There are several misconceptions about using cast iron pans that are keeping people from using them in their kitchens. Here are a few.
Cast iron pans are making a come back in recent times as they are inexpensive and tend to last for generations when well cared for. Sadly, there are several misconceptions about using them that are keeping people from taking them to their kitchens. And they don't even realize they're losing out on one of the best kitchen appliances ever, reports Today. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most commonly heard-of myths about cast-iron pans and debunk them for you.
Misconceptions often tend to spread through word of mouth. One inaccurate judgment of a situation or one wrong call seems to travel at the speed of light before the world begins to believe in something false. This is one of those and possibly a very controversial one at that. You can always use soap or even a mild detergent when washing cast iron pans. Make sure to dry and oil them immediately. Also, stay away from putting them in the dishwasher or using strong detergents as they tend to remove seasoning off the surface.
While it's understandable where this particular myth comes from, it's not necessarily true. The Kitchn, however, points out that research has, time and again, showed an increased level of iron in foods cooked in cast iron cookware — especially foods with high acids that make iron leach off a pan, like any tomato-based recipe, eggs, or applesauce. The amount of iron transferred into the food is greater the longer an acidic food is cooked on the pan. However, this is only true if the pan is not fully seasoned. A well-seasoned pan is not as reactive, so it is better not to give this idea any weight.
This couldn't be any further from the truth if you ask the experts. According to them, a rusted cast iron pan can still be restored as more often than not, the rust we see is what's called "Profile Rusting". Meaning, it's only on the surface. To make it usable again, you need to scrub out the rust, wash it clean with a mild detergent, apply oil and gently scrub the pan (both inside and out; the handle included), and place it in the oven for about an hour at a 350-degree heat. And voila, you're done! Don't forget to cool it down before picking it up to use again.
Again, this one is a bit of a hit and a miss as well. Sure, cast iron pans do get hot but they don't heat evenly. This is not a big problem, however, as iron pans don't lose the heat as quickly as their counterparts do, making them the best utensil to sear meats in. These pans are usually the hottest right under a flame, so you could occasionally move them around so that the heat can spread out a little evenly.
This could cause more damage to a pan that washing with soap can't even dream of. Instead, here's what you must do: Pour kosher salt into the pan and use a paper towel or dry cloth to wipe the salt around and remove the food scraps stuck on the food. Don’t allow a lot of time to go by between cleaning the pan and re-seasoning it. Always make sure to do it around the same time you finish with your meal.