Cast iron skillets are an essential kitchen tool. They’re durable, versatile, and can be used for a variety of cooking tasks. Cast iron skillets are also known as "Dutch ovens" because of their shape.
A cast-iron skillet is a heavy-duty pan that’s ideal for searing meats, browning vegetables, and making sauces. It’s also perfect for baking bread and cakes.
Cast iron skillets are an essential kitchen tool. They’re durable, heat evenly, and add a rustic charm to any kitchen. However, there’s one thing you should know before using your cast iron skillet in the oven: It won’t work. If you’ve ever tried to cook something in your cast iron skillet and it didn’t turn out right, you probably thought that your skillet was ruined. But the truth is, cast iron skillets are designed to withstand high temperatures.
But if you want to use your cast iron skillet in your oven, you’ll need to coat it first. Here’s how to safely get your cast iron skillet ready for the oven.
Yes! A cast-iron skillet can go into the oven. It is important to remember that cast iron pans are not meant to be heated directly on top of the stove. They should only be placed on the bottom rack of the oven. This is because cast iron pans are very heavy and if left on the stovetop, they could crack. Also, if you put a hot pan on the stovetop, it could burn your hand.
So when heating up your cast iron skillet, make sure to place it on the lowest setting possible. You may even consider placing it inside another oven-safe dish like a casserole or pie plate so that it doesn’t touch anything else while it heats up. Once your cast iron skillet has been preheated, remove it from the oven and let cool completely. Then carefully transfer the skillet onto its side and gently slide it off the handle.
The handle will usually come with the skillet but sometimes it does not. In this case, just grab hold of the sides of the skillet and lift it straight up. When removing the skillet from the oven, do not forget to wipe away all excess grease. After wiping down the surface of the skillet, set it aside until needed again.
At temperatures up to 600°F (315°C), cast iron skillets are typically acceptable to use in the oven or under the broiler. Because they can get quite hot, use a silicone holder, kitchen towel, or oven mitt to handle them. And don’t leave these items near the burner; instead, keep them at arm’s length.
If you plan to bake foods in your cast iron skillet, try adding some oil to help prevent sticking. For best results, brush the entire interior of the skillet with vegetable oil after cleaning it. Make sure to clean the outside of the skillet too. Use soap and water to wash both surfaces thoroughly. Rinse well and dry immediately.
Warped cast iron means that the metal has become distorted over time due to extreme temperature changes. The most common cause of warping is overheating. Warped cast iron cannot be used as a cooking vessel anymore. Instead, throw it away and replace it with a new piece.
As a general rule, the thicker the walls and heavier the bottom of your skillet, the less likely it is to warp. Many people believe that the thickness of the skillet’s base is important, however, the thinner edges of a skillet are more likely to bend first If you have any doubts about whether or not your skillet might warp, take it out of service and store it somewhere safe where it won’t be exposed to heat.
When handling a hot cast iron skillet, always wear gloves and protective eyewear. Never attempt to pick up a hot skillet with bare hands. Always use tongs or other tools to move the skillet around. Do not allow children to play with hot objects such as pots and pans. Keep young kids away from hot food preparation areas.
Never pour boiling liquids directly into a hot skillet. Doing so could result in scalding burns. If there is any doubt about whether something is safe for consumption, discard it. Never heat an empty skillet. Empty cookware must first be filled before being used. Otherwise, the contents might spill out during heating.
Always check the seasoning of your cast iron skillet prior to using it. Seasoning helps protect against rusting and keeps the skillet looking shiny. To season a cast-iron skillet simply rubs it with shortening or lard. This process takes only minutes. Be careful not to add salt because it makes the pan more likely to stick.
To maintain proper seasoning, periodically apply additional layers of fat to the bottom and top of the skillet. Remove the old layer of fat and repeat the application every few months.
Enameled cast iron skillets to come coated on one side with enamel paint. They’re usually made by coating the inside surface of a seasoned cast iron skillet with a thin coat of enamel. Some manufacturers also offer nonstick versions of their products. These types of skillets may require special care when washing and storing. Follow all instructions carefully.
Cast iron cookware should never go unused. It needs regular maintenance to ensure that it lasts longer than expected. Here are some tips on how to care for your cast iron:
• Clean your cast iron regularly. Wipe off dirt and grime with paper towels. Scrub stubborn stains with steel wool pads. Don’t worry if the inside gets dirty—it’s normal. Just make sure to rinse the exterior well afterward.
• Store your cast iron properly. Place it upside down on its side when storing. Avoid stacking multiple pieces together. Also, avoid placing it next to aluminum foil or plastic wrap. These materials may react with the surface of the cast iron and create spots where grease collects.
• Heat your cast iron slowly. When preheating your cast iron, do not place it right above the stovetop flame. Wait until the fire dies down slightly before putting the pot back onto the stove.
• Let cool completely before washing. After removing the lid, wait 10 minutes before pouring cold water through the holes in the lid. Then wipe the sides of the pot with a damp cloth.
The best way to keep your cast iron cooking utensils clean and ready to use again is to store them correctly. Properly stored cast iron can last many years without breaking down. However, you need to take good care of these items to get the most out of them.
Use this guide to learn everything you need to know about caring for your cast iron cookware.