cast iron pan help
tried to make turkey burgers in my cast iron pan tonight (lodge pan with ridges to catch fat) and the burgers stuck to the pan. i sprayed it with pam first. same thing happened another time with olive oil. i preheated it for 5 min or so, so it was pretty hot. what am i doing wrong? thanks for any help.
If your pan is well seasoned the burgers should not have stuck. Sometimes they stick until they are "ready to let go", that may be after you want to turn them and more done than you prefer. My mother always salted the skillet well before pan browning to prevent sticking.
The only way to be sure to get your food off a non-nonstick pan is to turn off the heat, cover the pan, and leave it for 5 minutes at least. This will allow slight cooling to create condensation of moistue, which will loosen the stuck on particles on the surface of the food.
Personally, I have the same problem because I am loath to always use non-stick now that I've heard about the chemicals migrating into the food. So I just turn off the stove when the food is not quite done, cover it and do something else for a few minutes. By then the food is loose and you can just lift it out with a spat.
The Lodge grill pan is a different sort of beast from the cast-iron skillet in many ways, as I am finding out. I have in fact cooked fish on mine, and yes, you do need to let the food cook until it's good and ready to release. I had marinated the fish in an oil, rather than a citrus marinade - I think if I were trying to cook ceviche here I'd still be trying to pry it loose!
What you have to remember is that the pores in an iron pan open when the metal is hot, and that's when you need to add fat. Spray grease is NOT supposed to be added under these circumstances, so some oil/bacon grease/whatever put on with a brush is probably the better option. Cook the flesh until some serious jiggling with a spatula encourages it to move, and then flip it over.
The cleanup procedure is where the grill pan truly parts company with its iron counterparts. The only way I've found to clean mine is to scrub it with a brush, hot water and a dash of detergent. My father-in-law has refused to do that with his; as a result, his pan has hardly any ribbing anymore: it's grunge to the gun'ls. Although I admire his sticking to Principles, and his pan-grilled steaks are uniformly delicious, I'd rather have mine swept clean.