How to properly use a skillet?
Before we begin, let’s clear the elephant in the room. Skillets are no different from fry pans. Skillet may, more often than not, be used to refer to a cast iron skillet. But the terms are actually used interchangeably. Here in this beginner’s guide to using a skillet, we mean a cast iron fry pan.
Now that this is cleared, did you know the cast iron skillet that you have been using, maybe the same one that your grandparents cooked food in? We are not kidding. Cast iron skillets are often passed down through generations. Known to impart a great deal of flavour in the food cooked, cast iron skillets are quite a misunderstood kitchenware. We are here to bust all the wives’ tales and warnings. So much so that you will fall in love with your cast iron skillet and never go back.
If you want your cast iron skillet to last you a lifetime then you need to know the answers to three questions – How to season, how to use, and what is the best method to clean a skillet.
How to season it?
Seasoning is a simple process of coating the skillet with any oil to create a slick outer layer that works like a non-stick coating. This process of chemical bonding is known as polymerization which results in the creation of a long-lasting coating that aids in reducing sticking, corrosion, and rusting.
It is necessary to season your skillet before using it for the first time. Wash your new skillet by scrubbing it with a sponge and soapy water. Wash off the soap and dry it thoroughly. Using a brush, apply a thin layer of oil on the entire body of the skillet including the bottom and the handle. Place the skillet upside-down in your oven and set the temperature to between 230°C and 260°F after coating it with oil. It takes around one hour to complete the seasoning process. After an hour has passed, turn off the oven and let the skillet cool. It may sound like you need to treat a skillet like a delicate flower, but its not. You can simply purchase the pre-seasoned cast iron from Vinod Cookware & then just season it twice or thrice annually.
How to cook in a skillet?
Skillets are very easy to cook with if you season them properly and follow the right cooking techniques. If you adhere to a few straightforward guidelines, cast iron may function brilliantly and remain naturally non-stick.
- Preheating your skillet is a critical step. Before you begin cooking, make sure your pan is really hot to prevent food from sticking.
- To maintain the non-stick coating of the skillet and to keep the seasoned cast iron from sticking to the meal, a thin coating of fat/ oil must be added before placing the food.
What is the best method to clean a skillet?
Contrary to the belief, cast iron skillets are not high-maintenance. It just needs a little extra care so that it can last you a very long time. You must carefully de-gunk a cast-iron skillet after using it. Your main objective while cleaning cast iron is to remove any food remnants without removing the seasoning. You can wipe most of the leftover meal with a paper towel while the pan is still hot. Be sure to not leave it in the sink or let it soak in water, it would simply cause the cast iron to rust faster. Using abrasive cleaning techniques will ruin your skillet. For regular cleaning, the gentlest approach to cleaning your skillet is with hot, salty water and a rough side of a sponge. Avoid using harsh soaps. Ensure that the skillet is completely dried off before you place it back in your kitchen cabinet.
Remember, the more you use the skillet, the better it gets. Keep seasoning it regularly to ensure your cast iron frypan outlives you!
Do let us know your tips and tricks about taking care of a cast iron skillet in the comment section below.