Dish On Fish: Tips For Cooking With A Cast Iron Skillet

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish on Fish:

Tips for Cooking with a Cast Iron Skillet

Pro Tip: Cooking with a cast iron skillet is not only for professional chefs. That’s right, rumors about the difficulties of cooking with cast iron are not true! We actually LOVE cooking seafood in a skillet because it brings out the savory flavor of seafood, while adding some extra nutrients. That’s why we’re sharing six easy cast iron skillet tips with you to make your experience a breeze.

The key to cooking with a cast iron skillet is to do some research and get cooking! Cast iron pans and seafood pair perfectly. In fact, this versatile cooking method makes it super-easy to eat seafood 2-3 times per week.

You’ll be surprised to find how simple it is to incorporate cast iron skillet cooking into your kitchen! If you need a good place to start, we recommend checking out our hearty Smoked Salmon Hash recipe that is simple to make and packed with a flavorful punch.

Below is a list of six essential cooking tips. We encourage you to start simple, but also keep in mind there’s a world of possibilities when cooking in cast iron.

6 Cast Iron Skillet Tips

  1. ‘Tis the seasoning
    When cooking with a cast iron skillet, the first step is to season it. Start by heating the pan. Once hot, add about one tablespoon of oil. After the oil cools, you’re good to get cookin’. This step is essential because cast iron cookware soaks up whatever is heated. Season the pan before cooking to avoid food from becoming a sticky hot mess.
  2. But first, preheat
    Before tossing in your ingredients, preheat your cast iron skillet. However, watch the level of heat! Cast iron skillets will crack if exposed to a lot of heat in a short amount of time. So, start off low and gradually increase heat to avoid going from cold pan to cracked hot pot quickly.
  3. Cookin’ low & slow
    Have you ever heard the saying “cooking low and slow?” Well, whoever said it must’ve been cooking with a cast iron skillet! Keeping the temperature down will ensure all flavor is absorbed without the risk of burning your masterpiece.
  4. Avoid plastic utensils
    Take a look at your favorite cooking utensils… are they made of plastic? If so, they may have to sit this one out. Cast iron skillets can get very hot, very quickly. We recommend opting for a stainless steel, wood or bamboo utensil to best protect your cookware… and your food.
  5. Never clean with soap
    Cleaning a cast iron skillet may seem like a chore and you may be tempted to dose the pan with soap, but think twice. Cast iron skillets should be cleaned immediately after use, while still warm. Just add a little hot water and scrub with a sponge or stiff brush. (Note: Don’’t soak the pan or leave in sink because it could rust.) Avoid using soap or steel wool so you don’t scratch the pan’s surface or remove seasoning. If bits are stuck to the pan, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse salt, like kosher salt, and water.
  6. Always dry and season skillet
    This final tip is often overlooked. Because cast iron is a metal, when it becomes wet it can rust and become ruined. The best way to preserve the lifespan of your cast iron cookware is to ensure it is dried thoroughly after each use and cleaning by wiping with a towel. Then, add a little vegetable or olive oil to the cloth or paper towel and apply a light coat to the inside of the dry skillet. Store in a dry place.

Now that you’re armed with an arsenal of cast iron skillet tips, we hope you’re eager to get in the kitchen and put your new skills to good use! The creative possibilities are endless. Consider adding a cast iron skillet to your Christmas list!