Why use a cast-iron skillet? They are durable, nonstick, have a long life span, can add iron to your food, are affordable, easy to clean. And you get a great sear on meat. Need I go on? Cast iron skillets have been around for generations and with the correct care, they only get better with age. There are basically two types of Cast iron. Enameled or regular. What’s the difference? Read on to find out!
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Enameled Versus Regular Cast Iron
An enameled cast-iron skillet is just a regular cast iron pan with an enamel coating. Cast iron is coated with enamel, which forms a useful protective coating on the surface of the skillet.
- Ready to use right out of the box
- Comes in many different colors
- Is not prone to rust
- More expensive
- Prefers medium heat
Le Creuset Brand comes in many different colors to match your kitchen, See more here
Regular Cast Iron
Regular cast iron is well, cast iron. It’s classic, affordable, and pretty much the same in style from brand to brand.
- Prone to rust if not cared for properly
- Can use higher heat
- Although it may say pre-seasoned it is a good idea to rub your skillet with vegetable oil before using it.
Lodge is a popular brand of cast iron skillets. See more here:
The Pros Of A Cast Iron Skillet
- Cast iron is tough. …
- Once cast iron is hot, it stays hot. …
- Cast iron is great for keeping food warm since it holds heat for a considerable length of time. …
- Every time you cook in your cast iron skillet you are making them better by seasoning them.
- Can use on the Stovetop or in the oven
- Gets better with age
- long life span
- Can actually add iron to your food
The Cons Of A Cast Iron Skillet
- The handle gets hot
- Cast iron is heavier than other cookware
- Bare cast iron is not the best for boiling water and cooking acidic foods
- Bare cast iron may need re-seasoning
- Cast iron takes longer to heat up
- it’s stronger than kitchen tiles and toes. So don’t drop it
- Don’t use a dishwasher. The dishwasher can remove the protective layer of seasoning and cause cast iron to rust.
- Don’t let the cast iron sit with water in it. Again that dreaded word Rust.
- When cooking with acidic foods such as tomatoes, an enameled cast-iron skillet would be a better option
Stargazer Cast Iron has a cast iron skillet that is lighter with a smoother cooking surface. It has many positives reviews. Check it out here.
How To Clean and Care For Your Cast Iron Skillet
To properly care for your cast iron skillet follow the steps below after every use.
- Rinse with warm water and use a brush or scraper to remove stuck-on bits. …
- For really stuck-on food, scrub with salt and oil, rinse and wipe clean. …
- Dry the pan and coat with a thin layer of oil. …
- Store until ready to use.
How To Season Your Cast Iron Skillet
- Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water.
- Dry thoroughly.
- Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
- Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
- Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven
It’s also a great idea to season your cast iron in the oven a few times a year.
So Why Use A Cast Iron Skillet?
Cast-iron is a metal that distributes heat beautifully. That means that when the pan gets hot, it spreads the heat evenly throughout the metal, therefore more even cooking and fewer hot spots. Make sure the burner fits the skillet.
If the burner is too small then you will not get even cooking. The middle will be hot while the edges stay cooler.
They are extremely talented when it comes to retaining heat which is wonderful for keeping food warm while you are finishing up the rest of your dinner.
They are great at searing meat.
Every time you cook in your cast iron skillet, you are making them better by seasoning them.
The only way I cook a steak is in a cast-iron skillet. I can get the sear I want. A cast-iron skillet also makes excellent fried chicken and gravy. Yummy! Oh and don’t forget those fried potatoes with onion.
They may seem to be more trouble than they are worth regarding the care and seasoning but it really becomes a habit after a few times and in my opinion so worth it.
I have heard not to use soap when cleaning your skillet. But after much research on the subject, I have found that the majority recommend using a little soap. And I use a little myself.
They only get better with age. If you are given a cast-iron skillet that is rusty. DON’T THROW IT AWAY!
Scrub it with a little soap, hot water, and a brillo pad to remove the rust. Then season it. It may take a few times but you can bring it back to tip-top shape.
If you have never cooked in a cast-iron skillet I urge you to give it a try. There is a learning curve but isn’t that true with anything we try new? Try something simple first. You might find that you prefer frying or cooking with cast iron. You will never know until you try:)
I have an enameled cast iron dutch oven. Boy, that thing is heavy. But It is the way I make my chuck roast in the oven. On a low temperature and cooked for hours. Add some onion and potatoes and there is your whole meal. And the meat is so tender.
Go ahead give cast-iron a go. And if you do cook with cast-iron then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts on this amazing cookware. And as always
Have A Wonderful Day!