Tomato Sauce In An Iron Skillet

I am about to dump a bunch of tomato sauce in my iron skillet for a ragu but ... I seem to remember something about that being a bad idea - true or false?

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Sam1148
Sam1148 November 1, 2011

Great question. I've heard that tomato sauces will strip seasoning from a well seasoned pan.
However, this contradicts the fact that chili and stews are often made in cast iron duct ovens or campfire cast iron cookware. I'm thinking it might depend on the hardness of the seasoning on the pan...some older cookware has a surface that practically teflon like.

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour November 1, 2011

Acidic food will leach iron out of the pan, so your food could end up with a metallic taste. I might do it for something that was only going to cook briefly, but not for a ragu.

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aargersi
aargersi November 1, 2011

Thanks! It is actually a quick ragu (weeknight and all) I will try it, oil the pan thoroughly afterwards, and report back!!!!

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meganvt01
meganvt01 November 1, 2011

I remember a similar foodpickle question a while back and my memory of the consensus was, as long as your cast iron is well seasoned, its OK for sporadic tomato cooking.

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susan g
susan g November 1, 2011

Some people value the additional iron that is freed up when acidic foods, like tomatoes, are cooked in cast iron. I don't notice a metalic taste in the pans that I've used for many years, but I've been noticing it a bit in a pan that's being broken in -- more early on, hardly any now (over a few months).

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Sam1148
Sam1148 November 1, 2011

IMHO: I think there's two camps here: People that have 'newish' cast iron; preseasoned and ready to go.

And old style pots, pans, dutch ovens have been used for years; "Cowboy cooking". use tomatoes, chilies, etc. with no problem.
So, Susan g is spot on here...it depend on the pan, and the surface of the pan, and age of the pan.
Sometimes I hate "hard" answers for some cooking questions..there's a fuzzy area in something and we should realize that and relax and adjust.

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aargersi
aargersi November 2, 2011

I went ahead and did it and it was fine! I cooked the turkey and onions and garlic, deglazed with wine, then added my marinara (we canned a bunch of smoked tomato marinara over the summer - yum) and brought that to a simmer and then turned it off. Then I brought it back to heat and added the herbs right before serving. No metallic taste, and I oiled the pan well after cleaning - all is well!!!

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour November 2, 2011

Yay! Glad it worked for you, and good to know.

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