Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Pre-heating Cast Iron


palo
 Share

Recommended Posts

They heat very unevenly, especially on induction. Only the part of the pan directly above the induction coil will fully preheat. I did some tests with an IR thermometer using the MC baking steel on a Vollrath Mirage Pro induction burner. After 30 minutes of preheating, I found that the surface just an inch away from the induction coil was 100F cooler than the steel directly over the coil. Though that's pretty awful, things got much worse out toward the edges. The steel would be useless as a baking surface or griddle unless you wanted to cook only in the area above the coil. The combination of a poor conductor (steel/iron) over a spotty heat source just doesn't work very well at all. Cast iron pans and baking steels are best pre-heated in an oven.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, btbyrd said:

Cast iron pans and baking steels are best pre-heated in an oven.

 

I get pretty good, even heating on a gas range. Using the smaller, square reversible baking steel I have...

 

280145527_Headonprawnsplancha12-18.thumb.jpeg.5a4a6b8272f262c110cfdaf8db717411.jpeg

  • Like 2

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gas is better than induction, but it depends on your range. I used to use mine on a low-end gas range to make pancakes, but the ones around the outside took significantly longer than the ones in the middle. Since this thread is about baking it makes more sense to just stick the pan or steel in the oven as the oven preheats. This is especially true if you're going to bake the bread in a dutch oven to mimic the effect of a steam oven.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I almost always preheat my cast iron fry pans.  I put them on the lowest BTU (gas) burner at the lowest setting.

it takes time.  this approach is not instant sear cast iron....

not recommended for anyone in a hurry.

bacon is not something I preheat the CI for....

 

the question of 'uneven heating' is totally moot.  the pan has enough time to disperse the heat everywhere everywhere - all across the bottom and all up the sides and all down the handle.  whether the pan is preheated I judge by the handle - when the handle is too hot to pick up without a mitt, the pan is ready.

 

once the pan is "basically hot" I put it on larger burners for the task at hand.....

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

I almost always preheat my cast iron fry pans.  I put them on the lowest BTU (gas) burner at the lowest setting.

it takes time.  this approach is not instant sear cast iron....

not recommended for anyone in a hurry.

bacon is not something I preheat the CI for....

 

the question of 'uneven heating' is totally moot.  the pan has enough time to disperse the heat everywhere everywhere - all across the bottom and all up the sides and all down the handle.  whether the pan is preheated I judge by the handle - when the handle is too hot to pick up without a mitt, the pan is ready.

 

once the pan is "basically hot" I put it on larger burners for the task at hand.....

Best use info yet...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I have made pizza in a cast iron skillet before, pre-heating was done on in the oven.  I guess that if you pre-heated on stovetop, there may be some heat inconsistency.  Give it a try and let us know how it goes though!  Slather it full of cheese and pepperoni and any issues are automatically remediated :)

Edited by foodlogger01 (log)

Check out my list of unique recipes I have collected from all over!

Local Food Recipes by Country

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/27/2020 at 12:49 PM, weinoo said:

 

I get pretty good, even heating on a gas range. Using the smaller, square reversible baking steel I have...

 

 

 

On a gas range, you have those hot gasses spreading out under the pan. They have to go somewhere, and they deliver some energy out to the edges of the pan through convection. So even if you have a big pan sitting on a small flame, you're getting at least a little help from something besides the pan's conductivity. 

 

And that steel you're using is probably thicker than a skillet, so it could do a somewhat better job of spreading the heat.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...