Nothing beats properly cooked steak for casual family dinners. See, steak is delicious and easy to cook. You don’t need to borrow your neighbor’s grill to cook it. When preparing steak, all you need is a skillet, oil, some seasoning ingredients, and a spatula to turn the steak.
Perhaps you are wondering what a skillet is. This article will discuss what a skillet is, what it is used for, and what foods can be cooked in a skillet.
What Is A Skillet
Well, a skillet is a type of pan that has a flat bottom. The bottom is 20 cm to 30 cm wide and comprises low sides that flicker. The pan also includes a long handle and has no lid. Nonetheless, some pans consist of a small handle that is easy to grab.
The earliest skillet was made of cast iron. However, over time there have been a few changes in its material and surface.
So what led to the transition? As we all know, manufacturing habits keep on changing to save on money or increase product efficiency.
In the 1800s to 1900s, we only had the iron skillets that were made by hand. Their manufacturing process involved three steps. First, the manufacturer melted the iron. Then, the melted iron was poured into a mold.
The third and final step involved refining the skillet using a stone. The whole process took three days which is time-consuming.
Apart from consuming a lot of time, the manufacturers realized that cast iron skillets were heavy and difficult to clean. To deal with the problem, they come up with stainless steel skillets that are easy to wash.
All you are expected to do is soak them in water for a few minutes, and they become clean.
The transition didn’t end there. There was a need to develop a skillet that can cook delicate foods. Today, we also have a modern nonstick skillet that cooks delicate food. This skillet ensures that nothing sticks on the pan as the food is cooking.
However, kindly note that the transition did not extinct the cast iron skillets. Some manufacturers continued to develop cast iron skillets. Today,
we also have modern, rough iron skillets that ensure that seasoning oils synchronize with the food better than the smooth finish vintage pans would allow.
We will not mention which type of skillet is better, the cast iron, stainless steel, or nonstick. All kinds of skillets work well. It all boils down to personal preference.
Finally, it is essential to note that a skillet is different from a frying pan. You can easily confuse the two because they look alike. However, they are very different. While the frying pan is shallow, the skillet is slightly deeper.
Now that we have a clear understanding of what a skillet is, let us highlight its use.
What Is A Skillet Used For?
A skillet can be used for several purposes, such as browning, broiling, sautéing, searing, pan-frying, and other cooking techniques. The best feature about skillets is that they easily retain heat, making it easy to perform the above functions.
Moreover, skillets become better as you use them. See, as you cook continuously, you season the skillet making the surface slick. The seasoning ensures that food doesn’t stick on the surface.
As we mentioned earlier, we have three types of skillets. In this section, we will highlight what each type of skillet is used for.
1. Cast Iron Skillet
This type of skillet is made from iron. As a result of its ability to heat slowly and evenly, it is used to sear crusts on meats such as steak and chops.
Did we mention that the cast iron skillet is ovenproof? Well, now you know. You can bake cornbread and biscuits. The best thing is that you can also use the skillet to serve food. Imagine taking the skillet from the kitchen straight to the table.
That’s so cool!
Nonetheless, it is essential to note that cast iron skillet is not suitable for acidic foods such as tomato sauce. Unfortunately, iron reacts with the acid-producing metallic flavor.
2. Stainless Steel Skillet
As the name suggests, this type of skillet is made from stainless steel. It doesn’t chip, reacts, or rust. It heats evenly and is best used to stir vegetables, meat, and fries.
In addition, stainless steel skillets are essential for sautéing. Due to their curved sides and lightweight, they can easily toss food ingredients for even and rapid cooking. Similarly, stainless steel skillets are good for roasting small amounts of fish, vegetables, and meat.
3. Nonstick Skillet
The nonstick skillet is the most modern type. It is made up of aluminum that efficiently heats up and cools down and is coated with nonstick polymer referred to as PTFE.
The nonstick skillet is used for cooking sticky foods such as bread cutlets, crepes, fish fillets, and pancakes. In addition, nonstick skillets can also fry rice or make custards, making it easy to clean the utensils.
Nonetheless, it is essential to note that nonstick skillets are delicate and should be treated with care.
What Foods Can Be Cooked In A Skillet?
Most people believe that skillets are only made to cook steak. Well, this kind of thinking is wrong. There are so many types of food that can be cooked in a skillet ranging from pizza, chocolate chip cookie cakes, clafoutis, hash browns, and burgers.
Anything that needs a crust and can’t be cooked for long hours should be placed in a skillet. Have you ever overcooked a thin burger for long? How did it taste? We are sure it was terrible! Now, imagine if you had used a skillet instead.
You drop the burger in a skillet and wait for it to develop a brown exterior. The process happens so quickly that you will not overcook the inside.
The secret to ensuring that the food is crispy enough is preheating the pan before adding the food to be crisped. This concept is mainly applied to foods such as pizza.
However, not all types of foods require you to preheat the pan. Some foods such as bacon need you to start with a cold pan.
If you preheat the pan, the meat will become tough. Nevertheless, we recommend that you use bacon to inaugurate a new skillet due to its high-fat content that creates an excellent foundation for seasoning.
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Skillets are a plus to your kitchen. Whether cast iron, stainless steel, or nonstick skillets, they are all suitable for addressing your cooking needs. You can decide to purchase a single skillet or purchase a combination of skillets to suit your kitchen needs.
Nonetheless, we hope that our article was helpful. We believe that you understand what a skillet is, what it is used for, and what foods can be cooked in a skillet.
Now, look for some great recipes and make a skillet your best friend. Click on this link to access some great recipes gearpatrol.com. Enjoy!