Cast Iron

Oct. 31, 2017, noon

Antique stores and junk stores are great places to find cast iron skillets and other cast iron pieces. You can find Lodge cast iron at the grocery store or places like Walmart and also

New cast iron comes seasoned and ready to use! Just give it a quick rinse and hand dry, and you’re ready to start cooking. Used cast iron might need to be seasoned. Instructions are below.
Use any utensils you like, even metal. There is no chemical coating to damage.
Cast iron can be used on all stovetops, from induction to electric to gas, even on the grill! It also works well on glass top stoves.
Cast iron performs best when heated and cooled gradually, so give it a few minutes to pre-heat before adding your food. 
Cast iron retains heat very well, so using a lower heat setting can prevent food from sticking. And don't forget to use an oven mitt!   

Don't soak it either!
Wash cast iron by hand with a nylon bristle scrub brush. If needed, use a pan scraper for stuck on bits. For extra sticky situations, simmer a little water for 1 minute, then use the scraper after cooled.
Dry promptly and thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.
Rub with a very light layer of cooking oil, preferably while the cookware is still warm.
Hang or store cookware in a dry place. I keep mine in my lower oven. 
Occasionally, you may notice some dark residue on your paper towel or cloth when cleaning. This is perfectly safe -- it’s just the seasoning (the baked-on cooking oil) reacting to foods that may be slightly acidic or alkaline. It will disappear with regular use and care. 

Seasoning is simply oil baked onto the iron, giving it a natural, easy-release finish.
Any food-safe cooking oil/shortening will work for maintaining your cookware. You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, coconut oil, shortening, etc.
The best way to maintain the seasoning on your cast iron is simply to use it! Cooking in it regularly using any kind of cooking oil is a great way to keep your pan looking and performing well.
If your pan becomes dull, gray, splotchy, or gets rusty, it could probably benefit from being re-seasoned. Just follow these easy steps: 
Get ready: Gather your supplies and then preheat oven to 325°F.
Wash the skillet: wash the skillet with warm, soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush. Cast iron should not normally be washed with soap, but it's fine here since the pan is about to be seasoned.
Rinse: rinse and thoroughly dry the skillet with a clean, dry cloth or paper towels.
Add oil: pour a little vegetable oil or melted shortening into the skillet. Vegetable oil and shortening are the most commonly recommended oils used for seasoning, but according to Lodge, you can use any oil of your choice.
Rub: use a new cloth or paper towel to rub the coat around the entire skillet.
Flip the skillet over: don't forget the outside — and bottom — of the skillet. You want a thin coat of oil around the entire piece.
Bake the skillet: place the skillet upside down on the oven's center rack. Place a sheet of aluminum foil below the rack to catch any drips. Bake for an hour.
Let the skillet cool: turn off the heat and allow to the skillet to cool completely before removing from oven. Once it's cooled down, the skillet is ready to use!

Just about anything. Except something with tomatoes in it.

2 ½ pounds Russet potatoes
Using a mandoline slicer, slice the potatoes very thin, less than 1/4″, then pat dry. Do not rinse or submerge the potatoes in water – while intuition would have you rinse the excess starch from your potatoes (common when preparing fries or hash browns), the starch is a necessary component of getting the potatoes to bind together and make a potato “cake.”

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat, then pour in 2 tbsp of the melted ghee. Being careful not to burn yourself, layer the potatoes in a circular pattern starting from the center, overlapping the potatoes, until you have made one layer. Drizzle or brush 1 tbsp of the ghee over the potato layer, then sprinkle with a bit of salt; then repeat with two more layers – add the potatoes, brush/drizzle the ghee, sprinkle some salt.

After layering, keep the skillet over medium heat for another 5-10 minutes (you want the bottom layer of potatoes to be under the heat for 15 minutes, so it’ll depend on how quickly you add the other two layers). This step helps you achieve a crispy bottom. As the skillet heats, preheat your oven to 350F.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until golden, about one hour. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board using a spatula and slice into wedges before serving.

1 stick of butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup milk
fresh or frozen fruit
Make a batter from flour, sugar, baking powder and milk. Melt butter in skillet. Pour batter into skillet. Put fruit on top. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until brown and done. Serve with ice cream!

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Make batter out of all ingredients. Melt butter in skillet until it bubbles. Pour in batter. Put in 425 degree oven until brown and done in middle.

Other things you can cook in a cast iron skillet.....

whole chicken
fried chicken
chicken fried steak