Can A Cast Iron Skillet Go In An Oven? Cast Iron Use, Care, And Benefits
Cast iron is very commonly used in making heavy-duty cookware. These products are valuable because they offer durability, heat retention, and high-temperature survivability, and when properly seasoned, they are non-stick.
Once cast iron is seasoned, it becomes rust-proof which adds to its durability. For these reasons, cast iron is used in making frying pans, waffle irons, deep fryers, skillets, etc.
The durability offered by cast-iron makes most people believe that you can use them in ovens. Let us peel back the curtains and look into it;
Can A Cast Iron Skillet Go In an Oven?
The most straightforward answer to this question is yes. However, some factors could make a cast-iron skillet bad for oven use. There are some skillet manufactures that put rubber or plastic handles on their products, including skillets.
This is a good idea since it would help protect your hands when carrying the pot around. You should not use these kinds of skillets in an oven since the handles will melt under high temperatures.
An oven full of molten plastic will be an absolute nightmare to clean, not to mention the taste of your food will get ruined by the smell of plastic. You should also keep skillets with soft materials like wood or plastic out of the oven.
Use a high-quality cast iron skillet that has iron handles that won’t get burnt. This will allow the skillet to withstand the hot conditions in the oven without getting damaged.
The cast-iron handles will get hot, and they will retain the heat for a long time. Ensure you have something to hold the skillet when it comes out of the oven.
Why You Should Cook With Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron is the most used when it comes to heavy-duty cookware. Most professional chefs use and recommend cast iron utensils for the best meals.
If you have been using a different product, then here is a guide on why you should shift to cast iron;
1. They are risk-free in terms of health.
Teflon pans are convenient and very commonly used, but they pose a health risk to the user. The Teflon coating is dangerous if it gets scratched, and we all understand how easy it is for a skillet to get scratched.
With cast iron, you don’t have to worry about any of these chemicals. The metal is clean from the surface to its interior to ensure your family is safe even when the cookware gets old.
2. It is very durable
Cast iron cookware can last for several generations without needing replacement. This is a significant advantage compared to the Aluminum cookware that needs to be replaced every few years.
You can use a skillet all your life and hand it down to your children, who will get an experience as lovely as yours. The additional few dollars are worth it when it comes to cast iron.
3. The cookware is multifunctional.
If you get cookware with no plastic or wood, you can use it on many different cooking surfaces. Cast iron can withstand a wide range of temperatures.
This means that you can start cooking on the stove and move the same pan or skillet into the oven to finish your cooking. This is much better than Aluminum cookware that would at times force you to change before putting food in an oven.
4. It makes the food prepared on it more flavored.
Cast iron is a naturally porous material. This property makes it absorb the oils and flavors from the food that you cook on it.
It will release this flavor into the meals that you prepare afterward, making it that much sweeter. You can deepen the flavor since the food can be moved from the stove to the oven in the same pan or skillet.
5. It is non-stick
The oil interacts with the pan to create a surface that does not hold onto the food you are preparing. As you keep using the pan, the oil binds to the material, leading to a non-stick surface.
Ensure you use high-quality oil since the cast iron will absorb the oil, and it will influence the taste of all foods prepared on it.
6. It retains heat for a long
Cast iron heats up unevenly, but once it is hot, it holds onto the heat well. This is a significant advantage for cooking since it will save on the amount of energy used to cook.
It will also allow you to move the food to other containers without it getting cool. To take full advantage of this, ensure you pre-heat the cookware before using it.
How To Season Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron can last over 30 years if correctly used. If left wet, the cast iron might lose its initial look and become rusty.
You could be thinking that it is finally time to throw it away and get a new one; you’re mistaken.
With proper seasoning, you could repair the cast iron to its initial look and efficiency. Here is a guide on how to treat cast iron when it gets rusty;
- Start by soaking the pan in a mixture of water and vinegar. The combination should be half water and half vinegar. You can keep it soaked for an hour or two, depending on the extent of the rust.
- Take the vinegar water out of the cast iron and sprinkle it with a generous amount of baking soda. This will help neutralize the acidic mixture you soaked the iron in.
- Rinse the baking soda off and immediately start scrubbing the cast iron with detergent and a metal scouring pad. Scrub the surface as aggressively as you can to ensure you get rid of all the rust.
- Rinse the cast iron, then scrub it again, this time with steel wool. Steel wool is, more delicate so it will make for a cleaner scrub to give a fine product.
- Keep doing this until the rust on the cast iron is completely gone. You can rinse the cast iron with water to see how clean it is.
- Once you have cleared all the rust from the cast iron, rinse it and dry it off with a paper towel. Put it over a cooker or in an oven for around five minutes to ensure it dries completely.
- You will notice that the cast iron looks a bit rusty, this is normal, and it can be fixed using oil. Get some good quality oil and drip it on the cast iron. Wipe the cast iron with a paper towel as you apply the oil.
- The rust will come off with the oil very easily. Ensure you wipe down all the cast iron parts, then get a new paper towel and wipe all the oil off. At this point, it should be completely rust-free.
If you have a clean cast iron pan or skillet, you still need to season it. Seasoning will help you prevent rust from forming on the cast iron if it makes contact with water and doesn’t dry. Here is a simple way to season cast iron;
- Take a dry cast iron utensil and apply a generous amount of cooking oil to it. Rub the oil all over the cast iron surfaces to make sure every inch is protected.
- Take a fresh paper towel and wipe the oil off the cast iron. You have to do this even if you already did it during cleaning. Wipe it down to get an extremely thin layer of oil on the surface.
- Place the cast iron upside down on a rack in the oven with a foil underneath to catch any dripping oil. There should not be any dripping if you wiped the cast iron well, but the foil is there as a precaution.
- Turn the oven on to 5000F and leave the cast iron for one hour.
- After the hour, turn the oven off and leave it to cool with the oven until you can handle it with your bare hands. This will give you a well-seasoned cast-iron utensil.
- You can repeat this process two or three times in one seasoning session to make it better and last longer.
Cast iron is a fantastic product that is easy to maintain and durable. Seasoning it might seem like a lot of work, but it is not. All you have to do is apply some oil to it and put it in an oven.
If you want to put a skillet in the oven, ensure it has no soft or flammable handles. If the handles are plastic or wooden, then you should keep them out of the oven.
Cast iron is a much more sound choice for cookware since it can last a lot longer and is safer for you. If you have not thought about shifting to cast iron, then you should.