cast iron grill (long)
To those of you here who convinced me to buy a cast iron grill, I must thank you. I finally seasoned it the other day, and broke it in tonight. As a vegetarian, my favorite way to cook veggies is on the grill, and now a whole new world has been open to me. I was bbqing tonight with some friends, and ran out of space on the grill outside, and needed to get the slices of sweet potatoes cooked (and they take forever!). So I fired up the cast iron on the stove. Everything cooked so quickly and evenly. Only problem was that it stuck a little, but I'm assuming that the more i used it and the better seasoned it gets, the easier it will be to use.
So now my questions - I guess I'm supposed to clean it without soap - just scrubbing and hot water. But the thing is insanely hot - can I wait till tomorrow to clean it?
Once I clean it, am I supposed to rub more oil on it? Seems like I would end up with a sticky mess in my cabinet if I did.
Until it becomes more non-stick, can I and should I use some cooking spray before heating it up?
Do I have to go through the process of seasoning it ever again, or am I doing it just by using it? (Since I'm veg I just used vegetable oil, and no bacon grease will ever touch it).
How do I avoid the smoke?? My apartment filled up with smoke, even with the fan on over the stove. Was it too hot?
Again, thank you - I am loving my new toy, even though it's summer and I should stick to outdoor grilling!
Hmm, many questions.
Cleaning: I think best would be to wait until tomorrow, boil water in a kettle, pour it in and wait 3-5 minutes. This will heat the food/grease, but not really the pan, and definitely not the handle.
Then pour out the water and use paper towels to dry and remove fats.
Rub oil to season again? No, the fats (Veg oil) do that and get into the pores as the pan cooks.
Spray with 'pam' stuff for a while, especially with dryer veggies like eggplant, less so with onions or zucc.
Ever again? It is likely that someone will sometime mistreat the pan and wash the long lovingly developed seasoning so that you will have to start over. The test of love (or bhuddist influence) is whether you can forgive such a bone-head move.
Oh, the smoke is probably a result of not removing enough of the seasoning oil while the pan was very warm. If you use only water and paper towels, you can never remove too much fat/oil. But temperature is used hand-in-hand with thickness. If you want an outside sear, high temp of a thick cut is right, while if you want even cooking, low temp of a thin cut is correct.
The subject of cleaning cast iron came up on the previous thread. I am one of those that finds the use of soap heresy on cast iron. There is nothing on the face of the planet that can survive the next reheating of the pan, so food safety is not an issue and it will absolutely chip away at the seasoning, whether it's visible to the naked eye or not. Using the hottest water available, I scrub it with one of those very stiff nylon vegetable brushes with the long handles. It cleans off any food particles, the bristles can get into tiny spaces and my hands don't get scaled. Dry a few minutes on an open flame. Do not oil it before putting it away. The oil may turn rancid and will attract dirt.
Help! I have not been able to find a real, old fashioned NONtreated cast iron pan. We have moved twice in the past 3 years, and both times I left my beloved cast iron pan behind - thinking, yeah, too heavy to bring, that'll be the easiest thing to buy....
Yeah, right. All I can find is the dreadful preseasoned ones. Can anyone help? I'm living in Lynn right now (orig. from Malden), and I'll go anywhere on the North Shore, or Cambridge/Boston area.
i don't recommend the cooking spray. i find the propellent builds up and is very hard to remove, especially when used over high, direct heat. i find that only beefy, dedicated range vent hoods do a decent job of smoke removal. the cheaper ones and microwave/vent combos provide neither the draw nor square footage necessary. i just open the nearest window and put a fan in it when cooking this way. you might want to check the filters on your vent to ensure maximum flow.
I too am a new cast iron griller and ended up with a smoke filled apt.
I posted a request for help and tried the kosher salt fix suggested (see linked reply) While the smoke didn't totally disappear, the amount was greatly reduced, especially at the outset.
The smoke output increased as i went along because i was grilling several pieces of skirt steak and after a while the salt could no longer absorb the increasing amount of fat drippings.
so, i'd think if i were grilling vegetables,the salt fix should make quite a difference.
After grilling, place the whole thing inside your oven, turned off, and leave til you're ready to wipe clean. The oven vents the smoke and its a safe spot for the hot grill/griddle to cool down. I usually get to it the next morning and wipe it clean. I also occasionally rinse off with soapy water, rarely scrub, if I've used some sticky marinade.
I think the smoke may be from the excess oil in the pan. I almost never put oil in my cast iron pan. Rub some oil on the vegetables, but don't pour any directly in the pan when you are cooking.
I wait at least an hour to let it cool down before I clean it. Then I use hot water and a scrub brush. Then make sure you dry it thoroughly or else it will rust. Sometimes I put it on the smallest burner on my stove and its lowest setting and dry it over the heat for 5-10 minutes to make sure its dry. Sometimes I lightly rub it with oil before doing this to try to cook on some more oil and make it nice and non-stick. Since you're not going to be cooking meats with the high fat content in the pan, I would suggest seasoning it a few more times as you wont get the fat cooked into the pan as much with just vegetables as you would with a nice piece of steak or bacon.