Cast Iron – The Original Nonstick Cookware
If you have never used cast iron cookware you are in for a treat!If you told me I was only allowed to keep one pan from my kitchen, hands down my choice would be a cast iron skillet. Cast iron is my favorite kind of cookware because it is so versatile and easy to use. And as a bonus it is so easy to take care of if you follow a few simple guidelines.
The secret to cast iron is seasoning it properly. “Seasoning” is simply oil or shortening baked onto the iron at a high temperature. This actually creates a non stick surface that is natural, as opposed to other non stick cookware which has a chemical non stick coating which can scratch and peel over time. Seasoning creates a natural, easy-release surface. The more you cook, the better it gets.
Seasoned cast iron makes the very best non-stick cookware and will last a lifetime. It can be passed down from generation to generation. There are 4 simple steps to get your new cast iron skillet ready for years of use. The 4 steps are:
This video from Martha Stewart is a great tutorial for seasoning and cleaning your pans:
It turns out I am in good company with Martha when it comes to loving cast iron. When my daughter Amanda, and her husband, Peter were married they received a lovely large cast iron skillet as a wedding gift from one of Peter’s cousins. He happened to work for Martha Stewart at the time and had asked her advice on what to give them as a special wedding present. Her answer: A cast iron skillet! She loves them.
I agree with Martha. I personally have 5 cast iron skillets of varying sizes and a dutch oven, as well as various other pans including a pan for making individual corn bread in the shape of ears of corn. Some of them I received as wedding gifts, some were my grandmothers, and some I bought. Cast iron is very easy to come by. In addition to buying it on line or at cooking stores, you can find it at hardware stores and even yard sales.
For my money, my cast iron cookware is worth it’s weight in gold. It keeps getting better and better with age. I can only hope I fair as well 🙂