Learning to be a Cast Iron cooking pioneer!!!
After asking, researching and reading, I spent one day cleaning and seasoning it! So easy really. Give it one good scouring, put a coat of vegetable shortening or oil on it, and bake it on 450 degrees for one hour. Turn off the stove, let it sit another hour [http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-care-seasoned-cast-iron.asp#3] I did this several times throughout the day, gave it a few good layers.
The next day I took it for it's first test run. I baked chicken in it. I was impressed! It didn't stick, it didn't burn, it browned beautifully and was moist! And best of all, the skillet cleaned up in no time, some rinses under hot water, a wipe out with a hot water towel [no soap]. Dryed and a coat of veggie oil.
Cast Iron! Better than any non stick skillet I have ever used or owned! I will never turn back!! I have become a cast iron junkie! Upon further reading I was even more impressed to learn that if you keep it seasoned and taken care of, the can last 100 years or more! What a great investment really. It will certainly last my lifetime and I can pass them onto my children!
I don't even know how I came to own the first skillet. I may have bought it at a second hand shop. But I'm so glad I pulled it out that wonderful day!
Since then I cook most everything in it. Eggs have never been so easy, stir fry, taco meat, sausage gravy. Then another thing happened. My mom said I have 3 more cast iron pieces you can have! WHAT??? Cast iron is not "cheap" initially [at least to me anyway!]
So I acquired a wonderful griddle, another skilled and an enamel coated grill!
The griddle made awesome french toast and the grill browned up our steaks in the oven beautifully!
And thanks to a gift card, I also was able to purchase a cast iron dutch oven!! I'll be using it tomorrow for the first time for Hungarian goulash!
So now I have a nice set that I look forward to using over and over, and hopefully, slowly adding to it! Just a few more pieces that look interesting ;)
The only thing I wish is that you could make tomato based sauces. But knowing that I can use them for about everything else, I can live with using a regular sauce pan every now and again :)
I'm also looking forward to making our first "deep dish" pizza sometime this week in the skillets! I can't believe how very versatile they are!
Now I just need to fulfill my fantasy of camping and cooking over an open fire with them! Okay, I'm a dork, I've always admitted it!
Please feel free to share your cast iron stories, recipes, website referrals and love! :)
Here are some great sites I've been referring too for information and recipes!
Here's the beginning of my wonderful collection!! 2 skillets, 1 dutch oven, 1 griddle, 1 enamel coated grill.