5 Reasons You Should Be Cooking With Cast Iron
In recent years there has been some debate about the best type of cookware to use in your kitchen. Between safety concerns over Teflon coatings and aluminum pans, many people are turning to stainless steel or copper cookware. In my kitchen, however, I’m finding more and more that the old way of cooking may just be the best way!
I first began cooking with cast iron when I moved into a house which had a set of cast skillets left behind by the previous owner. I used these as a backup when I had let the dirty dishes get away from me a bit. In a very short amount of time, though, I came to find that these old-school skillets could do a lot of things more modern cookware could not. Their perfectly even and stable heat is an ideal way to put a perfect sear on a steak, and with practice, I learned to make some of the most perfect pancakes you’ve ever seen! This inspired me to do a little research into some of the wonderful abilities and benefits of cast iron, and I now use nothing else in my home.
Here are 5 reasons you, and everybody, should consider cooking with cast iron:
Granted, my first set of skillets was free, and to be honest, I initially could see why someone left them behind when they moved. My first use of cast iron in the kitchen ended with a skillet sitting in a sink of tepid dish water overnight, where it oxidized and got a little nasty. But once I did a few minutes of research and learned how to clean and maintain these pans properly, I realized that these stout skillets are worth much more than their purchase price.
Cast iron cookware is cheap to purchase initially, even at the retail level. I recently saw a 5-piece starter set of cast iron cookware on Amazon for about $90.00. Individually, even high-end cast skillets can be purchased new for less than $20.00. The savvy shopper, however, can find cast cookware even cheaper. I actually found an enamel-coated cast iron skillet with a lid for $3.00 at a neighbor’s yard sale recently. Not bad for a pan that will last me the rest of my life!
That brings me to my second point of why cast iron cookware is worth having and using in your kitchen. These heavy-duty pots and pans are made to last a lifetime! My mother has a set of cast iron cookware that she got from her mother about 20 years ago, and honestly, they are in the exact same condition they have been in since that time, and probably since the 1960’s when initially purchased by my grandparents. That lifespan is a far cry from some of the coated pans I’ve had over the years which tend to scratch and break down within just a few years.
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