Sep. 18, 2021
Cast iron cookware has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Cookware made from this durable metal has become a must-have in kitchens around the world. Here, we'll list nine advantages of cast iron cookware, although we know there's more to it than that.
Of the long list of cast iron benefits, our favorite reason is the easy cleanup after a meal. When you cook cast iron properly, cleaning such cookware is a breeze. A well-seasoned and well-maintained pan will have a natural non-stick coating and will not require intense scrubbing after dinner. All you need to do is gently remove any remaining food particles from the cast iron pan and wipe it clean with a paper towel and a little oil. Only light detergents and non-abrasive cleaning utensils must be used. Don't let the pan soak either - if you take proper care of the pan, you don't need to!
When properly seasoned and cared for, cast iron pans form a coating that prevents most foods from sticking together. Yes, you can even cook eggs on a seasoned cast iron skillet! This makes cast iron a great alternative to chemical-laden non-stick coatings. Seasoned cast iron will come close to non-stick, but it won't be any more non-stick than a non-stick pan. In addition to some taste benefits, cooking in cast iron may even have some health benefits, as the pan will infuse your meal with a very useful essential mineral: iron.
There's a good chance your cast iron cookware will last longer than you do. No joke. Old pots and pans in the kitchen are our favorite. Why? Because cast iron improves with age. While they aren't made like they used to be, cast iron pans are heavy and can last for decades. One of the benefits of a cast iron skillet is that it contains cast iron! Cast iron is as hard as nails and extremely durable - if you pick one up to feel its weight, you'll see what we mean. And you can bring it back to life after it rusts. All it needs is some elbow grease.
In an era when it's easy to spend hundreds of dollars on a knife or even thousands on a fancy set of pans, it's refreshing to be able to buy sturdy cast iron pans for less than $30. Remember when we said that cast iron gets better with age? Well, bonus points if you strike a deal on an older, used pan. For your first cast iron skillet, choose the medium-sized option with the "jack-of-all-trades" feature. Hone your skills with smaller pans before acquiring larger cookware. You can choose this cast iron skillet set as a simple mid-range option that is still top quality.
If you shop around, you'll find incredibly affordable and high-quality cast iron pans here.
Compared to other materials, cast iron is one of the best pans for heat retention. Some metals (such as aluminum) experience a significant temperature drop when you add food to a pan. Not so with cast iron: once heated, it will maintain a fairly consistent temperature even when colder items are placed in it. Why is this important? Let's just say that if you preheat your cast iron pan in the oven and throw a fresh pizza on top, it will develop a precious crispy crust. That means that if you want a nice golden brown color on your food, cast iron is the way to go.
Cooking foods like steak requires an extremely hot cooking surface, and luckily, that's one of the best benefits of cast iron pans! Cast iron doesn't melt until it reaches 2200°F and doesn't lose its structural integrity until it reaches about 700°F. So feel free to use cast iron with any cookware, stove or open flame, even at the highest temperatures. Many products, especially pans with nonstick coatings, cannot withstand very high temperatures, causing the coating to flake off and throw some carcinogens into the air and food. When you cook with a cast iron pan, every piece of meat tastes better!
Despite the many common misconceptions that cast iron cookware is easily damaged. But don't worry! If cast iron skillets are so costly to maintain, why use them? Simple maintenance means you'll need to do light re-seasoning from time to time, which you can do in a matter of minutes. Simply apply a thin coat of oil and turn down the burners on the stovetop. And make sure your cast iron pans are completely dry before storing them in the cupboard after use.
We don't need hundreds of kitchen tools clogging up our cabinets, just cast iron pans! You can cook just about anything in cast iron! As we mentioned earlier, one of the advantages of cooking in a cast iron skillet is a beautifully grilled steak, but these pans can be used for so much more than that. In addition to large cuts of meat like pork chops and bacon, these babies make delicious scrambled eggs, pancakes, and even grilled cheese. Plus, because all cast iron cookware is oven safe, you can use them to make pizza, bread or apple pie.
But there's no such thing as perfection in the world, is there? For the sake of your hard-earned seasoning not to be ruined, it is necessary to remind you to avoid cooking foods with acidic properties (such as tomatoes or meat sauce) in cast iron pans.
One of the main benefits of cast iron cooking is its versatility; not only can you cook in a pan, you can use a cast iron skillet on almost any stovetop, oven or grill.
A cast iron skillet is perfect for camping trips and festivals. There's nothing like setting up camp, building a crackling fire, turning on the cast iron skillet and cooking up a delicious meal under the stars. Of course, for your safety, buying silicone handles or using oven mitts is essential if you like to keep your skin in the palm of your hand. Because when cooking with cast iron pans, especially at high temperatures, the handles on these pans can get very hot.