Thursday, May 14, 2015

A small thing to love: heat

In my seemingly endless quest for non-stick muffins that are also non-trash-producing, I've tried a lot of different techniques, with varying degrees of success.  I turned a corner of sorts back in 2012, when Kimberlie recommended the Misto sprayer.   I broke down and bought this for real money (it cost me $12; I've since found some at yard sales for 50¢).  

My Misto sprayer is fun to use (pump, pump!), and it works better than non-Pam alternatives (although not quite as well as trash-producing Pam and other aerosol sprayers, dang).  To help the muffins clamber their way out of the pans even more easily, I use a combination of spray oil and a dusting of flour.

But my experience with cast iron pan cooking, plus my vast waffle-iron experience, led me to remember the value of heat.  So I tried a small experiment the other day when I was making 2-dozen muffins.  I sprayed both tins, and then one of the tins I stuck in the pre-heating oven while I mixed up the muffin batter.
Yum! Muffins!  These popped right out, after a spray/flour/heat pre-treatment of the pans.
One half of my muffin batter went into the room-temp muffin tin; the other half went into a sizzling hot tin.  The first set of muffins came out with a small bit of coaxing.  The second set practically popped out.  Love it!

And dang, if I ever find a cheap cast-iron muffin pan, I'm grabbing it.  Because these so-called-non-stick pans are just as much work as (or maybe even more work than) my dad's hardy cast iron muffin pans.  

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