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sticky Cast iron, seasoning with potatoes  RSS feed

 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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I have been using my cast iron regularly for about 6 months now, and I thought I was doing it well. I have made several batches of the best cornbread ever, and had a good enough seasoning to get an egg to slide off no problem, over easy and everything. One thing I can't seem to do is fry potatoes, they turn into a gooey sticky mess. I love making homemade hashbrowns, but it kills me that I can only seem to do it on teflon. I shred the potatoes and dry them with a towel then fry in some butter or oil on high heat.

The other day I tried to fry some chicken breasts that had been marinated in teriaki. The chicken turned out great, but the bottom of my cast iron was covered in a glue like substance that charred in spots. After much scraping with my stainless steel spatula, I still have bumpy carbonous black stuff all around the edges. I have read Paul's article a couple of times, but I must be missing something. Please help!
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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Regarding your chicken - sauces with sugar will caramelize and most likely burn onto your pan if left long enough to cook foods.
Because of this I save my sauces for after the meat/food is cooked and out of the pan. You'll find the same 'issue' when BBQing, etc. If you don't want the mess and char save the sauce, marinate in vinegars, wine or other acidic mediums. Then glaze with your sweetened sauce and pop into a hot oven to reduce the sauce to a nice sticky coating.

For cleaning your current burnt on mess, heat your pan on the stove, add some fat and when it is melted use a metal kitchen pad (without any cleaner) I use those cheap copper pads. Now rub off all that burnt on gunk, your fat will turn to a thick black oil. Use a paper towel to wipe it all out and then add some new fat back in and allow it to heat up. When your satisfied with the condition of your pan turn off the heat, and your good to go.

As for potatoes, they can be messy. Yours are over cooking, I would suggests cutting them into small cubes (half of a domino in size), add a lid to steam and when they start to slightly brown remove them from the pan. Cook them al dente like you would spaghetti, so you can pierce them, not mushy but not hard either.
Try slicing rings of onion to place in the bottom of your pan (with your fat) and start your potatoes on top of them (with lid), steam until the potatoes are partially done, then flip and stir them to brown, and remove. Food continues to cook a few minutes after removing from the heat. So remove your potatoes to a warm container with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes before eating if you like them mushier.

I hope this helps ~
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The secret to making hash browns that are not gooey is to parboil the potatoes the night before, and let them cool in the fridge. Shred them when they are cold. The 'gooey' is the surface starch leaching out of the cut spuds. By parboiling ahead of time, you eliminate this problem. Best hash browns ever!

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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To the potatoes, keep doing them, try just cubes and fried before the hashbrowns, Getting eggs to not stick is easy, potatoes are on another level. Get a good spatula, scrape what sticks at first( and it will stick at first) over time it will be less of a problem and eventually no sweat.

I do hashbrowns at least three times a week if not more. Fast, easy, and good eating.

IMO over time, potatoes make the best seasoning. That stuff that initially sticks smoothed and gets carbonized making an almost mirror like finish
 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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Thanks all for the quick replies!

I am going to try each of these methods.
 
Adam Poddepie
Posts: 68
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If you find that hash browns are becoming hard to handle, you can make them like Latkes in small shredded piles. Can't argue with a good potato! good luck with your cooking!
 
Craig Dobbson
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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I find that par-boiling the night before is ideal as suggested above. If you have to use raw potato, shred it, soak it in salted water for 15 minutes then drain, pat dry and use as normal. Also, I've noticed that as long as you don't flip food over too soon, you'll maintain the high temp of the pan. By turning too early and too often you'll drastically lower the pan temperature and cause food to stick. Wait for the first side to be perfectly cooked before you flip. One other thing that works is to sprinkle a little salt on the pan and then place the food on top of the salt. It acts like a little buffer somehow to help keep meats and eggs from sticking.
 
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