If you’re thinking about casting out your cast-iron skillet, read on. The folks at America’s Test Kitchen have come up with some pot-rattling discoveries, that might change your mind. They tested lightweight, cast-iron skillets, comparing them with Grandma’s 7.5 pound frying pan. They also compared new stockpots with their favorite Le Crueset, enamel-coated, cast-iron.
The sturdy old skillets were manufactured by pouring molten metal into a sand mold and then breaking the mold. Today’s lightweight competitors, cast in a metal mold, are much thinner and have the handle attached with rivets.
The newly engineered cookware weighs in at 2.65 to 4 pounds, but fails to match traditional cast-iron in tests made on scrambled eggs, breaded chicken cutlets, seared steaks, and cornbread. New models didn’t distribute the heat evenly, lost their stick resistance, and handles overheated.
Re-season Your Old Cast-Iron Skillet
- Wash the cookware with warm, soapy water and a stiff nylon brush. Rusty? Scrub it with steel wool. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Apply a thin, even coating of vegetable oil to the entire surface of the pan (inside and out) using a paper towel. Set pan aside.
- Place aluminum foil on bottom of oven to safeguard it from oil drips. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven. This will allow the oil to drip down and coat the entire pan. Leave the pan in the oven to “bake” for one hour.
- Turn off the oven and let the pan cool in the oven, or remove it with mitts and place it on a wire rack to cool for an hour. Store your newly re-seasoned pan uncovered in a dry place. (From Woman’s Day Magazine)