Cast iron skillets are lucky they make such delicious food because if we don’t celebrate with a slice of cornbread afterwards, the rules and regulations of using cast iron skillets are hardly worth the trouble.From how to cook with a cast-iron skillet to how to clean a cast-iron skillet, every step is as important to its health as it is to its success.This even applies to what you put in a cast iron skillet.
There are the usual suspects like scrambled eggs (which will turn brown!), ketchup (too sour!) and flaky skin on fish skin (which will stick!), especially if you’re using less seasoned ones frying pan.However, there is another ingredient you may want to consider avoiding when cooking in a cast iron skillet, and you may be unknowingly making a mistake because it’s not always considered a no-no for cast iron cooking.Any seasoned cook will warn you: watch out for minced garlic!It will stain you – and your cast iron.
Garlic has never been off-limits to cast iron skillets, but minced garlic in particular can cause real problems when you’re cooking in a cast iron skillet unless you’re very careful.The garlic burns easily and becomes bitter, and it sticks to the cast iron skillet like no one cares, leaving a burnt, black, crumbly mess on the bottom.Also, cast iron has the taste of being cooked into a frying pan.Not so ideal for a peach tart or pecan pie you plan to make later!
That’s probably why when you’re watching your favorite cooking show, when you’re making cowboy steak, bone-in chicken, or pork, you’ll see whole garlic cloves more often than minced garlic going into cast-iron skillet chops.Chopped garlic is more trouble than it’s worth.Skip completely, or substitute whole cloves if necessary.
Whenever cooking with garlic in a cast iron skillet – especially if you risk mincing it – there are two very important things to be aware of.First, pay close attention to the temperature.Garlic is finicky and will burn quickly.Keep it cool and slow.Second, use cooking oil extra generously.One way to keep the garlic from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan is to generously coat the entire bottom of the pan with oil.This makes a big difference in preventing the garlic from caramelizing into the frying pan before you stop cooking.
In conclusion, these two tips are helpful, but not completely foolproof, for using minced garlic in cast iron recipes.Even this is not guaranteed!Minced garlic is a delicious addition to many meals, but might stick to a nonstick pan next time.No burnt smelly residue here!