A well-seasoned skillet has a black, semiglossy appearance and is neither sticky or oily to the touch. There will be no rust, dullness, or dry areas. Frying an egg is a simple technique to evaluate the seasoning of a pan (heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add the egg). If the egg white solidifies but the yolk remains runny, the pan is not ready yet. You must wait another 30 seconds for the pan to become hot again. When you put the egg in, it should sizzle on contact with the hot surface of the pan.
Seasoning a pan involves two steps: adding oil and baking soda or salt. Heat the oil until very hot, about 350 degrees F, then remove the pan from the heat. Add as much of the baking soda or salt as will fit into the pan and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to create a gray powder that is completely dissolved into the oil. The object here is to coat the interior surfaces of the pan with a nonstick layer that prevents foodstuffs from sticking to the pan.
The pan is now ready for use. If you are using it for cooking only, there is no need to season it further. However, if you also plan to use it for frying eggs, it is important to add more oil after each use because the baking soda or salt itself will evaporate over time.
Cast iron is the most common material used to make skillets. This is due to the fact that a cast iron skillet is sturdy, resilient, can withstand high heat, and has excellent heat retention for uniform cooking. A frying pan, on the other hand, is constructed of a more common material such as steel, aluminum, or copper. Although these types of pans are suitable for frying, they are not as durable as their cast-iron counterparts.
The main difference between a cast-iron skillet and a frying pan is usage. Cast iron is best used for cooking at high temperatures for long periods of time because it will retain heat well and be able to conduct it uniformly to whatever you're cooking. Frying pans, on the other hand, are usually only good for one or two batches before needing to be cleaned. They are not designed to handle large amounts of food or high heats.
There are several factors that go into determining what type of pan you should use for which method of cooking. For example, you would not put a frying pan over an open flame because it would be too likely to catch fire. However, if you were making popcorn then a frying pan would be the perfect tool for the job.
You should also consider how you plan to use your pan. If you want to cook a lot of food at once in a cast-iron skillet, that's fine. But if you're planning to use it mostly for frying foods then that's probably not the best choice.
If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you should get one (it's $15 and will last you a lifetime), but if you don't, you may use any uncoated pan with high heat retention (heavy bottomed, copper core, etc). Nonstick cookware should not be used since the heat will be too intense. If you do use something other than a cast iron skillet, follow the recommended temperature ranges below.
The best way to determine if a piece of meat is done is by using a food thermometer. Insert the probe into the center of the meat; if it reads 120 degrees F or higher, then it's time to take the steak out of the oven. If you don't have a food thermometer, here are some other signs that the meat is ready: It releases easily from the bone, it no longer tastes raw, and there are no dry patches on the surface.
Once your steak is done, let it rest for at least five minutes before cutting it so the juices can return to the meat and it won't become dry. Also, if you cut into it during the resting period, the juice that comes out is enough to keep your knife clean.
Now that you know how to make a perfect steak, try out these tasty recipes!
Scrub off stuck-on bits: Scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water to remove stuck-on food. Then, using a paper towel, rinse or wipe the surface. Boiling water in the pan can help dislodge stubborn food residue. Dry the skillet thoroughly with a cloth or dry it on the stovetop over low heat. Avoid placing hot pans directly onto cold surfaces.
Now that your pan is clean, use a little oil to prevent any further staining. You can use any kind of oil, but keep in mind that peanut oil will burn at 350 degrees F, so choose a more neutral-tasting oil if you are concerned about flavor. Canola oil is usually recommended because it does not taste like olive oil and has a high smoke point.
Finally, add a few drops of lemon or vinegar to your dishwasher to get rid of odors from cooked foods. Add 1/4 cup baking soda to half a cup of boiling water and pour into the bottom of the dishwasher to get rid of odor particles.
These are just some of the many ways you can maintain your cast iron skillet. As long as you take care of it, it should last a lifetime!