7 reasons you should cook with a cast iron skillet

cast iron

I have had a cast iron skillet in my kitchen since my wedding many moons ago, since someone had gifted us this really nice one. I used it here and there at first, but it was so heavy, it usually just sat in the back of the cupboard as I opted for other pans that I knew how to use.

Then all these years later, I went in for my daughter’s annual physical exam and the doctor asked me about her diet. She’s basically vegetarian except for the occasional rare chicken she’ll try but we live in a no-beef home. So the doctor listed some great foods we should be having for iron and certain vitamins and then casually said, “Just cook in a cast iron skillet.”

I loved learning that tip, and when I got home, I dusted off that good ol’ skillet and have really been using it…and loving it.

Here are 7 reasons why you should cook your family’s dinner tonight on a cast iron skillet:

Get in your iron. Yup, this is what our pediatrician said. Because it is made of iron, you can get in some iron into your food when cooking on it!

It’s sturdy. With kids in tow and a gazillion things to do, who has time to keep replacing cookware? This thing will last you, heck it will last past your grandkids it’s so sturdy.

You can take it camping. Literally. It can really endure heat so no worries on putting on an open campfire let alone home cookin’ on the stove or in the oven.

It is nonstick without the nasty stuff. Cast iron skillets are nonstick if you season them correctly. Season your skillet by wiping it down with a thin layer of oil and then baking it in a 250 degree oven for about 90 minutes. Let it cool and wipe it down and this will be good to go as your nonstick pan…without the worry of using teflon and PFOA pans that are bad for your health and can cause cancer.

It’s awesome for french toast. And other stuff. It is so versatile! The other day, I made falafel patties on it. Fried eggs, grilled cheese, brussel sprouts…this thing is awesome.

One less dish to soap. Apparently, once your skillet is seasoned, it actually hurts it to wash it with soap. The soap will break up the tiny oil molecules that are embedded on the pan and make it not-so-nonstick. It’s also possible that the next thing you cook it will have a slightly soapy taste to it!  I made this mistake plenty and washed with soap, but then learned what to really do! You can still use hot water to sanitize it, but to scrub it if needed, use salt instead of soap!

Distributes heat. It really works well. I have a stainless steel pan that I love, but am constantly figuring out where the heat will be in it. Not in my cast iron pan! It works great for heat distribution so food is cooked evenly.

What’s your favorite cast iron skillet recipe? Would love to hear it in the comments below!

-Puja

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