Over the years I have gathered a pretty fair collection of pots, pans, gizmos, and gadgets and to be completely honest, I use almost all of them fairly regularly. But there’s one piece of kitchen equipment that I use more than any other.
The piece of equipment, of course, is a cast iron skillet. It’s one of the very first things I recommend people spend their hard earned money on if they’re trying to get a kitchen started.
1. It supplies you with Iron. Cast iron cookware is the only cookware that provides you with nutritional benefits. It releases a small amount of iron into food every time you cook. Cooking food with cast iron will help boost your iron levels especially when you are cooking with highly acid foods like tomatoes.
2. It is toxic free. Cast iron cookware is absolutely safe, unlike most non stick pans that release toxins into food once scratched (and they always get scratched).
3. Food comes out tastier. Not only does pre-seasoned cast iron cookware require less oil to cook with, but the food comes out flavored. You can get the best crust on your food and it simply tastes much better.
4. This thing is sturdy. You can drop it and it won’t be damaged. You don’t have to worry about scratching it or discoloring it (it’s black already you see). It’s possible that it can rust, but you can easily clean it. Cast iron skillets will take any and all abuse and still last forever. In fact, your skillet will probably outlast even you.
5. It Can Take The Heat. Most cookware comes with heat warnings. Even most stainless steel cookware isn’t supposed to go over 450/500 degrees in an oven. Cast iron? I mean… yea… eventually it’ll melt. But seriously you can cook on an open campfire with this thing.
6. It’s been used for thousands of years. Cast iron pans have been used for more than 2,500 years. Cast iron was first made during the 4th century B.C. in China and later spread to England in the 12th century. Cast iron pans became popular in the United States during the 18th century.
7. It’s Nonstick. Speaking of nonstick, cast iron skillets are nonstick if you season them correctly. Season your skillet by wiping it down with a thin layer of coconut oil and then baking it in a 250 degree oven for about 90 minutes. Let it cool and wipe it down and this will be as good as any nonstick pan out there.
8. It’s Economical. I think some people are actually turned off by cast iron because they think it’s cheap as in low quality. But the reality is that they just happen to be cheap to make which makes them economical, but not cheap.If you pay more than $40 for one, you are getting super-screwed. Not to mention that a lot of people sell perfectly good cast iron skillets at yard sales just because they don’t know how to season them.
9. Heat Distribution. This is maybe one of the most important reasons you should own one of these guys. People spends thousands on pots that evenly distribute heat. A cook’s nightmare is a pan with a really bad hot spot on it so half of your food is burned and the other half raw. Cast iron does such an amazing job of evenly distributing heat that you’ll never have this problem.
10. Can be used on your stove top, oven, or charcoal grill. Cast iron cookware can be used inside the oven and even on top of a charcoal grill as it can withstand various heating levels without causing damage to the shape of the cookware.