You can use butter in a cast iron skillet, however, since butters smoking temperature is 350°F (177°C) it’s prone to burning, and this means that you’ll need to use low heat, cast iron is also hard to control the temperature, so if it starts burning, you won’t be able to cool the cast iron skillet down fast enough to stop it burning, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
When to use butter in a cast iron skillet?
Although I wouldn’t advice using butter straight away prior to cooking food in your cast iron skillet, you can still use it at times.
The best advice from me, would be to use it during the end of cooking, when you can lower the temperature of the cast iron pan, and see that it’s low enough before adding the butter.
How to use butter in cast iron for steak
Steak is a perfect example for using butter in cast iron. Simply because you need high heat for your cast iron to sear the steak properly. But using high heat burns butter right?
Well yes, but once your steak is about ready, you can turn the heat down, let the pan cool down for around 1 minute, and then add your butter and start basting. Although the cast iron will still be hot, if you baste quickly, the butter will not burn. That’s why you will see chefs basting quickly when they cook in cast iron.
What foods can I cook using a cast iron skillet with butter?
There are certain foods where you can use butter in cast iron, either because you don’t need to cook it above 350°F or you can use butter at the end of cooking.
These are some of the foods where you can use butter in a cast iron skillet:
What should I use instead of butter for cast iron?
You need an oil with a high smoking points when cooking in a cast iron skillet, since butter has a very low smoking point, it should be avoided, especially when searing.
One of the best oils I use is avocado oil, because it has a smoking point of 482°F, which allows you to get your cast iron skillet as hot as you need it.
Some other oils with a high smoking point are:
- Canola oil 460°F
- Corn oil 450°F
- Vegetable oil 450°F
- Grapeseed oil 421°F