Cast iron skillets can often have rust in it. Even well-seasoned cast irons can run out seasoning. That will lead to burning the foods you are going to bake. So it is very important that you have a greased cast iron skillet. Here we are helping you out on how to grease a cast iron skillet manually.
How To Grease a Cast Iron Skillet
Greasing is indeed important for any cast iron skillet to make it long-lasting. You can save it from rust, and also a properly greased cast iron skillet has less chances of food sticking to the pan. These are the steps you need to follow to grease your cast iron skillet—
Get A Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Try to get a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Although you can season your cast iron on your own, they might not last long.
Nowadays cast iron pans are easily available in the market. Try to buy a branded one if possible. It needs less maintenance.
Clean The Pan
Now clean the iron pan really well. You can wash it with water properly using your hands. However, I would recommend using soap or detergent to wash it.
Soap for An Iron Pan?
Some might disagree with using soap on an iron pan. Well, the well seasoned iron pans have refined layers in it. A little soap can do only a little damage to it.
Cleaning with soap or detergent will certainly ensure the surface is absolutely clean. The small elements of your food or dust will be out of it.
My advice is to use a soap or a detergent that has a comparative low PH. This will nullify the chances of being damaged.
Dry Out The Pan
You might wonder why I mention this part. Obviously you are going to dry your pan. Some people use wet clothes to wipe the pan after cleaning. That’s a no no!
Dry the pan right after you washed it. You obviously don’t want to have some dust particle in it again, do you? Make sure you are cleaning with washed cloth.
You can also use paper napkins to wipe the water off. Do not use that again for rubbing oil in the pan.
Now take one tablespoon of oil or butter & pour it on the pan. Here comes the tricky part. Oil or butter? Which oil?
Well, I can see a whole debate about it. Well, most restaurants use vegetable oil to grease their pans. Some use oil sprays. These are easy to get & popular ones.
You can also use coconut oil. Now the consistency is a bit different from other oils, but it works just fine. You can also freeze the oil for a few minutes before using it.
Any other Oils?
Frankly any oil or fat is indeed appropriate to do this job. You can certainly use canola oil, corn oil, olive oil or any edible oil or fat.
Butter also works great as fat to grease the pan. It leaves the pan with a golden brown shine, and an alluring smell too.
Now, vegetable oil or oil sprays can be tricky. They might turn into a solid glaze while you heat up the pan. Even though that looks nice to you, it is really difficult to clean it.
So, if you plan to clean it almost everyday, then you should go for butter. Also, if you are out of budget right now, then oil will do fine. I would recommend trying both & see which suits your pan well.
Shortening is indeed a well-known fat for baking. It works excellent since it is 100% fat whereas butter is 80% fat. Moreover, butter gives your baking a golden brown color, whereas shortening prevents browning.
However, most professional bakers use shortening on their pan. It certainly works as a strong greasing agent that prevents burning.
You can take a pinch of shortening on your baking brush. Do not exaggerate the amount. If the shortening is solid, then keep it at room temperature to soften.
Rub Oil On Your Pan
Rub your selected oil on your pan. Make sure the whole area is covered equally. You know it’s perfect when it doesn’t look greasy anymore.
Heat It Up
Put it in the oven for 5 minutes. Set the temperature 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Do it once in a straight way & once in an upside-down way.
Some suggest repeating this layering of greasing agents & heating it up. This creates multiple layers between the iron pan & the batter.
I think you can repeat the process if you bake a lot in a day. Or If your pan is totally out of seasoning. You can repeat it three or four times in these cases.
Be careful while taking the pan out. It’s best if you keep the pan inside the oven to cool it off.
Add a pinch of flour on your iron pan. Rotate it using the skillet. Make sure the whole pan is covered properly. If you have put on some flour, shake the pan upside down to lose it.
Adding Other Powders
If you don’t want to use flour, you can use other powders used for baking. You can use cocoa powder on the pan if you’re baking a chocolate cake. Or, if you are making a milk bread, you can use powdered milk.
However, powder milk & cocoa powder adds a new flavor in your batter. This might change the taste of your cake. So, you can use flour if you want the taste to be the same.
Put Parchment Paper
Put parchment paper on the pan. You might know it as baking paper. Cut the paper according to the size of your pan.
This is the final step that is not mandatory. Greasing the pan & flouring it is actually enough. You can add it just to be 100% sure.
Do not soak your pan overnight. Be careful while cooking with acidic foods in it. The more you are careful, the longer the grease will last.
Wrapping It Up
Cast iron skillets are a basic need for cooking or baking. By following the mentioned steps, you will get a greased pan within just half an hour. However, it is really important that you do it regularly. So learn how to grease a cast iron skillet & take good care of your pan. Happy cooking!