Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cast Iron Breakfast

Egg and bacon, cooked in cast iron skillets. And that's not a blob on the plate in the upper left-hand corner from poor dishwashing...what sort of spoodge is that on the lens?

This morning, I made some experimental bacon and eggs in my freshly seasoned cast iron skillets. I knew cast iron is supposed to heat evenly and hold heat constantly, making it good for searing steaks. What I didn't know is how quick it gets hot enough to hold the even heat. As with all metals, it only makes sense that the part directly over the heat will get hot first. The real question is how quickly does heat conduct through my cast iron? I used the largest one for bacon and the smallest one for a single over-easy egg.

While I could've, and probably should've, fried chicken in each pan first to further season it by getting grease into every single nook and cranny possible, I thought it would be neato to simply fry bacon. Besides, I wanted to eat some bacon. And use my skillets ASAP.

So I heated the big skillet a minute or so before adding four bacon slices.

I let those slices cook and noticed the centers of the slices were getting done before the ends, so flipped the slices, propping up the cooked middles.

As it cooked, the bacon sort of shrunk. I flipped it again, propping up the cooked middles.

After a minute or so, the bacon was near done and then transferred to drain in paper towel.

The vacant pan was hot and loaded with grease and bacon bits stuck to the bottom. I had to see if bacon would cook in the same pattern or if it would change now that the skillet was much hotter.

Maintaining heat, I carefully placed three fresh slices of bacon in the hot, fatty skillet and let it cook until I thought the bacon was ready to flip.

And I flipped it.

Once it looked like it was ready to flip again, I flipped them and sort of scootched them around in hopes of promoting more even cooking.

And flipped them again, keeping the scootched orientation, and let them continue cooking until they were finished. I flipped them onto the paper towel to drain.

Which left a super hot, super fatty, super bacon bit-y skillet. Since there seemed to be an increase in speed and somewhat more even cooking in the second batch, it only made sense to try it again.

So I very carefully added three more slices of bacon in the skillet and let them fry.

Which they did, quite quickly, before I flipped them.

Earlier than I'd expected, they were done and draining on the paper towel.

Now that I had a bigger pile of bacon than what I'd originally anticipated, it was time to try frying an egg in the small skillet.

I poured some of the bacon grease and bits into the small skillet as it was allowed to heat over medium.

After it got pretty warm, I worried there would be egg-sticking possibilities. So I added a small pat of butter.

And let it melt and swirled it into the bacon grease to make it homogenous. Then I added the egg, which started frying like crazy.

Over easy was immediately cast aside in hopes of an edible egg. I split the yolk with my spatula and did my best to flip the egg quickly. This process allowed me the opportunity to learn that flipping an egg in a really small iron skillet it not the easiest thing in the world.

Resulting in a fairly overdone over hard yolk broken egg.

Breakfast this morning was certainly bacon abundant. Rodney was goofing around at a swap meet, looking to score a fantastic treasure.  It was up to me to eat this bacon. Being the good trooper that I am, I completed the task at hand.

While munching on my pile of pork and rubbery egg, I thought about the morning lesson. My big cast iron took a long time to heat completely while the little one seemed to heat real quickly. Is it size to heat ratio?  Or is it because the biggest one was in the worst shape when I seasoned them and thus was a little out of whack? Will the big one be better conductively with more seasoning? Or is seasoning only a benefit in respect to non-stick-ivity?

Eggs in cast iron are probably not a good idea unless it's a bigger skillet and not quite so hot.