Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Skillets (cooking)

Awhile back you asked me if there was a secret to cooking an omelet in an iron skillet. Yes. Bacon. The bacon and and the skillet are one. The best way of curing a skillet? Bacon. The best way of getting starches to not stick to the skillet? Bacon. Avoid bacon that's especially sugary. Uncured bacon seems to work even better, probably due to the absence of sugar. Sugar and starches seem to stick to the iron. 

Eggs aren't especially starchy (as far as I know) but have something that binds to iron to inhibit bacterial growth and skillets are made of -- iron. (The history of this idea of eggs and iron is long and changes a bit every few years or so. i.e. Don't trust the Wikipedia article on this too much.) 

Vegetable oils don't work nearly as well as bacon. I suspect it's because animal fat consists of short and medium chain fatty acids and vegetables are medium chain omega-sixes. Possibly the shorter fatty acid chains migrate into the spaces between the iron molecules of the skillet better. (And then there's the whole other thing about vegetable oils being inflammatory.) . 

Beef tallow (is that the right word?) doesn't work as well. Too many minuscule pieces of beef perhaps. (Made from taking the juice from the slow-cooker after cooking a roast and putting it in a jar in the fridge until the white-fatty layer forms at the top.)

(The preceding was modified from an email sent minutes earlier.)

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