NJTramcar

Cast iron - greasing the pan with oil or butter when cooking?

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Have a few older cast iron pans.  One is so old it is actually smooth but food still seems to stick.

 

I add a little butter or olive oil and it seems better but from what I read, you shouldn't have to grease a pan before cooking.  Is that correct? 

 

When I was the pan, I wipe it out the either boil water in it or run hot tap water then paper towel it dry and rub a little Crisco on it before I put it away.

 

Unless it is totally gross, I don't use soap on it.  So what should I be doing instead?

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Don’t boil water in it.  We have a scrubber that is similar to chain mail that we use with a bit of dish detergent to clean our cas iron.  As an added protection after cleaning, you can heat the pan and rub with a thin coat of oil on a paper towel

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There is a load of info online on how to season  cast iron-re season-clean & how to cook with them.

I have used many versions of seasoning the pans. Check it out.

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Just because it's smooth doesn't mean that it's seasoned. Look up the cast iron collector, I follow his seasoning methods with good results.

 

As far as greasing before using, depends on what I'm cooking as to whether I add some oil or not.

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The only time to NOT grease a CI pan or griddle is when you're cooking something that brings it's own fat to the party. So chicken breast, yes, burgers no, veggies yes, dark meat chicken, maybe. If it's in a sweet marinade, def yes.

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On 11/3/2019 at 10:07 AM, Mono said:

Don’t boil water in it.  We have a scrubber that is similar to chain mail that we use with a bit of dish detergent to clean our cas iron.  As an added protection after cleaning, you can heat the pan and rub with a thin coat of oil on a paper towel

never use soap,makes everything stick...

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Chinese proverb, hot pan, cold oil, never sticks.  Take some time for the cast iron to come up to temp first. Add oil right before cooking. Even eggs slide like hockey pucks. 

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6 mins ago, hobobob said:

Chinese proverb, hot pan, cold oil, never sticks.  Take some time for the cast iron to come up to temp first. Add oil right before cooking. Even eggs slide like hockey pucks. 

Good advice, I'll try next time I use the skillet. How do you clean it? I have never been afraid to use soap but always heat the CI to dry it, then put a thin coat of oil on it before storing it. 

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Hot water and paper towel. Bamboo wok cleaning thingy I pickup locally for $6 for the stubburn bits after searing steaks.  Don't really need soap, but soap should be fine too once in a while, they don't really damage the well season layer. Ever seen those stuck on grease on range hood, cook top etc. That's seasoning right there, you can't easily wash it off with soap.  Usually people are worry about the soap chemical, taste, smell, that gets penetrated into the seasoning.

 

When they said thin coat, they mean really thin coat, microscopic dot layer that you don't even see.  If you don't heat the oil past smoking, it will go rancid on you. Heat the pan till it's smoking and turn off heat and do a final wipe.  It should look and feel dry once you are done.  

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New cast iron (or old cast iron cleaned with hot water and soap - this time only).  Coat with Crisco, bake at about 400f for one hour, open side down (use tin foil on bottom rack to catch oil).  Turn off and let cool an hour.  Repeat above process.  You now have a good basic seasoned CI pan or skillet.  I prefer bacon grease but also use Corn Oil to cook with when grease is needed.  After cooking, with pan still warm, scrape with a metal spatula (if needed) then wipe down away any food debris leaving a light coat of oil which will soak in as the pan cools.  I haven’t washed a cast iron pan with soap and water in years - cook with them all the time.  OH

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After initial seasoning, I use oil, but not olive oil for long storage as it can go rancid, same for butter. I stick with Vegie oil, Crisco, or Grape Seed Oil. Never wash with soap, never boil water, and oil regularly. Even my camp iron that is in storage I reapply oil about every 4-6 months if not used.

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