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Top 10 Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron

By Edited Aug 7, 2015 0 4
Cast-Iron Skillet

1. You don't need to wash it

Not everyone agrees with this statement, but I have not washed my cast iron pans in years.  I don't even rinse them (*gasp*).  My rules for care include cooking with lots of fat (good kind), leave on stove with whatever bits are left in the pan and then repeating.  I do cook frequently so food is never sitting in there very long.  

2. Non-stick

Non-stick is a relative term.  No you cannot fry an egg in it and expect it not to stick, but it sure beats the crap out of stainless steel.  If you have a new pan, it will take a little while to develop the non-stick surface.  Always remember to use lots of fat and it will become better and better.

3. Retains heat

Cast-iron is great for retaining heat, which is essential for getting a great sear on meat.  I cook a very mean steak and my secret is using a very hot cast-iron pan.  My other secret is #8.

4. They last forever

Not literally forever, but at least your lifetime.

5. Cheap

This is probably my favorite reason.  You can buy a 12 inch pan for less than $30.  

Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet L10SK3ASHH41B, 12-Inch
Amazon Price: $40.95 $39.37 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 7, 2015)

6. Don't need to worry about scratching it

I hate having a nice shiny new pan and I use it once and it gets a scratch.  Well cast iron does not really scratch.  Or at least it does not do any damage to the pan, so go ahead and use your metal utencils.

7. Good for you, adds iron

Along the same lines as #6, if you do manage to scratch off some of the surface of the pan (not easy to do), it does not contain harmful products like most Teflon-coated pans. Cast iron is actually good for you!  Cast iron can actually leach iron into your food, which is a good thing!  Iron deficiency is fairly common, especially in women.  Cooking food in cast iron can increase the iron content of your food.

8. Can use in the oven

You can take your cast iron from the stove-top right into the oven without needing to transfer to an oven-safe dish.  This is very helpful for cooking a perfect steak or pork chop.

9. Build arm muscles

In case you do not already know, cast iron pans are quite heavy.  For some that is a negative, but for me it is an extra chance to build those arm muscles.  Talk about multi-tasking!

10. Self-defense tool

Sure knives are also great kitchen self-defense tools, but so is a huge chunk of metal.

Tongue Out



Mar 25, 2015 10:20pm
Interesting aspect of not washing and leaving old food in your pan. Not my cup of tea, although having said that- I agree about not having to wash it out although, I always removed all the food and wiped out with paper towel. Then put small amount of oil and wiped it over to prevent rust. Cast iron if left wet or damp without oil will definitely rust.

I am not using my cast iron cookware as much these days as hands not as strong to hold the weight anymore. But still love cooking in my camp oven. Husband lifts that on and off the camp fire. We cook everything in that from cakes to stews, roasts and rice puddings and even scones. Love it. rated up
Mar 26, 2015 5:08am
I do realize not washing isn't for everyone, but I know that when I first started using cast iron I was really turned off by all the care instructions. It seemed like I was going to break the pan if I didn't follow all the steps properly. I used to rinse it out the pan with water after each use and dry it. However, sometimes I would not get all of the water out and it would start to rust, like you said. Now I don't even rinse it out so rust has not been a problem again. It works great for us!
Mar 30, 2015 10:47am
Good article, big cast iron fan here. I also just wipe mine out, occasionally will use a copper wire scrub if needed. I started using coconut oil a few years back, a lot healthier and takes the heat real well. My favorite is searing ahi tuna steak, pan heats up fast a puts a nice sear on the tuna, and take less than five minutes.
Mar 30, 2015 12:20pm
Nice to meet another fellow cast-iron fan! I love cooking with coconut oil. I also cool with beef tallow, lard and duck fat. Everything really is better when it's covered in a tasty fat! I've never tried ahi tuna steak, I'll have to give that a try!
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