Buy Once, Buy For Life: Cast Iron Cookware


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“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” ~ William A. Foster

I never thought that I’d be a good cook as cooking skills do not run in my family. If my grandparents were popular dinner party entertainers, it was because of their prowess at pouring great cocktails. My parents were even worse. If food was eaten at our house by company, it was either catering or pizza delivery. Even now, when I cook something that I’ve served with great success before, I’m always nervous about how it will come out.

But somehow, despite my culinary heritage, I’ve discovered that I really do love to cook!

Since I need all the help I can get, I rely most often on my most prized kitchen possessions: cast iron skillets!

Cast iron skillets make anyone a good cook.

If you already cook with cast iron, you know what I mean. No stainless steel pans can compare when it come to putting a sear on meat or roasting vegetables. Everything sticks to stainless; it’s not pretty. And non-stick pans are not only potentially very toxic, but you can only use them on low heat.

Well-seasoned cast iron pans are the best of both worlds, as they allow you to cook at high temperatures on a naturally non-stick cooking surface. They are also the most versatile pans in the kitchen, as you can cook virtually anything in them from breakfast, to dinner and dessert.

The added health benefit of cooking with cast iron is that this cookware imparts iron into your food. This is actually a health benefit as many people are iron deficient.

If you’re not familiar with cast iron in the kitchen, or if you need a refresher course, here are the things you need to know about a cast iron skillets to get the best results:

How to season your cast iron skillet

This is the step that starts to establish the all-natural non-stick properties of your cast iron skillet. (If you ever find your food is sticking too much, repeat this step.) It means essentially that you are baking oil into the iron to seal it.

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  1. I have a 6 inch cast iron skillet that I found thrown into a dump in the woods in Arkansas in about 1949. The dump was at a house site but there had not been a house there in local known history and in fact the road to it had disappeared. It was probably in the dump 20 years at least. It looked it. I cleaned it up and my parents used it until about 12 years ago when it came to live with me. My 9 inch skillet came along in the early ’60’s and is in daily use now. My bride has a full array of cast iron pots and pans that are all regularly used. I don’t believe a single cast iron piece that we have is less than forty years old. We still have some Teflon and Tefal but they are pretty used up and going to animal feeding duty. I will not be falling for that stuff again.
    The cast iron is forever.

  2. Love cast iron skillets – I have 4 different sizes! They are truly, naturally non-stick. Talk about buying for live: just revitalized a large skillet that my husband’s grandma was given for a wedding gift and never used – it just sat in the dusty, moldy basement for 50 yrs.

    Didn’t know they were recyclable, thanks for sharing!

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