Last Updated on May 17, 2022
In this post I’ll explain the many benefits associated with using cast-iron pans, and why they’re preferable over other options. In fact, hopefully… you’ll just forget about everything else (like I did).
My (nearly) Every Day Cast Iron Foods I Eat:
- Seared Steak (yes, I try to eat steak every day – it’s the best multivitamin I’ve ever found)
- Bacon & Eggs
- Ground Beef (in all its varieties)
What is a Cast Iron Skillet?
Cast iron cookware has been a staple in kitchens for centuries. Why? Because it’s affordable, lasts a lifetime and produces the best tasting food! These pans can be used for both cooking and baking, making them an essential part of any kitchen.
Cast iron is a great cooking method because it’s easy to clean and adds a great flavor (because of the seasoning process). Cast iron also retains heat well, which means that you can cook at lower temperatures and still get great results.
Cast iron skillets and pans work well in the oven and (of course) on the stovetop.
Cast Iron Skillet Benefits for Cooking
If you want to cook delicious, homemade meals from your kitchen, a cast iron skillet is a must. The seasoning process causes the iron in the pan to bond with the food, creating an even better flavor. Cast iron is durable, provides even heating, and can be used to make a number of different dishes.
Cast iron skillets have been used for centuries to cook food. Cast iron is a great conductor of heat and will maintain the temperature of the pan for long periods of time. This is why cast iron pans are perfect for searing meat or making a roux, which requires constant stirring over a low heat.
Non-stick coatings on cast iron pans are created with oil seasoning, and improves with time. This means that you don’t need to use as much butter or oil when cooking with your cast iron skillet. But… I still do (cause I love the extra fat content and added flavor). Also, you can safely use metal utensils on cast iron without the worry of scratching up the non-stick coating or getting flakes of Teflon in your food.
How hot can cast iron get?
A skillet made of cast iron is safe for temperatures all the way up to 1500°F and ovens typically can’t get that hot. When cooking with a cast-iron pot or pan, don’t worry about the seasoning burning off if you cook at high temperatures – unless it gets really hot (800+). However, cast-iron is also sensitive to heat and can easily get too hot for the dish you are trying to cook.
Can you use the same cast iron on a camp fire?
Cast iron pans are great for camping trips. You can cook over a camp stove, set it on top of hot embers or coal, or even put it directly on the fire without damaging it! Because of these durability features, cast iron is by far the best option when out and about.
How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet
Cleaning a cast iron skillet is not as difficult as it may seem. All you need is a little bit of water and a metal scrubber.
First, fill the skillet with water and let it soak for about 10 minutes (you can heat the water in the skillet too). Then, use the scrubber to remove any food residue that may be stuck on the surface of the pan. Rinse off any excess water and dry with a towel or paper towel. Be sure it is 100% dry to prevent rust and apply a light coating of a food-safe oil (we use avocado oil) on all surfaces (including the handles and bottom) before storing.
Or if you need it in a pinch, just use the metal scrubber, a little water, scrub, shake the water off, and throw it back on the stove top, you’re good to go. The excess water will evaporate.
What To Know About Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet
Seasoning cast iron is not difficult, but it does take some time and a little patience. The process of seasoning cast iron involves heating the pan until it’s hot enough to melt the oil, then wiping the oil all over the pan with paper towels or a rag. You’ll need to repeat this process several times before your cast iron is fully seasoned and ready for use. You may notice a difference in the texture of a new cast iron pan vs a well-seasoned one. Brand new will have a slightly rough texture; well-seasoned will likely be very smooth and slick.
The more you add bacon, butter, and other fatty food options, the faster you’ll season your skillet. Once you break it in, it’ll serve you well for many years.
Our preferred method for seasoning cast iron skillets: bacon.
Why You Should Use A Cast Iron Skillet For Your Next Meal
Cast Iron skillets are heavy, durable, and have a great non-stick surface AND can even go in the oven. This makes them perfect for cooking delicious meals for your family. They are versatile and can be used for a wide array of cooking applications. Consider one for your next purchase!
Get a couple sizes and never purchase another pan again!