Custom Search

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cooking in cast iron

This morning a 25% coupon showed up in my mail box for...
Lodge Logic cast iron skillets from World Market! (As a World Market Explorer member I receive emailed offers; you can sign up here. I do it for the occasional wine discount.)
I would love to run out and buy a skillet, but I really need* a whole set of cast iron. My only cast iron pot is an enormous dutch oven. In a perfect world I would also have a smaller dutch oven, three high-sided skillets in various sizes (WITH LIDS), and a saucepan.
I have not made these purchases because cast iron is hard to find and expensive, and it's not a need right now. We have a set of pots and pans which has the unique ability to burn everything placed inside, yet takes an hour to boil water thanks to crappy heat dispersion, all while super-heating the handle to the detriment of the chef. Once these pans bite the dust (one handle is partially detached; another pan has developed an odd dark silver crust that scares me), I will start buying cast iron. It's my cookware of choice, and here is why:
- It retains and conducts heat so well that you can use less energy (I turn my stove off a few minutes before food is cooked).
- It cooks evenly and browns perfectly
- It is naturally non-stick
- You shouldn't put it in the dishwasher, but stuck food slides easily off a well-seasoned surface.
- If you end up eating a little pan (we all do at some point), you just got your daily dose of iron - not your daily dose of toxic copper or Teflon.
- It is safe for stove, oven, and fire (and honestly you CAN put it in the dishwasher if you have to).
- It is low-maintenance. Despite complex info on "curing" or "seasoning" your cast iron, most pots will regularly cure themselves, simply from normal use (but do cure a new pan at least once and never cure with oil, always solid fat).
- It looks hard-core and awesome as a serving dish.
- It's resilient and tough. My parents bought cast iron when they got married and I learned to cook with it. It's still in use at their house over 30 years and nine kids after it was purchased!
Are you a cast-iron fan? What are you cooking in these days? And don't say microwaveable tupperware or I'll openly mock you! (J/K)
*strongly desire. And I may have sent a link for some nice pans to the hubby. My birthday is coming up!


  1. okay your hubby should be so happy that you want PANS for your birthday! ;)

    I break out my cast iron (usually only) on camping trips and a one steak recipe I have.

    YAY for you & your 25% off coupon!!

  2. I don't have any cast iron pans but have thought I should get at least one sometime. I know they last forever and lots of people like to cook with them...hope you get your pans!

  3. I'm so checking out that World Market Explorer, wine discounts are fabulous!
    My mom has a few cast iron pots. I think they are well worth it and they are awesome to cook with! It's too bad you can't have another shower for your anniversary after X number of years so you can receive gifts from a registry again, like towels, pots, sheets, etc!
    Here we have flea markets, antique shows and yard sales I wonder if you would be able to find them in any of those venues and maybe save a little $$

  4. I love my cast iron! I have a dutch oven, a big skillet, and a little skillet that my parents gave me- they and my grandparents both had full sets and once my parents combined households with my grandparents to take care of them, I got a lot of nice surplus kitchen stuff. I don't cook in them all that often though b/c they are really heavy and I already have a couple really nice pots (they're the double layer kind- it's hard to burn anything in those things.)
    But don't be too envious, I have the absolute worst knives on the face of the planet.

  5. I'm a stainless steel girl. Cast iron sort of grosses me out, honestly, becasuse it's so porous. I'm a little OCD about my dishes, so a seasoned pan doesn't really do me well.

  6. I have some Emerrill (spelling? - too lazy to google) pans that I bought at bed, bath, and beyond. They are stainless steel and I sort of hate them... But they do the trick. When I bought them, it came w/ a hefty cast iron pan but I actually gave it to my brother becasue I have never used cast iron.... He recently told me I really should take it back as it rocks and would be a great option for me since I don't have a grill but this pan sort of has teh grill marks for the bottom surface if that makes any sense?

    In my dream world, I would have All-Clad pans, but they cost an arm & a leg, and I kind of like having all of my appendages... and I would also like a gas stove instead of my stupid flat top electric one... but oh well. Not about to go out & drop a lot of money on a stove when mine works fine enough...