Posts Tagged ‘cast iron skillets’

Don’t Cast Off Grandma’s Black Iron Skillet

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

And here yet another piece from one of our readers. If you’d like to share your thoughts on cookware too, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

I have very fond memories of cooking with my Grandmother. Grandma’s house was often filled with the good smells of chicken frying on her stove. Her black cast iron skillet was used frequently and really was an integral part of her kitchen.  However today we are trying to eat a healthier diet. We rarely eat fried food.  So, when Mum offered me grandma’s black iron skillet, I took it for sentimental reasons, not because I thought I’d use it. Boy was I wrong!

This black beauty is a reliable performer and has some unique features not found in modern cookware. Grandma’s fryer is big and it is great for frying.  This summer we enjoyed a couple of fish fry’s with friends.  I don’t like the smell of fish cooking inside, so we used the outdoor gas grill to fry the fish. The cast iron skillet worked like a charm.  The black iron skillet is the only pan that can stand that kind of total heat treatment. We even closed the grill lid to get maximum heat utilization.   Okay, I admit fried fish isn’t that much healthier then fried chicken. However, our summer fish frys were a fun. This was an inexpensive gathering with friends we would have missed without grandma’s iron skillet.

Grandma’s skillet also makes great oven baked corn bread. Corn bread made in a cast iron skillet seems to have better flavor development and browns very nicely.

Finally the cast iron skillet has become our preferred pan for pancakes. Every Sunday morning we enjoy homemade pancakes.  This skillet provides even heat distribution and our pancakes cook perfectly.  Of course Grandma’s iron skillet is well seasoned so just a little added oil is required.

A black iron skillet does require care. We clean the skillet immediately and we never soak this skillet.   After washing, we dry the skillet on the stove over low heat.   While still warm, I season my iron skillet by rubbing a little oil on the surface when required.

I think of my grandmother when I use the skillet.  I hope with a little care and a lot of love this skillet will provide many years of service to my family for another generation or two.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful article. For more articles on cast iron cookware click here (including how to handle cast iron cookware, different kinds of cast iron cookware and more).

Back to the Future with Cast Iron Cookware

Monday, October 13th, 2008

As a little girl I remember my grandmother cooking with her heavy cast iron cookware. Although they were cumbersome, she had used those same skillets for many years, and she certainly knew how to use them to cook up a fantastic meal.

In those days before processed foods and slow cookers, the majority of the food we ate was fried, and cast iron skillets were excellent for frying. The other major method of cooking was roasting, and cast iron roasters turned out wonderful pot roasts and chickens.

You just couldn’t beat cast iron for dispersing the heat evenly. Sometime in the late 1950s, however, my grandmother did away with the cast iron cookware in favor of more modern, aluminum pots, pans, and roasters. Even though Teflon hadn’t been introduced yet, and everything stuck to the aluminum cookware, she wanted to keep up with the times.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I started seeing cast iron pans in mail order catalogs again in the 21st century. The Lodge Cast Iron company, the premium maker of cast iron cookware, is still very much alive and well in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. In fact, they’ve been in business for over one hundred years. They still offer a line of cast iron cookware that looks just like the old pans my grandmother used to use, but with a modern twist. The old time pans needed to be broken in, so to speak. They had to be used over and over and over again before they developed a desired patina known as seasoning.

For 21st century users, however, the pans now come pre-seasoned as Lodge has now developed a coating which seasons the pans and makes them perfect to use new from the box. If you ever get down to southeastern Tennessee, you’ll want to be sure to visit the Lodge plant. They have an outlet store where you can purchase high-quality cookware for a fraction of its mail order price along with all the accessories you’ll need to use it. You still can’t beat cast iron for even heat, and it makes excellent cookware for campers and people who like to barbecue.In spite of innovations Lodge has introduced over the years, it’s a part of our American heritage that’s changed very little except to get better and better.

Cast Iron Skillet Psychology

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Even Hannibal lector had his thoughts on cookware:

“Look into the skillet, Clarice. Lean over it and look down. If this were your mother’s skillet, and it may well be, it would hold among its molecules the vibrations of all the conversations ever held in its presence. All the exchanges, the petty irritations, the (more…)