A toaster oven is a many-in-one kitchen appliance that lets you perform multiple cooking procedures. It can reheat, broil, toast, defrost, and bake different types of food like roast chicken, pizza, etc.
It contains a cooking rack and a pan where you can place your food to cook. Fantastic as it sounds, this appliance only accepts specific materials due to the high cooking temperatures involved.
In other words, some materials may form harmful compounds when placed in the toaster oven. “Can you put cast iron in toaster oven,” is a question you could probably be asking. We’ve cruised the internet and came up with a detailed answer to this question. Stick around.
The short answer is yes. You can comfortably place cast iron in the toaster oven without worrying about possible damage or food poisoning.
Cast iron is an exceptional type of iron that can withstand up to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. Standard toaster ovens only go up to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Clearly, this temperature is too low to damage your cast iron pan.
Can You Put a Cast Iron Skillet in A Convection Oven?
As mentioned above, cast iron is a strong metal that will likely stay unshaken for up to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature.
Therefore, the temperature should not be a concern when placing a cast-iron skillet in the convection oven or toaster oven. However, the concern emerges from the weight of cast iron.
Naturally, cast iron is a heavy metal, typically heavier than normal iron due to the added alloys. Before you place your skillet in the oven, you should ask yourself whether this appliance can withstand the weight of the cast iron.
Any countertop convection oven will likely have lighter or weaker racks. This is probably because no one expects you to do some heavy-baking jobs in it. Anyway, you can check the weight limit for cooking vessels.
So, a heavy cast-iron skillet can collapse your rack, particularly if they are not so strong. So, ensure you only place the skillet in the oven if the racks can withstand the weight.
Can You Use High Heat on Cast Iron?
Absolutely. High heat is less likely to affect cast iron since this material has a very high melting point. Keeping this in mind, avoid extremely high temperatures, such as those above 5000 degrees Fahrenheit, as they may cause the decomposition of chemicals.
High heat should not even worry you if you usually use your cast iron for normal domestic cooking jobs such as grilling, baking, roasting, heating, and broiling. It’s not every day that we cook at 5000 degrees Fahrenheit, right!
However, there is an exception. In case you have an enameled cast-iron skillet, you may want to be a little more careful. Enameled skillets may not withstand such high temperatures.
For instance, at anything above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the enamel coating will likely come off, contaminate your food, and leave your skillet damaged. So, if you’re using such a pan in your oven, stick to recipes that don’t exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cooking time also matters here. Even if you’re cooking at high temperatures, placing the skillet in the oven for just a few minutes may not cause harm. So, you can conduct part of the cooking in the oven and complete it on the cooker top. The results will still be amazing.
Can You Season Cast Iron At 500 Degrees?
Seasoning involves applying a protective layer on the surface of your cast iron skillet through a process known as polymerization. Here, you need to apply a thin layer of cooking oil on the cast iron surface and place it on the top oven rack facing down.
Next, put a sheet of aluminum foil on the lower rack and bake for about one hour. A black coating will gradually form and stick on the cast-iron surface through polymerization.
This layer is important as it helps prevent the cast iron from rusting, increasing its longevity. The ideal temperature for cast iron seasoning is 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, even 500 degrees Fahrenheit will still work just fine. Experts recommend seasoning within a 450 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range.
Please note that you don’t have to bake your skillet in the oven to season it. Another alternative would be to use it for your cooking tasks continually, and the coating will gradually form.
Take note that this will be slower. Also, your cooking procedures must involve cooking oil for seasoning to be successful over time.
What Oil Is Best to Season Cast Iron?
Before seasoning cast iron, you first need to apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the surface. Typically, any oil can perform seasoning just fine.
However, the best oil for seasoning should preferably have a high smoke point and be available and affordable. Vegetable oil and canola oil are good examples of oils that can get cast iron seasoning done effectively.
Can You Use PAM To Season a Cast Iron Skillet?
Pam is a good type of oil that can be useful in seasoning a cast-iron skillet. This is particularly due to its high smoke point. However, experts discourage using Pam for cast iron skillets seasoning due to the extra chemicals that may prove to be harmful when it comes to contact with the heating element. So, it may be good for cooking, but don’t use it for seasoning.
Should You Season Cast Iron Lid?
Lids are rarely used when cooking food using a cast-iron skillet. Even so, you would likely want your lid to last for as long as the skillet does. Remember, the lid may not be useful for oven cooking.
However, you will surely need it for cooker top cooking. Therefore, consider seasoning it too to increase its longevity by preventing rusting. To season your cast iron skillet lid, apply the same procedure used for skillet seasoning.
Generally, it is safe to use cast iron skillets in the toaster oven. However, make sure the skillet is not heavy enough to tumble down your oven racks. Also, ensure the oven temperature is not too high or uneven heating when using enameled skillets. Finally, use the right seasoning oil to season your skillet and prevent rusting.