Introduction: Don’t Go Baking My Heart
I saw this novelty cast iron skillet while shopping and thought it would be a nice to make a treat for my wife on valentines day as well as other occasions.
There isn’t a lot to the package just a heart shaped skillet and a package of cookie mix enough for one cookie, the baking instructions are on the back of the box.
When you buy new cast iron cookware; it is not ready to cook and this skillet is no different. The cooking surface is a rough as a wood rasp and the whole thing isn’t seasoned. So before I can bake or cook with the skillet, I need to prepare it for cooking by seasoning.
Tools and Supplies
Sandpaper & Grinder I used my Dremel and a 120 grit Flapwheel bit.
Rags and or paper towels.
Oven or a Propane Barbecue
Egg Beaters or a beaten egg
Step 1: Buffing
Cast Iron is called cast iron; because it is exactly that, iron cast in a mold, usually a sand mold. Sand molds are cheap and easy however they leave the molded product with an imperfect finish for cooking.
To buff out the worst of the imperfections I used my Dremel and a 120 grit Flapwheel bit. A mirror like finish is not necessary, just buff out any defects and the gritty finish on the cooking surface. The rest of the skillet you can leave as rough as a wood rasp.
Wash off the skillet before seasoning.
Step 2: Seasoning Oils
The oil is important; although many different oils can be used to season cast iron, respect the beliefs of who you cook for. With Vegans no animal products should be used, however it is not just vegans. Pork (Bacon grease or lard) should not be used for a number of people of different beliefs.
Different oils have different smoke points.
Beef Tallow 400° F 204° C
Lard 375° F 190° C
Poultry fat 325° F 163° C
Butter 302° F 150° C to 350° F 177° C
Avocado oil 520° F 271° C
Olive Oil 465° F 240° C to Olive Oil Virgin 320° F 160° C
Peanut oil 320° F 160° C to 450° F 232° C
Soybean oil 320° F 160° C to 450° F 232° C
Safflower oil 225° F 107° C to 510° F 266° C
Sunflower oil 225° F 107° C to 450° F 232° C
Almond oil 420° F 215°
Corn oil 350° F 177° C to 450° F 232° C
Canola oil 225° F 105° C to 475° F 245° C
Sesame Seed Oil 350° F 177° C to 450° F 232° C
Coconut oil 350° F 177° C to 450° F 232° C
Flax seed oil 225° F 107° C
Using a rag or a paper towel; wipe the pan down with a light coat of cooking oil, lard, or bacon grease. I used Flax seed oil. You do not want the oil to pool or form drops of oil. After applying oil to the cast iron, wipe it down with a dry paper towel. This will leave a thin layer of oil on the pan.
Step 3: Seasoning
I like to bake the seasoning into the cast iron in my propane barbecue, that way I don’t smoke up or stink up the house. Place the cast iron into a preheated oven or your barbecue with the cooking surface facing down, at a temperature just above the smoke point of the oil. The smoke point of oils should be on the label. If the smoke point of the oil isn’t on the label, 400° F 204° C should do.
Bake the cast iron for 60 minutes. After baking the cast iron for an hour turn off the heat and let it cool down naturally in the barbecue or oven. If your seasoning is right, the coating should be dark and dry to the touch. If the seasoning is sticky it needs to bake longer. You will get better at seasoning the more you do it.
You may want to repeat this process a few times to build up a good seasoning. Once the cast iron is cool and blackened you are ready to cook.
Some oils like flax oil may black to the eye but have a dark brown appearance under bright lights.
Step 4: Baking Your Cookie
With the skillet ready to bake, you will need 4 tsp softened butter and 1 tbsp beaten egg or egg beaters.
Preheat oven to 350° F 175° C
Oil the cast iron heart skillet.
Empty cookie mix into a mixing bowl and add the softened butter and egg.
Mix with a spoon until completely mixed and pour into the skillet.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven using an oven mitt, the handle is hot.
Serve as is or add your favorite toppings.
Step 5: Try Something Else
After baking the cookie I tried frying a couple eggs in the skillet, I need a little more practice to make the perfect heart eggs for mothers day or my wife’s birthday but it made a nice heart.
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