Bachelor Cooking: in a Cast Iron Skillet

I ruined one of my frying pans a week or so ago.  Burnt food, and I couldn’t scrape the leavings out.  Grr.  Tossed away a decent skillet.

So I needed a new 10-inch skillet.  Time to go shopping…

And eventually, I took a chance on buying a cast iron skillet.

This from a man who has used non-stick pots and pans for as long as forever.  I am now risking my dietary habits and my cooking acumen … with the use of a cast iron skillet.

Look out world.

Cooking with cast iron pots and pans is a brand new experience for me.  And I must approach my cooking routines in a different manner than before.

First off, I had to “season” my frying pan before I could cook a single morsel in it.  A coating of canola oil in the pan, then an hour’s bake on high heat in the oven.  This is supposed to put a nice “seasoning” on the frying pan and to keep food from sticking for too long.

First test.  I fried a steak in the pan.  Not bad, tasted decent … lots of smoke around the apartment, but that might just be from my first true use of a cast iron frying pan.

Second test.  Breakfast Monday morning, I fried up a ham cutlet and a fried egg, made a nice little egg sandwich.  Okay, the fact that I’m still typing this blog post means I haven’t completely keeled over.

Third test.  I had a boneless pork chop.  Rubbed it in various salts and spices, a little olive oil in the pan, fry fry and dine dine.

And just to add some extra panache to my meal, I threw some asparagus tips in the pan and heated them up as well.

Here’s what I came up with after all the cooking.

Okay, so my plating skills won’t get me on a Gordon Ramsay show…

But still, this is an accomplishment for me.  And yes, I was able to do this in a cast iron skillet.

What does this mean for me?

A few things.

First, I’m contemplating getting more cast iron cookware.  My local Ace Hardware store has more pots and pans from this cast iron company, so that’s a good thing.  I could also visit my local Cracker Barrel, apparently they have plenty of cast iron cookware for sale (if I don’t mind that the cookware has “Cracker Barrel” cast iron branding on it).

This is nice.  But let’s not get too complacent.  I still have to take care of these pots and pans.  Clean them quickly and make sure they’re dry.  Don’t store them with any water or liquid still in them.  And season them with canola oil or flaxseed oil once in a while.

Suffice it to say … this could be a new avenue of dining for me.

Baby steps, for sure.

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5 thoughts on “Bachelor Cooking: in a Cast Iron Skillet”

  1. Two things:

    First, those cast iron pans are great for inside the oven, not just on the stove top — just be careful not to grab the handle area without protection!

    Also — and you might find this appealing — it’s fairly easy to re-condition neglected cast iron pans found in junk shops and garage sales and bring them back to useful condition. Many of these vintage pans are interesting and border-line collectible.

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    1. My main skillet came from the Salvation Army in Rome, NY. I scrubbed any old seasoning off because I don’t cook meat in it, and re-seasoned it. It’s lovely. Lodge is the brand to look for in new cast iron, though: They’re still made in the United States, EXCEPT FOR the ceramic-clad pieces, which are made in China.

      Like

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