Cast Iron Conflict!

Here is the conflicting question, "Can or should you use a cast iron skillet if making something acid, such as tomato sauce?" I've heard some chefs say not to as it isn't good for the cast iron or the sauce Yet, on some cooking shows, they always use the cast iron skillet to make tomato sauce (cooks and actors/celebrities, not chefs). Which is correct?

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6 Comments

Sean R. February 5, 2017
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats addresses this exact question! It's more a general guideline than right vs. wrong, but perhaps this'll be helpful:

"In a well-seasoned cast iron pan, the food in the pan should only be coming in contact with the layer of polymerized oil in the pan, not the metal itself. So in a perfect world, this should not be a problem. But none of us are perfect and neither are our pans. No matter how well you season, there's still a good chance that there are spots of bare metal and these can indeed interact with acidic ingredients in your food.

For this reason, it's a good idea to avoid long-simmered acidic things, particularly tomato sauce. On the other hand, a little acid is not going to hurt it. I deglaze my pan with wine after pan-roasting chicken all the time. A short simmer won't harm your food, your pan, or your health in any way."


Source: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/the-truth-about-cast-iron.html
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx January 30, 2017
Plenty of input and advice from past food pickle & hotline questions. Do a search for cast iron tomatoes and plenty should come up.
 
BerryBaby January 30, 2017
Thanks! I did a search on cast iron before posting and didn't see this question. I'll search cast iron tomatoes.
 
Smaug January 31, 2017
You're in luck- cast iron tomatoes are currently featured in supermarkets across the country.
 
Sam1148 January 30, 2017
Yes...and no. If your cast iron is 'grandma' age with years of seasoning. Sure.
Heck, the classic cowboy "Chili Pot" is cast iron. But it's also been used for decades or so. Not that you have to wait a couple of decade. But a well seasoned pan has a barrier that should stop any color, or metallic tastes issues.
If it's a new pan...you might want to wait until you get a super seasoned surface.
 
BerryBaby January 30, 2017
Thanks, Sam1148! Well, this pan is a family hand me down and well over 50 years old and that many years of use! Guess I'm ok making whatever I want in it!
 
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