Cast Iron

For several years early in my marriage, I was in love with my Teflon coated cookware. I loved that cleanup was so quick and easy. I loved that cooking was simple and I didn’t have to use excessive oil when greasing pans or sauteing things.

But a few years after I was married, my pots and pans began to show wear. The black Teflon coating became chipped and scratched, despite my careful cleaning and cooking. I discarded these worn out pieces and bought new ones.

A few years later, they too became worn.

So, I purchased a more expensive brand, hoping that investing more money in the cookware would keep me from having to replace them as quickly.

The cycle repeated itself. After about 5 years, I was frustrated. I hated having to buy new pans every few years, and the idea of a weird chemical flaking off into the food of my family members was beginning to get to me.

In desperation, I dug from the back of my cupboard a pan that had belonged to my Grandmother. This heavy cast iron pan was at least 50 year old. It was small, only about 8 inches across. But I began using it regularly. The cooking surface was as smooth as glass. Scrambled eggs slid out of the pan easily and cleanup was a snap.

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I began researching cast iron, and I really liked what I read. Cast iron is coming back in vogue. Apparently, like me, many other home chefs have had it with having to replace cookware regularly, and many people are nervous about using chemical coated metal pans. So they’re going back to the cookware of their grandma’s generation.

Cast iron pans are heavy and evenly transfer heat from the stovetop to the food, reducing hot spots in the cookware. The porous iron absorbs cooking fats and create a smooth, naturally non-stick surface that is easy to clean.

I use my Grandmother’s cast iron skillet every morning for eggs. Over the years, I’ve added several larger skillets, a dutch oven, and even a cast iron pie pan to my cast iron collection. The coolest part is that these pans will probably out live me, if I and my descendants take care of them. I love stuff that is that durable and well-made. I bake biscuits and cornbread in these pans, something that adds a delectable crust to my baked goods. I also love them for frying fish or chicken in.

If you’re fed up with having to replace your flimsy cookware every few years, begin investing in a set of cast iron pieces. I’m pretty sure you will love yours as much as I love mine.

 

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