Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Disaster Strikes

Recently I was cooking some Wild Alaskan Salmon in my 12” Cast Iron skillet when the salmon skin stuck to the skillet! I was freakin’! What a bummer! What did I do wrong? I sulked through finishing the rest of the dinner but then soon forgot my woes when I tasted the salmon. I tasted great and I really enjoyed the meal.

After dinner it was time to tackle the skillet demon. As I approached the dirty skillet I had already formed a plan for cleaning and re-seasoning. I was going to start light and only break out the big guns if I needed too. My light cleaning method for a tough job involves the use of coarse kosher salt and soft bristle brush. If that doesn’t work I’ll move up to hot soapy water and a stiff brush or scouring pad. If that doesn’t work I break out the big guns with work gloves, boots, goggles, ear plugs, a sandblaster and cursing! Luckily a couple of rounds of rinsing and scrubbing with the coarse salt and soft bristle brush did the trick. After I dried the skillet thoroughly I placed it on the stovetop with a medium low heat for a couple of minutes to dry the pan, then I coated it with a thin coating of Crisco and re-seasoned.

Everything looks good with the skillet after the cleaning, re-seasoning and cooking some flat iron streaks in it so I decide to try to fry some eggs in it.
YES! WOOOOOHOOOO! I’m back in business baby!

Now what did I do wrong? I think that using it more often for these blog posts and using it for double duty in the same meal I got a bit complacent in the cleaning process. Sometimes I was rinsing and wiping the skillet then oiling it and moving on to the next meal. I wasn’t heating the skillet after the cleaning to dry it thoroughly before oiling and reusing. This crucial step opens up the pores of the skillet to release moisture and then allow the oil to penetrate before closing again after cooling down. Also I think the skillet wasn’t hot enough when I put the salmon in. Oh well live and learn. I’ll try again and let you know how it turns out.

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