Have you tried cooking with a cast iron skillet? Cast iron offers a ton of benefits over non-stick skillets, ceramic skillets and other cheaper options. For one thing, cast iron skillets heat more quickly and more evenly. Cast iron skillets are naturally non-stick when seasoned correctly so you don't even need a non-stick pan that essentially becomes useless once the coating wears off. Cast iron also lasts a lot longer and are far less prone to damage. And in fact, provided you take proper care of your cast iron skillet, it can be passed down to future generations in your family. While you may have heard that taking care of cast iron can be a hassle, that couldn't be further from the truth. You may even find that its easier to care for than a non-stick coated skillet. Ask these questions to learn more about cast iron skillets, the top brands and deals available online.
What are the advantages of cast iron?
Cooking with a cast iron skillet is a no-brainer. Because cast iron is so dense, it heats evenly holds in heat longer. Its natural non-stick properties make cooking everything, and clean-up afterwards a breeze. And because they do not feature any wood or rubber handles, cast iron can be transferred from the stovetop straight into the oven.
What foods can I cook in a cast iron pan?
You can cook almost anything in a cast iron pan. Cooking with cast iron means vegetables will cook faster and meats will brown better. For meat dishes that require searing, like a roast, a cast iron skillet is a must. It also works great for frying foods like chicken, and baking - especially cornbread.
Is it easy to care for a cast iron skillet?
Taking care of your cast iron skillet is a cinch. To ensure your cast iron skillet lasts you for years and years you need to keep it seasoned and clean it properly. Cast iron seasoning is just a layer of fat baked onto the skillet, as you use it again and again, this fat will accumulate, making it more and more non-stick while protecting your skillet. The more seasoning, the easier it will be to clean.
How do I keep my skillet seasoned?
You can start seasoning before you cook anything by coating it with oil, heating it, wiping it down and repeating that process a few times. To ensure seasoning remains and that you don't damage your skillet, always wash it by hand with hot water with a sponge.
What things should I avoid when cleaning?
Brushes are too abrasive and will remove the seasoning. Avoid using soap but if you absolutely need to, just use a little. After cleaning, dry immediately with a paper towel. Leaving your pan exposed to moisture can cause it to rust.
Which brand should I buy?
When looking for a cast iron pan, it's important to buy a quality pan if you want it to last. Lodge is easily the highest-quality brand that is widely available across the country. Lodge skillets are made in the USA and they've been around for over 100 years. For most chefs, Lodge skillets are the only cast iron skillet.
What makes Lodge skillets so great?
Rather than just being coated in cast iron like some cheaper options, they are one solid piece. They are usually pre-seasoned too, so you can use them right out of the box. Lodge skillets are available in a variety of sizes: from 3.5 inches to 15 inches. Right now, you can buy a 12-inch Lodge L10SK3ASHH41B Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder for just $25.99, or a 15-inch Lodge L14SK3 Cast Iron Skillet for $49.90 on Amazon- but for a limited time you can save an extra $12.41 at checkout.
What other skillet brands are available?
Other great cast iron options are available from T-fal and Le Creuset. The T-fal Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet, available for $32 on Amazon, features an excellent pre-seasoned coating that will save you time and energy. And its plenty heavy, so you know its real cast iron. If you have a little more money to spend, the Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet for $200 features a beautiful enameled exterior, resistant to fading and staining. Its coating also makes it uniquely suitable for the dishwasher. It's also more balanced in terms of weight so it doesn't feel as heavy to lift as most cast iron skillets do.