What does wine or other acidic liquids do to cast iron

I was just reading the fantastic recipe for brick chicken and Amanda said not to use wine or anything acidic in a cast iron pan. What does it do to the pan. Once I cooked a tomato sauce in cast iron did I damage it? I never knew this.



AntoniaJames June 17, 2011
How about 1/2 cup of white wine, poured over a braise roasted chicken (spatchcocked) that's in pan juices created from the liquids/fats released from the aromatics and other ingredients, and from the chicken itself? I brown the bird in grapeseed oil before putting it in the oven. Once it's been in for 30 minutes, I pour the wine over the chicken. I typically add another half cup of wine toward the end of the roasting period as well. In each case, I pour it directly over the chicken. Should I not be using my cast iron skillet for this? It's so convenient, going from stove top to oven (and I have no good alternative). Thanks, everyone. ;o)
pierino June 17, 2011
I think this is only a problem if it's a NEW cast iron pan. I have a couple that have years of seasoning and have seen every kind of liquid thrown in and remain in fine shape. Acids can bring up a ferrous taste that you don't want. But I think it's a worse crime to scour the pan with brillo or something because you are removing that seasoning.
sdebrango June 17, 2011
Thanks panfusine very good to know. From now on only frying in my cast iron.
Panfusine June 17, 2011
well technically all the acids in food are weak acids. the worst offender possible is tamarind (tartaric acid, which really affects the taste.. YUK!), so the corrosion from the pans point of view is very mild and un-noticeable. The difference is in the metallic taste imparted to the dish.
sdebrango June 17, 2011
I never knew this, thanks panfusine. I only did it once I guess tomato would be in that category correct? Thanks I hope since I only did it once my pan is ok.
Panfusine June 17, 2011
the acid reacts with the iron & atmospheric oxygen to create ferrous salts, the iron is corroded (in due course of years will wear out the pan) and the ferrous salts impart a metallic unpleasant taste to the food.
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