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February 11, 2015 Comments (0) Camp Kitchen

How to Use and Season Your Cast Iron Skillet

Pt. 1 How to Handle Your Metal.

In every kitchen or kit you have that 1 indispensable tool.. The Iron Skillet is that tool.

Honoring it with great food is a cornerstone to culinary greatness for generations, in the field or in your home.

Setting it up, taking care of it, and honoring it with great food is a cornerstone to culinary greatness for generations, in the field or in your home.

Lets start with the basics to get you on your way…

Season it when you get it.

Even pre-seasoned cast iron can do with some extra protection. To season your pan, heat it up on the stovetop or in the oven at a high setting until its smoking hot, then rub a little oil into it and let it cool. Repeat this process a few times and you’re good to go.

Clean it after each use.

Clean your pan thoroughly after each use by washing it with soap and water and scrubbing out any gunk or debris from the bottom. I use the scrubby side of a sponge for this. Also you may use the technique of “Burn Off”, place your skillet on the fire add 1-2 cups of kosher salt in the base and cook off the built up impurities, make sure to re-season after each deep cleaning.

Re-season it.

Rinse out any excess soap with water, then place the skillet over a burner set to high heat. When most of the water inside the skillet has dried out, add a half teaspoon of a neutral oil like vegetable, canola, flaxseed, or shortening. Rub it around with a paper towel. Continue heating the pan until it just starts to smoke then give it one more good rub. Let it cool and you’re done.

Fry and Sear in it.

The best way to keep your seasoning maintained? Just use your pan a lot! The more you fry, sear, or bake in it, the better that seasoning will become.

Don’t let it stay wet.

Water is the natural enemy of iron and letting even a drop of water sit in your pan when you put it away can lead to a rust spot. Not the end of the world, but rust will require a little scrubbing and re-seasoning. I always dry out my pan with a paper towel and coat it with a tiny amount of oil before storage. I also drop my pan back into the cooling oven directly after i wash it.

Now that we have a great pan ready to go, lets discuss what to cook…

 

Pt. 2 Cast-iron Bone in. A simple classic.

There are so many uses for your Cast Iron Skillet whether you’re in the field, at home or standing next to your grill outdoors..

As we’ve discussed preparing and maintaining your skillet is the way to have it love you back. And the great benefit about the skillet is the more you use it the more it gains character and personalization. Whether your a Carnivore or a Herbivore or somewhere in-between, the same principles apply.

OK. Beef,Veal, Lamb Steaks Bone-in..

Choose a nice thick cut- 1-2lb. Porterhouse, T-Bone, Rib-Steak at a minimum 2 inches thick!

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Steak- Choose your beast

1 tablespoon vegetable oil – grape-seed – rendered fat – your choice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 fresh herb sprigs (such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano, savory)

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

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Preparation

1. Preheat grill, oven or stoke your coals to 400° to 450° (high) heat. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on grill, covered with grill lid (in the case of a outdoor fire pit- you may bury the pan in the coals- when ready remove and wipe with oiled cloth to remove excess ash), 15 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously over steak, making sure that it is dry from any built up moisture.

2. Add oil to skillet. (Oil should smoke.) Using tongs, place steak in skillet, and cook on grill, without grill lid, 10 minutes or until dark brown and crusty. Turn steak on fatty edge in skillet, holding upright with tongs, and cook 2 minutes. Place steak, uncooked side down, in skillet. Cook on grill, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. (We recommend an internal temperature of 120° to 125° for medium-rare; temperature will rise as steak rests.)

3. Add butter, herbs, and garlic to side of skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until butter foams. Tilt skillet slightly, and spoon butter mixture over steak 20 times (being careful not to splatter). Transfer steak, herbs, and garlic to a platter; let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice against the grain.

4. Make sure to clean your pan while still warm, it will clean easier, season and store.

EAT ME NOW…

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