When we were married more than six years ago, we were gifted with a sturdy cast iron skillet. For years, I was so intimidated by the thing. It was so heavy. And I was pretty sure it required special care and washing. And what was I supposed to cook in it, anyway?
But a few years ago I decided to take the dusty pan out of storage and give it a fair chance. Turns out, using a cast iron skillet could not be easier or more delightful. Here’s why I love mine:
1. It is naturally non-stick. No need for spooky Teflon coatings. We always properly pre-heat the skillet before dropping food in, and we never have sticky messes to deal with after we’re done cooking.
2. It is easy to clean. Soap shouldn’t be used on cast iron, so before I got started with it I was worried about keeping it clean. To clean it, just scrub it under water with a wash cloth – add some coarse salt if you need a little help. I am always careful to completely dry the skillet with a towel to prevent rust.
I also should confess: we don’t clean it after every use. Cast irons love oil, so if we make a batch of bacon I’ll leave some of the grease behind for grilled cheeses or eggs or whatever recipe is coming up in the next day or two.
3. Food tastes better cooked in cast iron. Seriously! Pancakes develop deliciously crispy edges. Grilled cheese is divine! My husband’s steaks coop up perfectly when done in our cast iron skillet (even better than the grill). It is our go-to pan for almost every recipe. Every day.
4. Cast iron skillets are inexpensive and will last forever. I plan on passing ours down to my great grandchildren.
5. Cooking with a cast iron skillet will add iron to your food. Its a natural vitamin boost!
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