I have a general rule that all my cast iron pans must be older than I am. My most treasured cast iron skillet was my grandmother’s. It’s smooth as glass and so shiny I can almost check my make-up while I’m cooking. On most days, you’ll find it in its permanent home on top of my stove. With a little knowledge about the signature pan of the South, family heirlooms are as close as the kitchen.
10 Things to Know About Cast Iron Pans
1. Cast iron holds heat incredibly well.
2. Seasoning the pan means that the pores of the iron have absorbed oil.
3. Well-seasoned pans have a non-stick service.
4. Cast iron is one of very few kinds cookware that will outlive you. They are commonly passed down from generation to generation.
5. Never ever wash cast iron in the dishwasher. Always store the pans clean and dry.
6. Season a pan by rubbing with vegetable oil and “cooking” the pan in the oven for 1 hour at 400˚.
7. If an old cast iron pan feels sticky to the touch, the seasoning oil has gone rancid. Use soap-free steel wool to remove the sticky film. Then re-season the pan.
8. If food is stuck on the pan, clean with a little water and a stiff brush. Heat the cleaned pan on top of the stove to thoroughly dry all the water and use a kitchen towel to rub on a light coating of oil.
9. For light cleaning, just rub the pan with kosher salt and wipe clean with a towel.
10. If stacking cast iron skillets for storage, place a paper plate in between each one.
Lazy Girl Berry Cobbler
Serves 6 to 8
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup Southern All-Purpose Flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 cups fresh blackberries
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter in the oven while it is preheating. Once the butter is melted, remove the skillet from the oven.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk the buttermilk into the flour mixture.
Pour the batter over the melted butter in the hot skillet. Sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the batter.
Bake for 50 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.