Cast iron skillets are the superheroes of every kitchen – sturdy, versatile, and ready for any culinary adventure. But before you unleash their full potential, there’s a crucial step to master – seasoning. Don’t fret if you’re new to the cast iron world; we’ve consulted three experts to reveal the best way to season your skillet for cooking perfection. From seasoning tricks to cleaning hacks, this guide has got you covered for cast iron mastery.
The Mighty Cast Iron Skillet
There are several reasons why this is the perfect kitchen utensil. The first is its superior heat conduction, which ensures every dish is evenly cooked to perfection. The second is the fact that it has a naturally nonstick surface, which is developed over a period of time, keeping all your dishes intact till the end. Lastly, the skillet is a durable investment, which can become a cherished kitchen heirloom with proper care.
Unveiling Seasoning Magic
Achieving a flawless patina on your cast-iron skillet requires a thin and thorough application of high-smoke-point oil. Use a paper towel to coat the skillet, making sure to avoid excess oil. To utilize the full potential of the seasoning, preheat your oven to 450°F and position the skillet upside down on the top rack. Bake it for an hour. Additionally, after cooking pungent dishes that leave lingering food odors, try using half an onion to rub the skillet. Not only does this absorb the smells, but it also cleans the surface effectively. By following these steps, you can maintain and enhance the performance of your cast-iron skillet for years to come.
Stellar Skillet Maintenance
To maintain the nonstick magic of your cast-iron skillet, regular seasoning is essential. Whenever it starts to look dull or sticky, take the time to season it, as this not only prevents rust but also enhances its overall performance. When it comes to cleaning, opt for a gentle approach by rinsing the skillet with water for easy cleaning. For stubborn residues, use mild dish soap occasionally, but avoid harsh scrubbers that could harm the seasoning. In case rust does make an unwelcome appearance, you can bid it farewell with a canola oil-soaked steel wool or a boiling water scrub. Always remember to avoid the dishwasher’s harsh detergents, as they can strip away the seasoning and lead to rust. Instead, store your prized skillet dry and away from humid environments, and consider lining it with a paper towel during storage for extra rust protection.
It’s common for new parents to make a frantic call to their pediatricians when they find out about new symptoms in their infants. While these irregular symptoms sometimes can call for true emergencies, surprisingly, many of them aren’t at all dangerous. Rapidly changing hormones and physical immaturity can make a newborn’s body react in many unpredictable ways. Here are a few scary-looking but normal baby symptoms to put your mind at ease.
Twitching During Sleep
If your baby twitches or jerks during sleep, even uncontrollably, it’s totally harmless if it stops instantly when the baby awakes. According to pediatricians, these seizure-like symptoms are a harmless phenomenon named benign sleep myoclonus. Pediatric neurologist Dr. Michael Zimbric explains that the immature nervous systems in babies make their movements even more uncoordinated during sleep, but it’s entirely harmless.
Abnormal Breathing and Stuffy Nose
We always link symptoms like a stuffy nose or abnormal breathing with a cold. But in the case of infants, congested sound and breathing is a normal form of stuffiness, which is caused by the estrogen hormone stimulating the nasal passages. This condition usually subsides within two months, whether the baby is formula-fed or breastfed. By six months, a baby’s nasal passages double in size, alleviating the stuffiness.
Mildly Erratic Breathing
Symptoms during sleep like intermittent or mild erratic breathing in a baby can look alarming. But in reality, irregular or periodic breathing is quite common in infants. As pediatricians explain, babies generally breathe faster, as they have smaller lungs compared to their bodies. They also have underdeveloped chemical sensors that detect CO2 in our bodies. So, sometimes they pause breathing until the CO2 levels are high enough to trigger those sensors to work.
If you ever notice a warm red lump on the chest of your newborn baby, don’t panic! Symptoms like chest lumps can form in both infant boys and girls and are caused by estrogen. The excess estrogen level falls in a baby after birth, making the milk-producing hormone prolactin increase temporarily. This results in mild breast growth, often on just one side, in at least 50% of healthy newborns. It vanishes within the first month or lasts for three months.
If your baby’s skin suddenly turns orange-shaded, it’s a common phenomenon named carotenemia, which doesn’t affect adults. This is caused by eating a lot of beta-carotene-rich veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes, mashed or pureed. It also comes with several non-orange veggies like broccoli and spinach. The color will fade as your baby’s diet changes.