Sep 9, 2013

Cooking Eggs in "Nonstick" Cast Iron Pans

Several years ago, I began cooking with cast iron - primarily with cast iron skillets and a Dutch oven. As I typed about then, there are many benefits to cast iron cooking - including it's non-stick qualities without the use of Tefflon. But, like many, people, I had trouble keeping eggs from sticking to my cast iron skillets. That is, until I recently discovered a simple solution!

Seasoning
Before you begin cooking with any cast iron cookware, it should be well seasoned. "Seasoning" consists of oil or natural fat seeping into the teeny tiny crevices in the pan. This creates an all-natural, non-stick coating. The easiest way to season a pan is to put a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil, lard, or bacon drippings in the pan, then place it in a 400 degree F. oven. Leave it in for up to a 20 minutes, very carefully using a paper towel to wipe some of the fat onto the sides of the pan at least twice.

Once the pan is well seasoned, just scrape it clean with a metal spatula or plastic pan scraper. It's okay to use water, but not soap. Be sure to wipe the pan dry after cleaning, putting it briefly on a warm stove burner until it's completely dry.

Re-seasoning is usually not necessary - unless you let a pan go "dry" while cooking or you use soap on the pan. (Learn more about cast iron care here.)

The Secret to Non-Stick Eggs
Yet even when I had a well seasoned pan, I found eggs stuck.

Then my father (who is something of an expert on cooking with cast iron) visited. He said, "You're cooking bacon in the skillet first. To keep the eggs from sticking, you have to scrape the bottom of the pan before adding eggs."

Yeah, it's that simple.

If you cook anything in a cast iron skillet before you add eggs, take a metal spatula and scrape the bottom of the pan well before adding the eggs. This gets up any bits of food, and keeps the eggs from sticking. So simple!

1 comment:

  1. I use only cast iron skillets and dutch ovens. wiht one exception. a stainless steel sauce pan or two. I am new here and looking forward to browsing around.

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