10 Tips for Using a Cast Iron Skillet

Do you know how to care for your cast iron skillet? Learn more with Midway Restaurant Supply!

10 Tips for Using a Cast Iron Skillet

Midway shares proper usage and cleaning techniques for your cast iron skillet!Utilizing a cast iron skillet is slowly but surely stepping out of dark corners of our kitchens and gaining popularity. People are starting to notice the benefits of this tool, for it is multi-purpose, durable, efficient and easy to maintain. However, they do require proper usage and proper cleaning. Because most people don’t know how to use the cast iron skillet, what to use it for and how to clean it, we came up with a list of ten things to know when using this pan.

1. What To Cook

Searing meats is a great use for your cast iron skillet.One of the significant benefits of cooking with an iron skillet is the skillets ability to conserve and transfer heat. Consequently, the skillet is great for preparing meals that require high levels of heat.

Use it for cooking meat such as steaks or roasts, for they can be seared, but not roasted. The outer parts of the meat will obtain brown to reddish color with a crispy exterior, while the insides will maintain desired sappiness and richness. A cast iron skillet is also useful for stir-frying, due to its depth and heat transferring abilities.

2. What Not To Cook

First and foremost, avoid meals that require wines and vinegar. The nature of these components is acidic and can damage the skillet.Use of wine and vinegar can be detrimental to your cast iron skillet.

This pan is not suitable for cooking delicate fish either, for its heat might damage and burn all the healthy ingredients in the fish. You can prepare a more substantial size fish, one that has more meat and is thick.

However, you can cook anything in a cast iron skillet; but you want to avoid the food that might damage it. For instance, bolognese requires tomato juice, an ingredient that can harm the skillet.

3. Cooking Oil

You will want to use the oil that withstands high temperatures. Once the oil reaches its breaking point, it will release carcinogens and radical elements into the atmosphere, and you certainly don’t want that to happen.Season your cast iron skillet with olive oil.

So, use the oils that can withstand high heat: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or quality lard. If you are using lard, make sure you clean the pan immediately after you finish cooking.

4. Cleaning

If you correctly maintain and clean this cookware, it can last for decades without losing its quality and efficiency. To avoid rust, take a sponge in your hand and immediately start cleaning;
remember, don’t soak, don’t wait.

A simple sponge and some hot water will do the trick. You can use soap, but only in minimal amounts, a drop or two; too much detergent can damage the iron.

Don’t scrape the pasted bits of food with a fork or knife. Instead, use salt and water and rub it with a stiff brush. You can also add water and boil it. Boiling water will ultimately help separate stuck-on food from the pan. After you wash it, season the pan.

5. Seasoning

Season your cast iron skillet to make your pan last longer.

Regular usage and seasoning helps prevent rust and improves the durability of the iron skillet. Seasoning is a simple process: you use a drop of oil and spread it evenly across the pan before you bake it. The oil will help protect the pan, keeping the cookware always ready for usage.

Some people suggest using flax oil for this part of skillet maintenance. It is about oil polymerization, the process accountable for seasoning process. Be aware of the fact that seasoning your pain isn’t the same as cooking. When it comes to seasoning, you want the oil that drys fast, hence why we suggest flax oil. Good alternatives are soybean oil and liquid canola oil.

Read more about seasoning pots and pans here!

6. On Rust

Keep your cast iron skillet from rusting with these cleaning tips.Rust is iron’s biggest enemy and your primary concern when it comes to using, cleaning and storing your skillet: it can slowly eat away the coating, and eventually destroy the pan.

To avoid rust, focus on these things:

After cooking the meal, don’t soak your pan. Instead, wash it immediately because the oxidation process happens after you leave the skillet.
Once you clean the pan, dry it and season it. Drying will help prevent rust; the seasoning will fill the pores and also combat oxidation.
Once you’ve done these things, store it correctly, in a dry place. You can also wrap it in a paper, just to be safe.

7. Preheating

Preheat your cast iron skillet for the best cooking experience.To ensure the quality of cooking and durability of the pan, always preheat. Despite its many benefits, these skillets heat unevenly and slow. However, once it starts heating, it keeps heating.

Heat it slowly, going from low to medium levels, letting the cast iron do its thing. And since the pan is excellent at emitting heat, you can cook the food over low-medium heat.

