‘Tis the Season-ing
9 Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron
By Delayna Fitzgerald
Cast-iron skillets are a kitchen staple in the food community, especially for home cooks. If you’re new to the world of cast iron, I doubt you go back after reading these awesome benefits. And for all you cast iron veterans out there you’re definitely gonna want to use this seasoning guide to get the most of your new heavy-duty cookware. Especially since we will soon be smack dab in the middle of a high volume cooking frenzy with the holidays upon us.
- It’s Non-stick. Seasoned Cast Iron is a toxic-free alternative to non-stick cookware. This is something you want to look out for, because chipped non-stick cookware can be harmful and downright unsightly.
- It lasts FOREVER. If taken care of, some cast iron cookware is passed down like a family heirloom and has been on this earth longer than most of us. Not something you can say about grandma’s lace doily collection.
- They’re Versatile. You can take a cast iron skillet straight from the cook top to the oven, or onto the grill! It even doubles as a handy sandwich press and comes in handy when chasing unwanted pests around the house (cartoon style).
- It’s Sustainable! Don’t worry about broken or melted handles. Cast Iron needs no replacing if you care for it correctly. Pretty much the opposite of your hand-me-down Tupperware collection.
- Cooks evenly. No more uneven cooking. Cast iron heats the whole pan evenly.
- They’re Repairable. A scratched or rusty pan is not the end, you can season your cast iron over and over again to repair wear and tear. It gets knocked down but it gets up again (you ain’t never gonna keep it down).
- Less calories. A well-seasoned cast iron requires less oil when cooking which is an added bonus in the “watching your figure” department. Note: What you choose to put in it might not though.
- Vitamins and Minerals. This cookware will fortify your food with iron which is particularly great since iron deficiency is a worldwide issue especially in women. That’s what we would call a heavy metal supplement.
- Just like Grandmas. Cast iron has been around for centuries. Nonstick cookware wasn’t invented until the late 1930’s and didn’t catch on until the 50’s. We are of the opinion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Step 1: Wash pan with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly
Step 2: Layer pan with salt and oil. Rub with towel to remove impurities
Step 3: Rinse and thoroughly dry pan
Step 4: Using a paper towel, coat entire pan with cooking oil
Step 5: Place upside down in oven and bake at 450 for 1 hour (repeat until seasoned)
Cast Iron cookware requires some extra love but it’s worth it when it comes to food quality. A seasoned cast iron skillet just might be this year’s greatest Holiday hack.