glad to hear Joshua is recovering well.

I love cast iron! I have one non-stick that I use for certain things, but once it "dies", I'm not replacing it! I use my 2 cast iron pans all the time. :)

Here's my tip for this week, update from last week's, yet another handy way of drying ziploc bags!
http://annejisca.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/kitchen-tip-drying-ziploc-bags-way-2/

Here's my Kitchen Tip: http://thecheapskatecook.com/2012/01/25/one-of-the-easiest-heartiest-meals-to-frugalize/

We have a cast iron pan that was my grandmother's! Cooks food well, fairly easy to clean, and the fact that it was my grandmother's makes it extra special. Thanks for the tips! I'm not super knowledgeable about cast iron, so this was helpful!

I have never really used cast iron but am always drawn to the ridged grill-style pan when we are at the local Amish store. Anyone have one? Any comments or recommendations?

I love my cast iron, I have a dutch oven and four skillets from 12" down to a little 4-incher that I make my son single eggs in that fit bread perfectly for sandwiches. I make excellent omelets in my 8" skillet, using a mix of butter and olive oil to make sure my pan's slick enough.

I think the best way to season your skillets, like you mentioned, is to keep using them. But when one starts to stick a little, I make cornbread by heating the skillet with oil in the oven as the oven warms. When everything reaches 400 degrees, pour in your batter and bake. Keep this up and you'll have a happily seasoned skillet.

You can visit the National Cornbread Festival's website at www.nationalcornbread.com for a TON of cornbread recipes, sweet and savory, but give me a choice and I'll make plain old hoe cakes to top with butter and molasses!

Also, after you wash and dry your skillet, rub it down with a light coating of oil to keep it in good shape. (I use olive oil mostly but any will do.)

Being from South Pittsburg, TN, home of Lodge Manufacturing, I have a deep appreciation for cast iron and am grateful for your SP shout out!

So glad to hear Joshua is doing better! Great cast iron tips as well!! Today I'm talking about asparagus, a personal favorite. :-)

http://wherethekudzugrows.com/2012/01/asparagus-perfection-2/

It IS possible to ressurect cast iron. I bought two of the gnarliest, rustiest cast iron frying pans at a yard sale..2 for one dollar. It took a ton of scouring pads with salt & lots of elbow grease to get all the rust off (I would scrub 'til it was clean, put it on a stove burner to dry out, and MORE rust would rise to the surface!). It took a while and a loooong seasoning process, but now I have two great pans!.

Hi Tammy ;->
this weekend we again did the food for our church's middle school snow camp. We used our huge cast iron griddle (ran off gas like a gas grill) to cook the cinnamon swirl bread french toast, as well as to brown the sausage links (cook them in a slow cooker, then brown them on the griddle).

I told Brian that I should do a web search about what care we should be giving our griddle (it's huge!! Sits on a wood base in the middle of the floor). then God has you post the info. I need. He's awesome!

I have two postings I'd like to link up today.

#1 - http://thebzhousethatlovebuilt.blogspot.com/2012/01/brownie-cake.html
how to turn a brownie recipe into a cake.

#2 - http://thebzhousethatlovebuilt.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-do-you-have-on-hand.html
a web site to go to when you don't know what you can make out of what you currently have in stock.

How did the surgery go?

Your web friend,
Cheryl B.
The Bz House That Love Built

Hi Tammy,

I grew up cooking with cast iron, but just recently picked up 2 cast iron pans for myself. I really appreciate your tips as I learn to cook with them again.

I am linking some time saving tips for making chicken tenders in bulk.

Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers

Hi Tammy! I found your blog last week, when I linked up to Good Cheap Eats! Anyway, I wanted to share a time saver for my kitchen tip this week.
http://2makeendsmeet.blogspot.com/2012/01/kitchen-time-saver-ground-beef-in-your.html

Thank you for hosting!
P.S. I have never used cast iron...I am intrigued now! :)

Here's my tip:

Uses for Orange Peels
http://trialanderrorhomeec.blogspot.com/2012/01/ktt-keep-those-orage-peels.html

Thanks for all the info about cast iron!