8. Non-stickiness

Learn how to keep food from sticking to your cast iron skillet.This type of cookware is notable for being naturally non-stick. However, to achieve this, you need proper seasoning and preheating. Yes, this material is resistant to stickiness, but if you don’t take care of the cookware, food will stick more often than not.
So, to avoid stickiness, proper seasoning and gradual preheating are required. That way your food won’t stick.

9. Benefits Of Cast Iron Cookware

Using a cast iron skillet has a wide variety of benefits.This skillet is resistant to stickiness, is hotter than other pans, and is highly durable, especially if you maintain it properly. It is also very cost effective since it is cheap to obtain but can last decades.

This cookware has many uses, being able to cook, fry and bake a variety of food. Having multiple skillets is beneficial because you can use several skillets for preparing different types of food.

10. To Conserve It, Use It

The best way to conserve your cast iron skillet is to use it!Yes, the best way to conserve this cookware is to use it regularly. Not only will this prevent rust, but will also “force” you to take care of it.

Constant usage, cleaning and season will ensure the optimal durability and efficiency of the pan. If you are interested in buying a cast iron skillet, you can check Midway Restaurant Supply, because we offer a large variety of skillets at an affordable price.

Midway is a growing supplier of commercial food service equipment and small wares. We provide commercial cooking equipment, refrigeration, ice machines and small wares from the top manufacturers in the industry to Tyler and surrounding areas. We strive to be your single source provider for all your restaurant equipment and commercial kitchen designs at competitive prices. No matter what you’re looking for, Midway has the equipment and supplies to accommodate your needs! For more details on what we have to offer, we invite you to check out our clean and well-stocked showroom. Our friendly staff will answer any questions you may have and provide you with a pleasant shopping experience! For more information, send us an email or call us at (903) 707-8949! Midway is your Tyler restaurant supply store!

How to Season Pots and Pans

Midway Restaurant Supply shares tips and tricks on how to season pots and pans!

How to Season Pots and Pans

 

What exactly does it mean when cooks season pots and season pans? You may have heard that many chefs prefer a well-seasoned metal cooking vessel to a brand new one. A restaurant kitchen likely has some beaten up pots and pans with discoloration on them. Chefs and cooks are fond of these just the way they are. They have been “seasoned” over time with cooking fat and high heat.

This practice not only protects the surface of the pot or pan from deterioration, such as rust, it also imparts excellent flavor to dishes while using less fat because the seasoned coating is virtually non-stick. A natural non-stick pan has no harmful chemical treatments to prevent food from sticking. A seasoned pan is also easy to clean. Many cooks won’t allow their seasoned pans to be cleaned with soap. Let’s take a closer look at this practice of preserving pots and pans.

What Cookware can be Seasoned?

 

Mainly, you will want to season pots, season pans, and season woks. In some cultures, clay cookware is also seasoned. Commonly seasoned commercial cooking vessels include:

• Cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens

• Carbon steel sauté pans, paella pans, and woks

• Aluminum or coated tin cake and pizza pans

There are differing schools of thought on whether it is necessary to season pots and pans that are stainless steel. Stainless steel is naturally rust and corrosion resistant. In theory, the material would not need protection by seasoning. However, some cooks treat their stainless steel equipment similarly to carbon steel to ensure a non-stick surface.

What Types of Fat are Best for Seasoning?

 

Some form of fat is required to successfully season pots and season pans. There are several opinions on what is the best fat to use. Since the process occurs at high heat, it is best to use grease or oil that can tolerate a high smoke point, yet still penetrate the surface of the metal for a good seasoning. Another option is vegetable shortening, it is well priced, relatively tasteless, and can be frequently used.

Mediterranean style chefs are partial to using a low acid olive oil to season pans to make sure the flavors are true to the style of cooking. Coconut oil is a good choice to season pots when cooking tropical or Asian fare. Refined peanut oil has a high smoke point, as does avocado oil. It all depends on preference for flavor and the overall cost.

Methods of Seasoning Cookware

How to season pots and pans, check out this month's Midway blog!

 

Before you season pots or season pans for the first time, be sure to clean the pot or pan thoroughly in hot soapy water to remove any machine oil, protective wax, or packaging residue. Rinse very well with clean hot water and then dry off the excess water.

