Cast Iron Skillets – Trendy and Classic
Cast iron skillets are among the classics in the kitchen and are equally popular among professional and hobby gourmets. Even our ancestors cooked with cast iron skillets over open fire or coal and wood herds. Since then the pans and pots have hardly changed. And no matter whether it is a gas or electric stove, a ceramic or an induction hob, or in the oven: fried and stewed from the cast iron skillet is simply unbeatable!
Skillet – Genuine Allrounder
Iron is not only an excellent thermal conductor but also reacts quickly to all temperature changes. In addition, cast iron also saves the heat wonderfully.
It provides all the best conditions for the successful and healthy preparation of fish or meat. Also for vegetable, egg and mushroom dishes cast-iron skillets are suitable for all types of cooking. Whether hot, slowly stew or gently cook: in the cast iron skillet the nutrients, vitamins and natural flavors are preserved.
Fry at Any Temperature
Many foods are best prepared at a moderate temperature, but a cast iron skillet also keeps high temperatures without problems. Due to its high mass, cast iron is a very good heat distributor, on the stove the effect is almost oven-equal. If the pans are made of cast iron, there is even a superheat effect if the lid is heated separately.
Oils and Greases
When preparing some dishes, the fat must be heated very high. Many oils and fats are very healthy but should not be heated above 150 degrees. Otherwise the non-heat-stable fatty acids in the oil oxidize, cleave up and harmful acrolein becomes free. This can be seen by smoking before the desired temperature is reached.
The Smoke Point
The smoke point of an oil depends on the fatty acids contained therein. Particularly healthy oils have many polyunsaturated fatty acids that split even at lower cooking temperatures. Monounsaturated or saturated fatty acids remain stable even at higher temperatures. If the majority of the food consists of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, it is perfect for frying.
Oils and fats suitable for frying: (220), coconut oil, butter-malt (200), grape-seed oil (190), butter, margarine (220), peanut oil, 175/170), rapeseed oil (160 degrees)
Cold pressed and refined olive oil
Native olive oil is cold-pressed and has, in contrast to the refined olive oil, a smoke point of about 160 degrees. It is not suitable for frying at higher temperatures.
Oils and fats which are not suitable for frying
Cold-pressed oils such as linseed, thistle, walnut and pumpkin seed oil have a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and are not heat-resistant and not suitable for frying.
Patience with the Roast
A “specialty” of the cast iron skillet is that the roasting material seems to stick to the pans floor at the beginning of the roasting process. You have to be patient here. As soon as the fry has reached the temperature of the pan, it dissolves completely.
Handling and Care
A cast iron skillet can tolerate high temperatures without problems, the thick iron floor does not deform even at high temperatures. However, temperature shocks should be avoided. When a hot cast iron skillet is thrown into cold water, it can even get jumps. Skillets ca be cleaned only with hot water and a rinse brush. Serviced stews can easily be scraped with a wooden scraper or a metal utensil. Then dry it and wipe lightly with cooking oil – this prevents rust.
The somewhat porous surface of the cast iron skillet is joined to the film of oil or frying fat, so that after a while a coveted patina forms. A natural anti-stick coating that provides delicious roast aroma. In order to maintain the patina, cast iron skillets must not be cleaned with detergent or placed in the dishwasher.
Due to the optimal heat storage and heat distribution, cast iron skillets can almost always be used on a lower flame than in other cooking utensils.
Vitamins and other nutrients remain largely preserved. In addition, raw cast iron skilets enrich the food with an extra portion of iron.
The advantages of a cast iron skillet:
- Good heat conduction
- Uniform heat distribution
- Heat resistant
- All cooking temperatures
- All cooking facilities can be used
- Delicious roast aromas