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Cast Iron Skillets: Everything You Need To Know – How To

♪♪ ♪♪ -Hi, I’m Stephen with the Field Company. We make lighter, smoother cast-iron pans here in the USA. I’m here to talk to you about cooking in cast iron, caring for cast iron, and probably demystifying some things that you may have learned along the way. Cast iron retains its heat really nicely, and it happens to develop a natural nonstick coating just by cooking in it. You can buy one, and you should have it forever. Seasoning, as a noun, is this black sort of coating that develops by basically burning oil and any other little particles around into the surface of the pan. This pan is a new from the factory seasoning. It has three coats of our grape-seed oil on it. This is a pan that hasn’t seen any action yet. Whenever I get into seasoning and people ask me, “What should I use?” just get some grape-seed oil, and you’ll be good. Sort of the principle is you want unsaturated fat. One of the worst oils to choose is coconut oil. It’s just going to burn up and really not do much. The job done and the job’s going to get done the best with grape-seed oil. This is the tricky part. So if I overdo it, then I have to wipe way longer, and if I underdo it, I’m not going to add much seasoning. Trying to give myself a pool there to work around. I’m pretty much well covered in here, and now I can take this and, using the oil that’s left, I can pretty much take care of my outside. If you don’t season the outside, it will rust, as well. Taking care of your pan is taking care of the whole thing. And now I’m going to go back in here and try to get a lot of that oil out of there. It should look fairly dry, but not completely dry. I’m going to go ahead and throw this pan in at 300 degrees. I’m going to take it out after 10 minutes and just to make sure, if any oil is beading up into little pools, that I can remove that before I actually, you know, bake it into the surface of the pan. ♪♪ Okay. We’ve had the pans in there for 10 minutes at 300 degrees. There is no pooling on this pan, so I think I’m pretty good. Going to throw that back in. [ Pan scrapes ] Alright, we’re going to bump this guy up to 400, give it 30 to 60 minutes. ♪♪ Alright, here is our slightly seasoned, brand-new pan. It’s a little splotchy, but I kind of just don’t believe that oven seasoning makes it perfect. I think the Internet kind of fools everyone into thinking that these pans look perfect, and they don’t. Even the best-seasoned pans don’t look perfect. The first will just be a simple fried egg. With the seasoning that you have down there, you’re going to be able to move the egg around without it getting stuck. What this also sort of demonstrates is that people who complain about sticking, it’s all technique. One of the cool things about cast iron is I could probably turn the heat off and still cook this egg to get it to the end because it’ll hold that much heat. Go ahead and give her the old flip. Smoothness matters for sticking. When you go rough, you get… It’s harder to create this nonstick property. We’re also showing how you don’t need a tremendous amount of heat to get to cook. You just — It’s — Having control is what’s important, and cast iron gives you a lot of control because you put the right amount of heat into it, and then it just — it holds it there for you. I think we can call that a day. ♪♪ The steak is going to benefit from a little bit higher temperature. In order to get a good, you know, sear on this steak, having the pan stay hot is really crucial. I’m going to go ahead and use a grape-seed oil here because it has a nice, high smoke point so I can go higher without creating as much craziness. I’m looking at the pan. Looks like it’s getting pretty hot. I’m going to throw a little bit of that in. I want to wait till that just starts to smoke, and then I’ll be able to drop the steak right in here. This is one of those events in a pan’s life that both helps and can hurt the seasoning. So I might just take some off here and there, but at the same time, I’m kind of, like, putting it through some abuse. I think of seasoning like how you would grow, like, a strong tree. The strongest trees are going to be in not as much light. They’re going to be blowing all around, they’re going to learn that they have to be strong, and then they’re going to build into that level, so I feel the same thing is going on with seasoning. It’s good to put it through the wringer. [ Sizzling ] Big thing about proteins in cast iron, if you try to move them too quickly, they’re going to stick. You want it to actually cook for a while, convert its surface into that browning, and then it will — it should just release just fine. The three pitfalls of stickiness are not enough fat, too high of a temperature, and trying to move your food too quickly before it’s set up. All right. I’m happy with that. [ Sizzling ] ♪♪ All I’ve done is cooked an egg in butter, and my pan is completely clean. I would say the way to clean this pan is simply to wipe it out. I’m just going to give it a go here. I’ll use a little bit of that residual oil on the other sides of the pan. Why not? ♪♪ Now I’ve got a little bit of that caramelization that happened there. I’ve got some stuff stuck on there, and while the pan is hot, I can give it a little bit of a scrape. Some of this is coming off nicely. Some of it’s taking the bottom layer of seasoning off. That’s actually sticking to the pan, so that’s causing damage, so I’m actually gonna not do that. Let that calm down a little bit. It’s probably better to just leave that on there. If I keep trying to do this, I’m going to lift it all away. And if I just cook over the top of it, some of it will go, and some of it will stay and that would probably be better, in the end, to just do it that way. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Your pan is going to last you your whole life. It’s going to go through all sorts of different processes. It’s always possible for it to bounce back. It’s kind of meant for that. You know, it’s going to develop this whole history of its own. One of those amazing things that you get to sort of either start that journey or begin that journey with a new pan. So, a lot of people are really worried about whether to put soap on the cast iron pan or not, and the truth is soap is not going to mess up your seasoning. Soap is going to degrease your pan. You always want to have a little bit of grease, a little bit of fat, oil — whatever you have — like, on the pan. If you’re a soap person, you can’t get yourself to stop using soap, you just want to make sure that you come back, dry it off, get that oil back on there, and you’ll be good to go. If you were cooking something really, really delicious, and you’re like, “I really want that flavor in my next thing,” you don’t really have to give it the whole runaround every single time. I think the important thing with flavor migration from one meal to the next is asking yourself, do you want it? Do you want what you just cooked to come into your next meal? Your seasoning buildup and the way your pan builds up is totally going to be a function of what you like to cook, and there will be flavors in there. So having a sweet and a savory pan is always a good technique. Alright. Hopefully, we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of cast iron for you, demystified some of the things that are going on, and you won’t be scared of it anymore. You’ll be ready to cook all sorts of great food. And signing off here from the Field Company. Hope you enjoy your next meal with us. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