When our great-gran died we were lucky enough to inherit her half-century-old cast-iron skillet. Our siblings and cousins thought that we were crazy for selecting the cooking tool over her heaps of heirloom jewelry and vintage clothing, but in our hearts, we knew that perfectly-seasoned cast-iron skillet would give us more satisfaction than a new look ever could!
Now, it’s important to mention that when we finally got our hands on this beautiful culinary instrument, it came along with some carefully-written instructions, which were included before our dear great-gran passed. I’ll admit that, before I opened up the envelope, a big part of me was hoping that it contained all of her famous recipes–but that lady was much too proud to divulge her secrets!
Instead, she included 5 items that we should never, ever attempt to cook in our newly-inherited cast-iron skillet. At the time, we were disappointed, but now that hundreds of meals have been prepared in it, we are SO happy that the instructions that she left with us concerned the preservation of our beloved vintage skillet.
Here are the 5 items–straight from Great-Gran!– that you should NEVER cook in your cast-iron skillet…
…or any other acid-packed sauces, for that matter. Not only can these tangy sauces ruin the seasoning of the skillet, your finished product will more than likely end up tasting like it’s made of metal. Best to simmer it in a non-stick pan instead!
Sweet, sticky dessertsTipHero
The depth of a standard cast-iron skillet may seem like it’s made for multi-layered desserts, but its textured surface simply can’t handle items that are particularly sticky. What’s worse is that your delectably sweet dessert might just end up taking on the savory seasoning of the skillet. Certainly not how we like our desserts to taste!
Though many traditional fried rice recipes DO call for the use of a cast-iron skillet, it’s just not the best advice to follow. You see, rice tends to stick to surfaces, which means that over time, it will start compromising the integrity of the seasoned skillet’s surface. Cooking fried rice in it may give you some immediate gratification, but if you have hopes of passing down your own cast-iron wonder one day, it’s best to use a wok instead!
The flaky nature of delicate fish, such as cod, tilapia, and flounder makes for a healthy, light meal, but that doesn’t mean it can be prepared in just anything. In fact, it should only be heated on enamel because it has the tendency to stick to pretty much anything else. Thicker fish, however – particularly tuna and salmon steaks – is perfect for the cast-iron skillet!
Unless your cast-iron skillet has a proven track record of having omelets literally SLIDE off of it, then viscous eggs don’t belong anywhere near it!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on these cast-iron “no-nos!” Were you surprised by any of the items on this list? Do you know of any other meals you shouldn’t cook in the skillet? Do you have any tips for preserving cast-iron skillets?