So remember way back when I told you I was contacted by the good folks at CSN to do a product review, through which I vowed to seek my revenge on Tyler Florence using my brand new cast iron skillet which was financed by that opportunity? Yeah, I barely remember either. My bad. It's obviously been a few MONTHS since then , and I still haven't gotten around to tackling Tyler's Ultimate Moroccan Chicken recipe in order to restore my pride from the reality checked chicken incident. BUT that doesn't mean I haven't been putting that cast iron skillet to good use in the meantime. But I'll get to that later, first things first, let me give you the Nadette version of a product review.
|please ignore my dry hands. It was still cold out|
Emerilware 12" Cast Iron Skillet
I'll admit, that when it comes to cookware, my general rule of thumb is to avoid any celebrity chef brand products. Believe it or not, they're often not that great in quality, so I was hesitant to purchase this brand. However, the ratings for it were consistently good, and it was a full $100 cheaper than the Le Creuset version, so I decided to risk it. I mean at the end of the day, I didn't pay for it, right? I'm well aware that at such differing price points, I was compromising quality--but with a ratings differential of .6 stars, I did the math and took the cheap (free for me) route. I was torn between getting the 10" or the 12" and opted for the larger version because I figured it would be more accommodating to a whole chicken for whenever I do get around to recreating Tyler Florence's recipe. While I'm glad I chose the larger, I have to mention that I grossly underestimated just how big a 12" skillet is. It's fudging huge! I kinda stared at the UPS guy with wide-eyed bewilderment when he delivered a box that was half my height to my cubicle, and instantly wished I had driven to work that day, as I had to lug that obnoxiously large and kinda heavy box on the six block walk home. After a somewhat embarrassing walk home, which included me nearly dropping the box a time or two, I was eager to open my gift. When I opened the box, I was not prepared for what I found--which was largely empty humongous box that held a giant cast iron skillet inside. I have a hard time believing CSN couldn't have found a smaller box to ship it in, but I digress. My initial thought was, "oh $hit, this thing is huge", my second thought was, "where the fudge am I going to store this in my laughably small kitchen?" and my third thought was "whose leg do I have to hump to be able to lift this thing with one hand?!" In other words, it's really freakin big and pretty darn heavy. This is, of course, a good thing. I know for certain that I can fit an entire chicken, a brick, and several culinary accoutrement in this pan at once. And it's not some flimsy fake me out cast iron skillet, somebody actually wielded this product from iron and stuff. Way to go, Emeril! But it's not perfect, I mean how could it be, it was only $25. The surface texture is a little rough, not tear your food up rough, but certainly not as smooth as the Le Creuset skillet. 'Tis a small sacrifice for bargain shopping, no worries here.
But what matters most is its performance, and I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. So far, I've used it to make pancakes, french toast, and fried chicken. It didn't get a 5 star rating because I wasn't able to get the crispy edges on the pancakes that I live for, but that may have been influenced by the recipe I used and the fact that it was the first time I used the pan, as it has to build up a layer of "seasoning". But the fried chicken was perfection, which was very exciting for me, because in spite of my half southern roots, I've actually never made my own fried chicken (gasp!). This pan heated evenly, and the chicken fried up golden and delicious, and I think it would've done any southerner, including my mommy proud! See*! Yes, that's Chicken and Waffles there in that picture. It was out of this world amazing! But this post has gone on long enough, more on that recipe next time. bwahahahaha!!
*these pictures were taken with my old camera. Yes, that means I've been sitting on this recipe for quite some time. But you should know me by now, so this shouldn't be shocking at this point.