Having one of these essential pieces of cooking gear can be heavy, and you have to season it after every use. You’ll find that these inconveniences are a small price to pay, however. Keep reading to learn more reasons why your kitchen can’t go without cast iron for another second.
1. Easy on the Wallet
Your stainless steel pans have seen better days. It’s time to toss them out and buy another set. You’ll find when you get to the store replacing your cookware can take a huge chunk out of your wallet.
If you can’t afford to replace multiple pans, you might as well opt for cast iron. These skillets are more affordable than your other options because not much goes into making them. The manufacturers pour molten iron into a mold in the shape of a pan.
You can replace your entire cooking arsenal with cast iron and save tons of money. It will last for years to come, so you won’t have to worry about replacing what you buy any time soon either.
There’s a reason why Hollywood always depicts people threatening others with cast iron pans. They’re heavy and can take a lot of punishment.
They can withstand the hot temperature of an open flame. Keep in mind if you get a pre-seasoned pan, any heat over 420 degrees will burn that away, but that’s no big deal.
As long as you season it after every use yourself, that will keep the pan from rusting.
This being said, durability is a double edge sword if you drop the pan. Your tile floor won’t make it out of the ordeal unscathed and your toes will be in even worse shape.
3. It Has a Variety of Uses
If you are looking for the best burgers, check out becksprime.com, or make them yourself in your skillet. You can prepare the best meat dishes in one of these versatile kitchen appliances.
Their usefulness doesn’t end with burgers and steaks, however. You can also make a delicious 5-star breakfast or the best cake that you’ve ever tasted.
There are only a few things that we don’t recommend making. It’s not a good idea for inexperienced cooks to tackle something delicate like eggs or pancakes. Cast iron skillets are technically non-stick, but it’s still easy to mess these foods up.
The acids in certain sauces break down the surface of the skillet. It won’t destroy your pan per se, but you will have a gross metallic taste in your food.
4. You Can Use It Outside
Think about having cast iron skillet burgers over a roaring campfire. Sounds pretty great, right? These skillets are one of the only pieces of cookware that you can use over an open flame.
Nothing else can handle that level of heat. You can take it on a camping trip or cook a tasty meal in the comfort of your own backyard.
5. It’s Easy to Maintain
Want to know how to clean a cast iron skillet? It’s easier to accomplish than most people think. All you need is a little soap, water, and elbow grease.
After that, you’ll have to season your pan. We know you probably have a ton of questions. Not many people know how to season a cast iron skillet.
Wash the Pan
After you’ve finished enjoying your meal, you’ll have to set to work cleaning your pan. You should only need a few drops of soap along with warm water to get the job done.
If you have some stubborn stuck-on food, going over the pan with a scrapper shouldn’t hurt it. If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to simmer water in the pan for a few moments before using the scrapper.
Once the pan is clean, dry it with either a microfiber cloth or paper towel. A dark residue might rub off on the cloth, but don’t panic.
Your pan isn’t still dirty. This residue is the seasoning. It’s normal for some of it to rub off during the cleaning process.
Apply Your Cooking Oil
Now it’s time for seasoning a cast iron skillet. Apply a thin layer of cooking oil or seasoning spray on the surface of the pan. Use a paper towel to wipe away the excess oil.
Pop It in the Oven
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When it’s done, place the skillet upside down on the middle rack. No matter how thorough you are with wiping the excess oil in the previous step, there will be drips.
Place aluminum foil over the bottom rack to catch them. Bake it for 1 hour and turn off the oven. Wait for the skillet to cool down before you remove it.
6. It Adds a Bit of Iron to Your Meal
There are a lot of rumors that say cooking with one of these skillets will add a bit of iron to your food. We’re here to tell you that these rumors are true. There is a small snag.
There’s no way to know how much iron is being transferred into your meal. It all depends on how old your pan is. Older skillets don’t give off quite as much of this essential substance.
This being said, you can’t use cooking in a cast iron skillet as a supplement. It won’t be enough if you’re deficient. Still, it’s better than not getting any iron in your body at all.
7. Rust Isn’t a Deal-Breaker
When it comes to most pieces of cookware, the moment that it starts to rust, you might as well toss it out. It’s done for. This isn’t the case for cast iron.
In fact, seeing a few rusty spots on the surface of the pan after a few years is all a natural part of its aging process. It doesn’t affect its durability in the slightest.
If the rust really does bother you, though, there are ways for you to get rid of it. Steel wool should do the trick. Once you scrub away the rust, wash and season your pan using the steps we listed above.
Skillets aren’t non-stick right away. It will take years of seasoning for you to be able to pull your food off the pan with little effort. Before you get to that point, you’ll have to use a bit of oil.
Cast iron does have some natural sheen to it. You won’t have to bog the entire appliance down with oil to make it non-stick, but you may need a light coating.
It’s better than the alternative. Other pans that advertise being non-stick use Teflon. As soon as you cook with it, it will release chemicals into the air.
Not only does it send harmful substances wafting through your home, but your food absorbs it too. It doesn’t end there. When you wash the pan, it sends PFCs down the drain.
It ends up in the water supply and even contaminates the fish that people eat. It’s bad news considering that these chemicals are associated with cancer and other illnesses.
9. It Maintains Its Heat
Are you tired of burning your dinner? Having a cast iron skillet may be the answer to your prayers. You’ll have to heat the pan on the stove for a few minutes, but it can create an even temperature that will perfectly cook anything you throw at it.
It doesn’t matter how unreliable your stove is, you’ll have crispy chicken without having to pick off any burned bits. The pan will stay hot for a while, so you won’t have to worry about your food cooling off while you’re trying to get everyone to the dinner table.
Start Cooking With a Cast Iron Skillet
Is your old cookware beginning to fall apart? Instead of buying more Teflon pans, go with the more eco-friendly choice. A cast iron skillet has the same non-stick properties that Teflon has without exposing your family to hazardous chemicals.
Cast iron is also much more durable, and it cooks food to perfection no matter what kind of stove your working with. There’s a lot of maintenance that goes into keeping one of these skillets rust-free, but for most, this single inconvenience isn’t a deal-breaker.
Are you looking for amazing recipes that you can prepare in your new cast iron pan? Check out our blog for a few meal options that will make your mouth water.