When my husband and I got married we were blessed to receive a set of Rachael Ray pots and pans. I have loved those pots and pans and have cooked just about all of our meals in them. After nearly five years, though, the non-stick finish is wearing out. Not only do I know just by looking at it that it’s not healthy, I have also learned that non-stick cookware is not the best cookware.
For a long time I have wanted a cast iron skillet or two of my own. I occasionally borrowed from family, but just recently I decided to go ahead and buy my very own cast iron skillet, and I’m glad I did!
I think one of the things that intimidates people about cast iron skillets is the fact that they need to be seasoned. Really this is not a hard process at all! I bought my cast iron skillet pre-seasoned, so I didn’t even have to worry about doing anything to it before cooking. My skillet is made by Lodge and I picked it up at my local Wal-Mart for under $20!
Why does a cast iron skillet need to be seasoned?
Well, the thing that makes a cast iron skillet a non-stick skillet is because of the seasoning! If you buy a skillet that you need season yourself, it’s actually a pretty simple process.
You just coat the surface of the skillet with oil or melted fat of your choice and then place in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let it cool a bit and then wipe it out. I prefer to use paper towels to wipe out my skillet.
I personally do not use soap when cleaning my cast iron skillet. I just wipe it out unless I’ve been using it to fry food and then I drain out the grease, rinse with water, and wipe clean. Afterwards, I coat a very thin layer of oil over the surface of my skillet and place it in my oven when it’s not in use. Do NOT wash your cast iron skillet in the dishwasher!
What can I cook in a cast iron skillet?
Almost anything. It seriously makes food taste so much better. I like to fry chicken in my cast iron skillet. Pancakes come out perfectly. Steaks and burgers are juicy and delicious when cooked in cast iron. You have to make cornbread in a cast iron skillet. There’s just no other way!
The thing I love about my cast iron skillet is its versatility. I can start something on the stove and then transfer it to the oven in my skillet with no issues whatsoever. It’s great for making a frittata, pork chops, or even fruit cobbler.
Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron
There are lots of benefits of cooking with cast iron. I already mentioned that you can go from stove to oven effortlessly. Cast iron distributes heat evenly which allows your food to cook evenly. When you buy a cast iron skillet and you take care of it, the thing will last a lifetime. Heck, you can even pass it on to future generations.
One of the greatest benefits to cooking with a cast iron skillet is the fact that a little bit of iron may seep into the food giving you an iron boost. You need iron to produce red blood cells and cast iron is definitely one way to help make sure everyone in your family gets enough.
Do you cook with a cast iron skillet? What’s your favorite thing to make?
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