4 Things You Should Never Cook in Cast Iron

There are very few cast-iron rules to go with your cast-iron pan, but there are some foods it's best to avoid.

What not to cook in cast ironPhoto: Daniel_Dash/Shutterstock

What not to cook in cast iron

Most people who cook with cast-iron pans love them with the heat of a thousand suns. After all, they’re a must for so many one-skillet meals, and they’re handy for everything from breakfast to dessert (no, really!). However, as good as your skillet can be for making all these favourites, it’s not a tool suited for all foods. Find out what not to cook in cast iron pan.

Smelly things

Garlic, peppers, some fish, stinky cheeses and more tend to leave aromatic memories with your pan that will turn up in the next couple of things you cook in it. Ten minutes in a 400ºF oven will generally get rid the smell, but it’s best to avoid cooking foods that would be ruined by those lingering aromas for the next few cooks.

Eggs and other sticky things (for a while)

Once your pan is well-seasoned, no problem at all. But when your pan is new, even though it’s seasoned, sticky things like eggs still may present a problem. Unless you like brown eggs and a gunky pan, relegate them to a regular nonstick pan for a while. (Renowned chef Alex Guarnaschelli reveals how to make the perfect scrambled eggs.)

Delicate fish

The same heat retention that means your steak will get a beautiful brown crust in a cast iron pan will probably be the end of your lovely piece of trout or tilapia. Save the delicate fish for the non-stick pan, too. But salmon and other meaty fish that can stand the heat are fine. (Here are more ways you’ve been cooking fish completely wrong.)

Acidic things (maybe)

There seem to be mixed feelings on this one. Some people say that tomatoes or lemons can react with the metal and cause it to leach into the food and break down the seasoning of the pan. Others believe that’s a myth.

One thing to note: This list is for traditional cast-iron pans. If you’ve got an enamel-coated cast iron pan, you don’t need to adhere to this list—you can just get cooking!

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Originally Published on Taste of Home