I never had any intentions on using a cast iron skillet until I found some in a storage unit that I bought a few months ago. This unit was full of really nice antiques, including five round cast iron skillets.
My mom was the first one to tell me about the significance of using cast iron in cooking. I really didn’t believe that they could make that big of a difference and had to see what all the fuss was about.
First, I told her that they were too gross to use. They looked like they had never been washed, which made me not even want to touch them. Then, she gave me the run-down on the unique way of owning a cast iron skillet. They are far different than your traditional non-stick pan.
From what I understand, the hardened grease is actually a good characteristic to have on a cast iron skillet. It helps add extra flavor to your food.
She also said that you’re not supposed to use dish detergent or metal scouring pads to clean them. Those two items will wash and scrape away all of the good ole’ flavor that you’re trying to acquire.
Since there seemed to be so much to learn, I decided to look up the do’s and don’ts of owning, operating, and maintaining one of these bad boys. Here is a list of potential “No-No’s”:
I have cooked in my cast iron skillet several times. I usually cook meat it in but have also simmered spaghetti sauce with meatballs as well. I have read that as long as you take good care of the skillet, that the acid in the spaghetti sauce will do just fine.
Recently, I tried making flank steak in my skillet. The recipe that I used called for not just one, but TWO, cast iron skillets. One skillet is used to cook the meat and the other is used to put on top of the meat, which creates a nice sear on the meat.
I found the recipe here on the Food Network app for my iPad. It’s actually a recipe for steak frites (fries) and herb mustard sauce, which both sound and look really good. But I only used their directions for making the flank steak.
The only thing that I did differently was that I cooked our steak 4 minutes on each side instead of 3. I like my steak well done normally but I can handle medium. The steak still turned out medium rare in the thicker part. The edges were medium, which is what I ate. Medium rare is just not something that I like, even though my husband prefers medium rare. To each heir own though.
It came out really good. Our kitchen did get really smokey so I had to open all of the windows and our door, which is actually nothing new for whenever I’m cooking!
I really liked the subtle crisp edges of the steak that the cast iron skillets created. I think that using two skillets really helped sear the exterior of the steak and give it that little bit of crispy steaky goodness.