There are two basic methods for properly preparing cookware. The first is using a very hot oven. This works best for cast iron, aluminum, and tin pots and pans. Start by preheating the oven to 400˚F. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on the lower rack of the hot oven. Coat the pan inside and out with the shortening or oil using a crumpled piece of clean paper towel. It is not necessary to coat the handle. Place the pan or skillet on the upper shelf of the oven and allow it to bake for approximately 50 minutes for a cast iron skillet and about 18 minutes for an aluminum or tin plate. Turn off the oven and allow the newly seasoned pan to cool enough to handle. Wipe the oil off of the still warm vessel with clean paper towels.

The second method is on the range top over a hot burner. This seasoning method works nicely with carbon steel cookware and woks, as well as broader pots that might not fit in an oven. Place the clean cookware on the burner turned to medium-high heat until it starts to smoke. Using tongs, dip a wad of paper towel in oil or shortening and evenly coat the inside of the pan. Turn the heat to high and allow the fat to melt completely. Again, it will smoke, so be sure the kitchen is well ventilated. Remove the hot, newly seasoned pan from the burner and allow it to cool slightly but not entirely. Wipe it clean with another paper towel to remove the excess oil.

Taking Care of Seasoned Cookware

 

Learn how to season pots and pans, and how to care for your cooking utensils after they've been seasoned!Once the pots and pans have been seasoned, they will continue to take on more flavors and become better protected as they are used. As mentioned before, many cooks do not ever wash these pans. The best way to care for a seasoned pot or pan is to wipe it clean under running water using a soft cloth or sponge to remove any residue. Cleaning seasoned pots and pans is easiest while they are still warm.

After the pan has been wiped clean, dry it off and place a thin layer of oil or fat on the interior. Place the lightly oiled vessel back into a hot oven or on top of a hot burner until it warms up. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel. If food has become stuck to the pan surface, add a bit of table salt to the oil and wipe it down. The salt will help loosen the food particles without removing the protective layer.

If your cookware does need to be cleaned using soap and a scrubbing pad to remove burned on food, this is okay. Before utilizing your cooking utensil again, make sure to season the pots and pans by using the direction in the section on Methods of Seasoning Cookware. 

It’s recommended that seasoned pots and pans be stored either stacked on top of each other. If storing in contact with other materials, place a piece of paper towel beneath and inside the pan to prevent the protective layer from being disturbed or tainted.

For more information, or to purchase cookware of your own, please visit the Midway Restaurant Supply to learn more about our wide selection of cookware and other commercial kitchen products! 

Midway is a growing supplier of commercial food service equipment and small wares. We provide commercial cooking equipment, refrigeration, ice machines and small wares from the top manufacturers in the industry to Tyler and surrounding areas. We strive to be your single source provider for all your restaurant equipment and commercial kitchen designs at competitive prices. No matter what you’re looking for, Midway has the equipment and supplies to accommodate your needs! For more details on what we have to offer, we invite you to check out our clean and well-stocked showroom. Our friendly staff will answer any questions you may have and provide you with a pleasant shopping experience! For more information, send us an email or call us at (903) 707-8949! Midway is your Tyler restaurant supply store!

Let Us Help With Your Commercial Kitchen Design!

Midway Restaurant Supply is your destination for your commercial kitchen designs in Tyler!

 

One of the keys to producing excellent food in a commercial kitchen is ensuring that the work flows in an orderly manner for efficiency, hygiene and communication. There must be space for prep areas, stovetops, ovens, fryers, warmers and service areas. In addition, a commercial kitchen design requires storage areas with shelves and cabinets and washing areas with sinks, dishwashing machines and drying racks.

Commercial kitchen design must take into account ergonomics, energy efficiency, ventilation and maintenance. In addition, you must have commercial-grade kitchen equipment and appliances. Coolers, freezers, fryers, vent hoods, preparation tables, utensils and cooking vessels are a few types of equipment required for efficient commercial meal preparation. All these elements must meet safety requirements and local codes.

If it seems overwhelming to plan a well-laid-out, ergonomically productive kitchen, Midway Restaurant Supply can help! We start by talking to you about the style of cooking your establishment produces and how many meals are served on a typical day. This influences the type and arrangement of workstations, number of burners required and what specialty equipment may be needed. We also consider local health and safety codes for plumbing, refrigeration, ventilation, electrical outlets, wash stations and incorporation of the right commercial kitchen equipment .

Commercial Kitchen Design Layouts

There are three basic layouts commonly used in commercial kitchen design. Each can be tailored to suit your needs. Adding ergonomic features enhances staff comfort and efficiency, saves time and increases safety. Increasing table height keeps chefs from having to bend over to prep or cook food. Strategic placement of lights lets staff see better and work safely. Having equipment handy to workstations increases efficiency.

