Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bessie the cast iron skillet that broke my will

03-08-pan


A couple years ago, in an attempt to be more like Laura Ingalls, I impulsively bought a cast iron skillet at the wallsmart while shopping one day.

I knew the basics of cast iron - don't stick it in the dishwasher.
That was about it.

So it basically started out with points against it.

I made a few acceptable things out of it.  For example, I like to cook rolls in it in the oven.  They turned out fat and fluffy. Kinda like me. 

I had a hard time keeping the seasoning.  Probably because I was hell bent on using dish soap to clean it - to hell with 200 years of pioneers ahead of me.  I wanted that beoytch clean!

Finally, the ultimate slap in the cast iron skillet's face (actually it was my face), was when the skillet was left sitting on my light colored granite counter top for an entire weekend.
Right next to the sink.
Where it was wet.

I still bemoan the rust color in my counter top.  It took me months and months to get it to the level where only *I* can see it. (If you're wondering, Oxiclean is the answer.  You'll have to spread it on, put plastic over it and leave it for a few DAYS).

Just for the record, the person that left it there has a penis.
He's still apologizing for it.

So because of how pissed I was, I went back to my good old Paula Deen teflon pans and relegated the cast iron slag hag to the cabinet with the roaster.  I vowed to only take it out when I had enough people over that I had to run 4 burners at one time. 

Which is never.

*insert a year here*

The one day, I was reading online about teflon, and how it's really not that good for you.  Especially when the bottom of your pan looks all "fluffy".

Oh hey Paula Deen.  You kinda let me down there.
I don't fault her really.  Like EVERY damn teflon pan eventually does that no matter how careful you are.

So sadly and begrudgingly, I threw away my super favorite saute pan that I used for pretty much everything, and dug back out old Bessie the beoytch that stains your counters when you're not watching.

It was like she peed a ring of rust around my stove to lay claim to her territory.  Or maybe she just wet herself when she got close to the sink and saw the dish soap.  Kinda like my cat does.

Regardless, I vowed to live a ever so slightly better life by letting some iron leech into my food on a regular basis.  This means Bessie and I will have to come to an understanding.

I understand that:
1. I have to fry bacon once in a while so that seasoning stays nice and shiny.
2. Dish soap is bad. *shiver*  I use hot water and a scrubby pad and that seems to be working.
3. Towel dry only.  This means immediately.  Not on Monday after a weekend of partying on T-bones for dinner and bacon for breakfast.  Like... now.

I vow I will never:
1. Put her in the dishwasher.
2. Leave her unwashed for a few days.
3. SET HER ON THE COUNTERTOP.

Here's the deal though.  I feel like I'm having to put more oil into my food which I DO NOT NEED.  So, my question to you is this - give me your best tips on cooking in cast iron.

Which really isn't a question, really more of a commandment.
Unless I put a question mark on the end....

Give me your best tips on cooking in cast iron?

Makes me sound less bossy but kind of spineless.
Which is exactly how a cast iron skillet on my counter has made my husband feel.

10 comments:

M!ssPr!ssy said...

When I use cast iron, which I don't now bc my Bessie got lost in a move... but I wash it with soap no problem. Just make sure you rinse all the sopa off thoroughly and then oil it using a paper towel and some oil of your choice. I would use olive oil, crisco solid or even pam after every washing.

Lee Ann L. said...

I was smiling through some parts of this post. I am wanting cast iron skillets. I have a few links bookmarked. But, I'm still an ignoramus when it come to cast iron.

Here are the few links I have:
http://frugalliving.about.com/od/doityourself/a/Cast_Iron_Care.htm

http://frugalliving.about.com/od/doityourself/ht/Season_CastIron.htm

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/CastIronPans.htm

BK said...

Noooooo! NO SOAP! Aaaack!

Nicki said...

I am so lmao at your story. Been there. Done that. I have one stored in my cabinet (I think) and sold all others. Too much work for the extent I use a skillet.

Amy Jo said...

Well I really want a cast iron skillet, for making GIANT cookies in. Look up cast iron skillet recipes on pinterest or google, I'm sure they have tips. I want to get one for baking things in, soooo if Bessie gets banished again you can send her to BFG (that's Gallatin if you were unsure) and I'll tame her. Lol. Good luck!

Vicki Valenta said...

I have a couple of cast iron skillets. I wash them in the sink with Dawn and rinse them thoroughly. My mother taught me that they should be dried on the stovetop. Just turn the burner on for a couple of minutes with the wet skillet on top and then turn it off and leave it there to dry. I use a canola oil spray to keep food from sticking and don't have any trouble maintaining the seasoning, but that may be because my skillets are old and well used.

the Goodwife said...

I'm all about cast iron, and it's all that I have. Cast iron is awesome. I do not ever use anything but hot water on my cast iron. Then after I use it, I clean it while it's still warm, then put it back on the stove top over low heat to be totally sure it's totally dry. Then I take a paper towel, dip it in some lard, and swipe it all over inside. Then I let it cool and put it away.

It also really makes a difference what type of skillet you have. I don't usually believe that kind of stuff, but with cast iron it's true. When you look for cast iron, go to thrift stores or antique stores. Look for a pan that is satin smooth on the inside. Doesn't matter if it's rusty, just as long as it doesn't have grooves in it. Wagner and Griswald are the best, but you can find no name pans that are old enough to be smooth cast.

I could talk about cast iron for days........lol

Nakia said...

BAAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHhahahahahaha I love you. I dont use cast iron for a few reasons- primarily Im scared Id want to beat someone with it... (maybe they should be scared and not me) and two- Im OCD about cleanliness... and I cant be NOT using soap on dishes. Just cant do it.

Good luck with all that. Id rather die from teflon ingestion then from eating random bits of old cooked on, then twice re-cooked, never washed, decaying food. LOL.

Vicki Carroll said...

I, too, have trouble not using "soap", but I have decided, that means detergent. I keep a bottle of liquid castile (Dr. Bronners) on the counter, and use that. It is an oil-based soap, and won't devastate the season on your pans. I wash the pan with water first, then a squirt of soap, then rinse and dry well. A short time on a warm burner will help to dry the pan. Then, give it a dribble of oil, wipe it around, and leave it. Your pans will thank you. I have my grandfather's pan, along with a 100+ year old pan my husband bought for me a couple of birthdays ago. (If you watch, you can get a well seasoned antique pan for $25 or so.) My favorite thing to cook in mine has to be my dutch baby egg pancakes. Enjoy your pans, don't fight with them!

Vicki Carroll said...

I, too, have trouble not using "soap", but I have decided, that means detergent. I keep a bottle of liquid castile (Dr. Bronners) on the counter, and use that. It is an oil-based soap, and won't devastate the season on your pans. I wash the pan with water first, then a squirt of soap, then rinse and dry well. A short time on a warm burner will help to dry the pan. Then, give it a dribble of oil, wipe it around, and leave it. Your pans will thank you. I have my grandfather's pan, along with a 100+ year old pan my husband bought for me a couple of birthdays ago. (If you watch, you can get a well seasoned antique pan for $25 or so.) My favorite thing to cook in mine has to be my dutch baby egg pancakes. Enjoy your pans, don't fight with them!

Facebook Share

Related Posts with Thumbnails