Can A Cast Iron Skillet Go In The Oven?
You can surely use cast iron skillets in the oven as cast iron melts at a temperature above 2200 degrees Fahrenheit which is a very high temperature for normal home ovens. However, you must be careful if the skillets contain any material which is not oven-safe such as wooden handles.
You can safely use your cast-iron pan in the oven or under a broiler, where it can hold its heat long term, making it a perfect choice for baking and preparing food. The one time that I can think of that you could not put a cast iron pan into the oven is if it has any kind of handles that are not oven-safe. If your cast iron pan is just regular metal, with nothing added, and has been seasoning it using a high smoke point oil, then yeah, it is safe to put in your oven at any temperature that you want. Try cooking with a bare cast iron pan, and you are going to have problems not just with rust, but your food is going to stick to it.
If you are looking to season your cast iron cookware, you can put your skillet into your oven for around an hour. Once you remove the pan from the oven, it is important that you allow it to cool down before you add any water. For example, never put a hot pan in cold water, but rather just wait until it is cool. For instance, do not put a hot pan straight out of the oven straight into the water — even warm water.
Better yet, put your pan into the oven when it is cold, and turn on the heat later, so that the pan warms up slowly while the oven warms. Or, you can warm up the skillet for a few minutes on the stovetop to warm it up, and then put it into the oven. You can even do this in reverse, cooking the food in the oven first on a low heat, and then moving it over to the stovetop to get that perfect sear.
If you do not have an hour to sear the pan, you can preheat your oven to 450degF and let it roast for 30 minutes. Once the skillet is dry, I drop a drop of a neutral cooking oil onto a paper towel and rub the pan down with the surface, while the pan is still slightly hot. Next, using the paper towel, a pastry brush, or my fingers, spread a thin layer of cooking oil, canola oil, or rendered vegetable shortening over the entire interior of the skillet. Once the pan is completely dry (re-wipe after drying to make sure), add a thin layer of pork fat, cooking fat, olive oil, or canola oil to the pan, since pork fat is flavorless and has a higher smoking point.
Seasoning is done by heating up the thin layers of oil which soaks up to the surface of the pan and gets rid of any roughness in the metal which may be causing the food to stick. While many believe seasoning is the layer of oil, it is actually a plastic-like compound that bonds with the metal to give it that naturally non-sticky look, and allows the pan to cook and clean up easy. The more you use the pan, the stronger the seasoning layer becomes, which not only strengthens the non-stick surface, but helps keep it from getting rusty. Seasoning adds a deeper layer of seasoning throughout your pan, strengthening the bonds with your cast iron.
Seasoning is essentially the process of baking the oil directly on to the pan, causing the warm fat molecules to bind with the irons surface, creating a slippery exterior. This baked-on layer of oil process builds the natural protective patina of a pan, smoothing the raw cast-iron texture, and creating a nonstick surface layer, all without spraying chemicals. Once you build a nice layer of seasoning, you will be able to use your cast iron skillet even for acidic foods, such as tomatoes and pan-sauce, without fear.
With the information above, it is pretty obvious that you can use your cast iron skillets in your oven for baking, meat and seasoning. People think cast-iron pans need to be treated as delicate flowers, which then leads to the question whether or not they can handle the high temperatures of an oven. Another point worth mentioning is that because enameled cast iron pans are made using thinner pieces of metal than their seasoned counterparts, they are susceptible to easily warping if they are not handled correctly.
Cast iron holds temperatures remarkably well and heats up evenly across the pan, which is why frying, stir-frying, chicken, eggs, and even cornbread all turn out great using cast iron. Cast iron PANS withstand extremely high temperatures, and transfer from stovetop to oven with no risk of damage because of the natural characteristics of the material. Properly seasoned and maintained, cast iron can last generations and retains an easier-to-remove surface longer than modern nonstick skillets. According to Christine Billingsley, oven-safe skillets are typically made from copper, cast iron, stainless steel, or even aluminum, says Billingsley.
A properly seasoned pan has great heat-retention, performing equally well on the stovetop or in the oven (and also on the grill). Even if your skillet comes pre-seasoned, consider seasoning it yourself before using it to get good results straight from the box. In fact, when seasoning your pan, you will want to put it in your oven to allow the seasoning process to take effect. Make sure not to expose it too much to heat shock, such as taking the pan out of the oven and placing it right onto your countertop with stone (a silicone trivet or wooden one is better).
As a rule of thumb, the heavier your pans base is, and the thicker the walls, the less prone it is to warping. Many people believe the thickness of your bottom matters, but it is often the thinner sides of your pan that warp first.
You may want to use tiny amounts of soap during your first washing once the pan is unpacked, but beyond that, it is just hot water. Then, you pull out the cast-iron pan — using your oven mitts — to quickly finish searing the steaks over a hot burner.
How long can a cast-iron skillet go in the oven?
You can handle it when it’s hot by using an oven mitt, a silicone holder, or a kitchen towel. Most recipes call for an hour or so of baking, which is perfectly acceptable because a cast iron pan can withstand two hours in the oven.
How do I know if my cast iron skillet is oven-safe?
Consult the manufacturer’s instructions first. If such isn’t available, they examine the pan’s structure. If the pan is entirely made of metal, it is usually safe to use in the oven. Avoid using silicone-handled skillets or other materials such as plastic or wood items in the oven, especially not beneath a broiler.
How do I know if my pan is oven-proof?
It is critical to first ensure that the pan is oven-safe. Examining the bottom of a pan is one of the greatest ways to determine whether it is oven-safe. An oven symbol will always be there on the bottom to indicate that they are oven-proof.