Zone Layouts

Zone layouts arrange work areas according to activities. Cleaning and washing are near the entrance, where servers can deposit used dishes. The service area is near the exit, allowing servers to pick up orders and deliver them to tables. Separate zones are allotted for storage, receiving, food preparation and cooking. Each zone can include workstations that accommodate phases of preparation and cooking, such as grill, sauté, salad or dessert stations. Each can be outfitted with utensils, appliances and other equipment to increase efficiency.

Island Layouts

Island layouts group major activities around a central block where grilling, sautéing and other cooking activities take place. Areas around the sides are dedicated to prepping, washing, service and storage and receiving. The circular flow of an island facilitates communication and ease of movement. This layout works well in a large kitchen but can be used in kitchens of any shape or size.

Assembly Line Layouts

Assembly line layouts are ideal for establishments with limited menus such as pizza, or for cafeterias and fast-food restaurants. As food is prepared and cooked, it is sent down the line to the service area. Other activities, such as storage, washing, cleaning and receiving, are behind the line. This layout facilitates workflow and communication.

Planning your new kitchen with a commercial kitchen design professional will save money and help you avoid costly mistakes. The design experts at Midway can help you optimize space in the back and front of the house, create a budget and comply with all codes.

Midway can also help you select the right appliances and equipment to enhance workflow. We supply cooking and baking equipment, commercial worktables, refrigeration equipment, shelving, cookware, smallwares and more—all the kitchen equipment you will need for a successful operation. Call Midway Restaurant Supply today for help with kitchen planning and outfitting!

Midway is a growing supplier of commercial food service equipment and small wares. We provide commercial cooking equipment, refrigeration, ice machines and small wares from the top manufacturers in the industry to Tyler and surrounding areas. We strive to be your single source provider for all your restaurant equipment and commercial kitchen designs at competitive prices. No matter what you’re looking for, Midway has the equipment and supplies to accommodate your needs! For more details on what we have to offer, we invite you to check out our clean and well-stocked showroom. Our friendly staff will answer any questions you may have and provide you with a pleasant shopping experience! For more information, send us an email or call us at (903) 707-8949! Midway is your Tyler restaurant supply store!

Local Restaurant Supplies

Find Local Restaurant Supplies

Midway Restaurant Supply offers local restaurant supplies in the East Texas area!Midway Restaurant Supply is “Keeping It Local” by providing the source for your local restaurant supplies! Midway, like any business owner, wants their community to support their business.  No matter if it is a tire shop, fitness center or a restaurant, they can only survive on local customers supporting their business.  Of course it is essential that all business owners understand the needs of their customers an be capable of fulfilling these needs in a fair, professional & courteous manner.

When it comes down to it, business is all about relationships.  Relationships develop over time from continued interactions between people.  It is important to understand that not every interaction will be absolute perfection but if both parties are reasonable & honest with each other they realize the importance of honesty & trust in business.

 

We all know the wonders of the internet and how it has changed our lives.  However, over the last ten years, we have come to know that large internet retailers do affect many business that rely greatly on their local retail sales to exist.  This is one very good reason for all of us to shop local, and a reason we provide local restaurant supplies.

Choose retailers or service providers that meet your criteria & want your business.  We also feel that it is very important as a local retailer to return the favor by shopping with our customers that we do business with.  Reciprocity is part of developing lasting relationships.

Do not forget, every customer no matter how big or small deserves honesty, courtesy and value for their dollars.  And that goes both ways back to the retailer as well.  The retailer prefers to have relationships with friendly customers that can appreciate the services offered and the efforts that make every experience a pleasant one.

Help keep your Mom & Pop business alive & healthy, and keep it local!

Midway is a growing supplier of commercial food service equipment and small wares. We provide commercial cooking equipment, refrigeration, ice machines and small wares from the top manufacturers in the industry to Tyler and surrounding areas. We strive to be your single source provider for all your restaurant equipment and commercial kitchen designs at competitive prices. No matter what you’re looking for, Midway has the equipment and supplies to accommodate your needs! For more details on what we have to offer, we invite you to check out our clean and well-stocked showroom. Our friendly staff will answer any questions you may have and provide you with a pleasant shopping experience! For more information, send us an email or call us at (903) 707-8949! Midway is your Tyler restaurant supply store!