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Cast Iron Skillets

We've been experimenting with using odd home-made contraptions to make a "stove" and a way to cook basic comfort foods, like pancakes. We took a wide baked-bean can that nicely fits a tealight candle, and started with the pots and pans we have. We have a few that are small enough to fit over, but all would need intensive cleaning afterwards. What if we didn't want to waste our stored water?!

Then we got the bright idea: cast iron skillets! We searched high and low today, and finally found 6 1/2 inch cast iron skillets at K-Mart (yuck) - Martha Stewart brand (double/triple yuck). They were about $9.00 each, so we got three (there are three of us). They fit nicely over the baked-bean can, and seem like each would provide one portion of whatever we're making..

We'll experiment this weekend to see if a tealight generates enough heat to cook something (or several somethings), and then we'll take pictures. Hm... might need to use votive candles. We'll see.

Meanwhile, here's the basic information about using cast ironware:
  • Do not use in a microwave. yes, necessary to say.
  • Handle and entire skillet will get hot so must use a potholder.
  • Never use soap or detergent.
  • Even if your cast iron skillet, etc. is preseasoned, you still need to preseason it some more.
  • Before first use, rinse the skillet in hot water. Dry completely.
  • Coat the surface with a thin layer of vegetable oil (olive oil works well) or cooking spray. We use an oiled paper towel. This is called "seasoning".
  • Do not place cold skillet on anything hot.
  • After cooking, allow skillet to cool. NEVER place a hot castiron cookware into cool/cold water, as it may cause cracking and/or warping.
  • Wash with hot water and a brush. Remember, no soap of any kind. Never place in dishwasher.
  • Dry with a soft towel, then re-season with another thin layer of oil.
  • Store in a clean dry place. When stacking, place a paper towel or wash cloth in between to prevent damaging.

These can be used on an outside grill, in the oven, or on a stove-top. We will experiment this weekend with pancakes in the oven, and scrambling eggs with our tealight contraption.


Anonymous said...

Cast iron is very porous, like a fine sponge. The idea of seasoning is to fill all the fine holes with cooking oil and then convert the oil to carbon with heat. The carbon will eventually fill up all the fine holes and produce a non-stick surface (when oiled just before cooking). Thoroughly coat the inside and outside (even the bottom) with oil or a solid Crisco type shortening on a paper towel. Place in your outdoor BBQ and “cook”. No need to use an extreme heat, just enough to burn (smoke) the oil, about 350 degrees. After about an hour remove and be inspired.

NVG-WmsFam said...

That's great information, anonymous. I wasn't sure about coating the bottom! The Williams Family