Lodge Cast Iron: How to Reduce Sticking when Cooking
How to Reduce Sticking when Cooking There's plenty of reasons Lodge cast iron skillets, dutch ovens and baking trays are so popular, from the even cooking temperatures to the easy top of the stove to oven convenience. If you...
There's plenty of reasons Lodge cast iron skillets, dutch ovens and baking trays are so popular, from the even cooking temperatures to the easy top of the stove to oven convenience. If you love the amazing flavor, crisp finish and perfect, even cooking of even the fussiest ingredients of Lodge cast iron -- but hate the occasional sticking and resulting messy cleanup, a few simple steps will make your cooking stick free. These tips will help you expand your cast iron cooking repertoire and let you cook with iron pots and pans, hassle free:
Seasoning, Seasoning, Seasoning: Properly seasoning your cast iron skillet or griddle is essential if you want biscuits and pancakes to cook to a golden brown and slide right out of the pan. Always season your pan after use and you'll be well on your way to stick free cooking. If your pan arrived pre-seasoned, you may simply need to re season it from time to time to keep the finish conditioned and reduce sticking.
Know your chemistry: Food sticks to your pan when it is hot -- a chemical bond forms when you add food of any type to a hot cast iron skillet. Add your food first and it will stick every time. Add some oil first and let it get sizzling hot before you add any food and the oil will stick to the pan and naturally repel your food, allowing you to easily remove it from the pan.
Foods with high water content like potatoes, dough and biscuits and pancakes will slide right off your cast iron pan if you use oil or fat every time you cook. You don't need to use a lot of oil -- just enough to coat the entire pan, and never add food until the oil is sizzling.
High protein foods need more oil: The more protein a food has, the more likely it is to bond with, or stick to, your pan. If you are browning meat in a cast iron dutch oven or even just frying up an egg, add more oil than you usually use. Since the protein in meat and egg white cause a chemical bond to form with your pan, more oil equals less sticking. Worried about adding extra fat? Don't fret -- the extra oil bonds to your pan, creating a barrier and will have a minimal impact on your final calorie count.
Clean up Right: One of the most important things to do to reduce sticking is to clean your Lodge pan properly. Removing all the food and then making sure your pan is really, thoroughly, 100% dry makes your next cooking session a snap. Clean with soapy water and a stiff brush -- you can even use a little table salt as an abrasive if you need to scrub any lingering food residue.
Miss even a spot of moisture before you store your dutch oven or frying pan and you'll have to deal with a nasty spot of rust before you can even cook. Moisture can also eliminate the hard work you've put into seasoning your pan and make it more likely that your food will stick the next time you cook. Placing your cleaned pan into a warm oven on on top of a warm stove for a few minutes can help you ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly dry and that your pan is ready to store.
Cared for and used properly, your Lodge cast iron can truly last a lifetime and deliver consistent results without a sticky, messy cleanup. Want to learn more great ways to cook with Lodge cast iron? Contact us or follow our blog for the latest cooking and recipe ideas.