What’s the Deal with Cast Iron?
Cooking videos are definitely a trend right now, and I can’t help but notice that many of them use a cast iron skillet. I myself have never used one, and I’ve become intrigued as to why so many people use these, and if they are something I would want to invest in for myself! After looking into it a little bit, I definitely do!
So why is cooking with cast iron such a great thing? Well let me tell you :).
They are durable! Many skillets these days come with handles and pieces that break over time- cast iron is all one piece, making it much tougher to destroy over time! You can drop it over and over, and while your floor may be paying a price, your skillet will be fine!
Once a cast iron pan has been seasoned (with oil), it basically becomes your best non-stick pan ever- that’s all I need to know haha ;).
Food cooks much more evenly in cast iron. It radiates much more heat than other pans, allowing your food to cook more evenly on the bottom and the top! Every cook’s dream!
You might think this would cause your food to burn more easily, but it’s the exact opposite! By preheating the skillet, heat will be radiating intensely and evenly, making it much harder to burn spots of your food.
These pans are easy to maintain (another huge plus in my book ;) ). They do tend to rust, but just take a gentle sponge and some water and you’re pan will be like new! They also won’t be damaged by rinsing them while hot, or using metal spatulas, making them an easy go-to for your any cook!
They are also versatile and great for a variety of cooking; whether poaching, sauteing, or frying, cast iron pans work great for all of it. They can also withstand high amounts of heat, meaning they can go directly from the stove to the oven, making them an extremely valuable skillet to have on hand!
You’ll get your money’s worth. Cast irons are cheaper than their stainless steel counterparts, but not only will they last longer- they’ll actually get better with age. Those are my favorite kitchen tools! They also don’t need soap when cleaning, so you’ll save on soap as well. Whatever you spend for a cast iron pan, you’ll have that pan long enough to make it worth it!
They can actually be healthier to use because you can get away with using less oil in your cast iron pans (as long as it is well-seasoned), helping you cut out unnecessary calories (leaving more for the good stuff ;) ). And you can still end up with crispy potatoes and deliciously seared chicken!
They’re also safer from a chemical standpoint. Many nonstick dishes contain PFCs (perfluorocarbons), which has been linked to cancer and other health issues. These become especially dangerous when the pan is scratched. With cast iron, you don’t have to worry about what chemicals you might be consuming with your food! Well, they might leech some iron into your food, but that’s something your body actually needs! Win-win ;).
They’re also a great grill substitute! If it’s cold outside or you don’t even have a yard where a grill is an option, a cast iron grill is a fantastic substitute if you’re craving some freshly grilled corn on the cob or BBQ chicken!
So with all the wonderful perks to cast iron pans, why would you not get one?? Well, there are a couple things to consider:
They are really heavy. My mother-in-law would never be able to hold a pan this heavy with her arthritis, so that’s definitely something to consider. They also have to be hand washed immediately after use, so you definitely have to commit to being on top of it! They also rust very easily, and while the rust is easy enough to get rid of, it’s something to think about if you’re not very good with drying/maintaining dishes. These dishes also emanate a lot of heat, so you really need to be careful with them, especially around little ones!
Overall, these pans are definitely worth looking into if you want to up your cooking game! Do you have a cast iron skillet? Do you use it a lot or not as much? What are your favorite things to cook in it? I’d love to hear your feedback!
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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