Literally Everything You Need To Know About Cast Iron Skillets

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What brand is the best cast iron skillet?

If your shopping for the best cast iron pans/skillets try to stick to brands like Lodge and Le Creuset.

That said here are our top 4 picks:

Best Overall: T-Fal Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Skillet
Runner Up, Best Overall: Lodge 10.25-inch Skillet
Best Budget: VonShef Pre-Seasoned 3-Piece Set
Best High-End: Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet

How do I season a brand new cast iron skillet?

Here are a few quick steps on How To Season Your Cast-Iron Skillet from Southernliving.com

  1. Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water.
  2. Dry thoroughly.
  3. Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet.
  4. Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
  5. Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.

Is all cast iron the same?

The folks over at Seriouseats.com were wondering the same thing when they compiled their post about 7 cast iron myths that need to go away.

They explain that Metal is metal, cast iron is cast iron and that all material is the same but it’s the production that has changed.

Metal is metal, cast iron is cast iron, the new stuff is no different than the old Wagner and Griswold pans from the early 20th century that people fetishize. The Reality: The material may be the same, but the production methods have changed.

Are cast iron pans the best?

It really depends on the user but no doubt cast iron pans are great for a few reasons:

  • Cast Iron Is Naturally Nonstick
  • Cast Iron pans can go from the stovetop to the oven
  • Cast iron is also easy to clean

Over at thekitchn.com they explain exactly why the cast iron skillet is the key to better one-pan cooking.

What’s a good cast iron skillet?

As explained by Americastestkitchen.com a good cast iron skillet has a few of the following qualities:

  • The pan will be a low flaring pan with curved sides
  • Measure at least 10 inches across the cooking surface
  • Longer handles
  • Enameled or traditional cast iron

They go on to note that Thicker pans are more sluggish to heat…making it a challenge to brown food evenly.

Their test included 10 cast-iron skillets, six were enameled and four were traditional pans. They scrambled eggs, seared steaks and cooked fish fillets.

In the end, they recommended two pans:

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12″
Le Creuset Signature 11 3/4″ Iron Handle Skillet

Is Cast Iron better?

There are a few reasons a Cast Skillet is the best for One-Pan cooking options.

Here are just a few;

  • It’s easier to clean
  • A well-seasoned skillet will be naturally non-stick.
  • They can go right from your stovetop into the oven

Are cast iron skillets safe?

Cast iron is not harmful or toxic but it can discolor your food.

They are great conductors of heat which make them ideal for cooking foods through.

That said there are some myths out there such as that a skillet doesn’t distribute the heat as evenly as an aluminum pan, but it’s simply not true.

Here is a great article from Foxnews.com discusses a few myths about the cast iron skillet.

How can you tell if a cast iron skillet is good?

If you’re looking to buy a cast iron skillet here are a few things you should look out for before buying.

  • Pick up your pan, feel the weight. Real cast iron pans are heavy.
  • Check the bottom of the pan. Cast iron pans are usually marked with the logos of their manufacturers
  • If you see lots of rust or discoloration the pan has not been cared for.
  • Real cast iron pans have handles that are part of the mold and not screwed on.

How do you maintain cast iron?

To see the detailed instructions check out this article by thekitchn.com

Here are a few of the simple Instructions

  1. Get right to it: Clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still hot or warm.
  2. Add hot water: Wash the skillet by hand using hot water and a sponge or stiff brush.
  3. Scrub off stuck-on bits: To remove stuck-on food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water.

Is enamel cast iron safe?

According to the FDA enamel-coated cookware is safe and non-reactive so you can cook all types of food.

Here is a great article that explains some of the safety and benefits of using enamel coated cast iron cookware.

Is cooking in cast iron good for you?

Even though cooking with a cast iron pan may seem odd there are a few health benefits that can be good for you.

Eatingwell.com lists a few benefits of cooking with cast iron;

1. You Can Use Less Oil
2. It’s a Chemical-Free Alternative to Nonstick Pans
3. It Fortifies Your Food with Iron

Can you cook with butter in a cast iron skillet?

As today.com notes you can cook with butter or olive oil in your cast iron pan just don’t use them during the initial seasoning.

 

Jack Dempsey