Rachel

I have just gotten back into using my cast iron skillet and dutch oven after neglecting them for years (for similar convenience factors to what you mentioned) and I am SO glad I started using them again! I put a very light coat of bacon grease on the pans after every use while they are still warm (after washing in hot water) and put them on the hot eye I cooked with or in an oven that is still warm. I think it really helps to lightly season them every time, but that might be because I cook a lot of tomato based things. In any case, I'm glad to have my dutch oven back in working order especially since I broke my crock pot insert last night by brilliantly putting cold water in it after just removing piping hot beans!

I keep saying I'm going to get one and haven't done so. Maybe I should!

Today I talked about our brussel sprouts for dinner...delish!

http://www.lgfamilyfarm.com/2012/01/great-brussel-sprout-experiment.html

Hi, Jodi! :)

I tried to comment on your blog post but the only account I could comment through was LiveJournal and when I tried to submit my comment, it said it couldn't go through... and then I couldn't find a way to email you or contact you in any other way on your site!! Anyway, here is my comment. :)

Mmmm, we get those same packages of brussels sprouts at Costco and I love them! :) If they are small brussels sprouts (a large-ish "bite size"), I don't cut or trim them at all -- just wash in a colander and then toss with oil/seasonings before roasting. Last time they were too big to leave whole though... so I cut them and it was a lot more work. :D

One other thing I found was that it was better to roast them at 350 degrees rather than anything higher, such as 400 or 425 like many recipes call for. The lower heat allows them to still get roasted (especially if not spread too thick on the baking sheet) without getting any burned outsides (which my kids did NOT like!)! :D

Anyway, just a couple things I've found as I've been making brussels sprouts semi-regularly in the past year or so. :)

I have been using my cast iron for years - bought a few, inherited a few, and picked up a couple at yard sales (used is usually already well seasoned!)
Tip for cleaning anything stuck on - salt! sprinkle salt in bottom of pan, and add a little water to just make a paste. Leave for a few minutes, then scrub with a brush - gets off tough stuck on food without damaging the finish!

I love my cast iron cookware!!! Cast iron are the only type of skillets I have. I have 3 in different sizes. A small one that will hold about 4 eggs for frying and other liitle jobs, a medium one that is the standard size skillet, and a large one that is ridicoulous and honestly hard for me to pick up, but it is great for our growing family and I find I use it the most. I can brown 5lbs. of ground beef in it at once, or a large lunch of fried rice. I rarely ever use soap on my skillets...like maybe once every two months. There are ony two reasons why I use soap when I do. One is if I make taco meat, I use just a little bit of soap or else the next meal may taste like taco seasoning and the other is if I make a grilled cheese wtih wheat bread....2 of our kids can not eat gluten so if I ever put gluten in our skillets hot water doesn't get the gluten off and so I have to use soap. I have been using them for almost 5 years now and LOVE it. No way will I ever go back to stainless. I even love the cast iron dutch ovens/pots.

We use our cast iron dutch ovens when camping and they are so wonderful. Charcoal pieces on the bottom and top (fewer on the bottom than the top-how many depends on what you are cooking) and it works like a charm. We even make a delicious pineapple upside down cake in the dutch oven on the fire. Cakes turn out really nice in them and smell so good. You would think they would take on a grill flavor but they don't at all. Try it if you are a camper, it won't disappoint!

I grew up with cast iron and have inherited my Mom's and my Grandma's skillets, dutch ovens, and cornbread pan. My oldest skillet is about 60 years old now. Both my Mom and Grandma were adamant about no soap, ever. They used salt instead. It scrubs out any "stickies" from meats and such and helps remove excess oil without stripping the seasoning. Just a tip that worked for them and has worked for me as well.

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