With the holidays right around the corner, one of the best things I remember is that good ol’ family breakfast on Christmas or New Years morning, after opening all the presents of course. And what better way to cook that family breakfast than with a cast iron pan, griddle, or skillet. As great as cast iron is to cook with and clean, there is one thing you need to remember before making those fluffy pancakes and/or that crispy bacon for breakfast. And that is, making sure your cast iron is at the right temperature.
You may be asking yourself, what happens if it isn’t at the right temperature? Well, first, if the temperature of the pan, griddle, or skillet is too hot, the food will end up sticking to the surface. What happens is that since the cast iron is too hot when food is placed directly on the surface, it quickly adheres to the surface and becomes stuck, which is why it is important to make sure the surface of the pan, griddle, or skillet is at the right temperature.
Now, you are probably wondering, how do you know it is at the right temperature? To answer that question, you will want to start heating your cast iron on a low heat. Since cast iron is great for retaining heat, it will get too hot too quickly if it is started at a high heat. On low heat, give it a couple of minutes to warm up. Once it has warmed up, sprinkle some water on it to see if it is too hot or not hot enough. CAUTION, DO NOT pour a large amount of cold water on hot cast iron as it can cause it to crack. Simply get your hands wet enough so you can sprinkle some water on the pan, griddle, or skillet. If the surface is too hot, the water will evaporate right away. If the surface is not hot enough, the water will just sit there.
If the pan, griddle, or skillet is at the right temperature, water should sizzle and “hop” or roll around the surface. It is okay if the water sizzles and moves around the surface, this is what you are looking for. As long as the water does not evaporate right away, or just sit there, then the surface is ready to have food placed in it. Once the surface is at the right temperature, you are ready to make that memorable Christmas or New Years morning breakfast, complete with fluffy pancakes and crispy bacon.