Cooking With Cast-Iron

At DC Steakhouse in Chandler, we love to treat our customers to the absolute best in fine dining. That’s why the East Valley Tribune voted us the Best of Chandler in 2019. It’s also why our customers keep coming back for more. As much as we would like to see you every night(!), we realize that sometimes you just want to relax at home and create in your own kitchen, as we do in ours. So in the free spirit of our foodie community, we offer a few tips for cooking with cast-iron.

Just like Grandma used to do

Anyone who has used a cast-iron skillet understands why Granny treasured hers and passed it down as an heirloom. It is incredibly versatile for searing steaks and chops, for roasting and baking in the oven, and for creating dips and sauces. Breakfast, lunch and dinner: a cast-iron skillet can do it all. It lasts for generations, it’s easy to clean and it is completely chemical-free.

‘Tis the season

It’s not Christmas yet, but it is the season that makes cast-iron so great for cooking. Well, actually, it is the seasoning that keeps cast-iron a non-stick pan. How do you season cast-iron?

If you are starting with an unseasoned or stripped pan, heat the oven to 500 degrees while you oil the dry skillet. Place a tablespoon of high-heat resistant vegetable oil in the pan and spread it evenly over the cooking surface and the sides with a paper towel. Using fresh paper towels, wipe up the excess oil so the pan is coated, but not glistening. Place the skillet upside down in the oven and bake for one hour. It’s good practice to place aluminum foil under the pan to catch the drips.

Remove the skillet and let it cool for 30 minutes, then repeat the process several more times until it has a smooth, dark, semi-gloss finish. Your pan will now have a strong, bonded surface that will only get better with use.

The joy of cooking

Cooking with a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is a revelation in happiness for a chef. Even, controlled heat that doesn’t dissipate quickly will bring a smile to your face. So before you dump in the meat and veg, preheat the pan for a minute or two, and use a little vegetable oil to coat the bottom. This will help brown the meat, sauté the onions, and keep the food from sticking to the skillet.

Cleanup on Aisle 3

Cleaning a properly seasoned cast-iron pan is a breeze. While it is still warm, use paper towels to wipe out any bits of food and oil that remain. Rinse the skillet under hot running water, using a brush to remove any stubborn particles clinging to the bottom. A few swipes is usually all it takes. You can use soap if you want, just be sure to rinse it all out. Dry the skillet completely and place it on the burner over medium-low heat until all traces of moisture are gone. Rub ½ teaspoon of high heat-resistant vegetable oil to the pan and work it into the surface. Avocado oil is a great option for this. Wipe away the excess oil with paper towels and let the pan cool thoroughly before you put it away.

Cooking with cast-iron is not the perilous chore that Teflon advertisers have sometimes made it out to be. It is an easy, safe and healthy way to cook food that you and your family will enjoy. We are confident that it will renew your appetite for cooking. And when you want a break from the kitchen, DC Steakhouse is ready to receive you again with open arms, a warm heart and the best food and wine in Chandler.

Dean Laplant