Cast iron is, in my opinion and that of many others, one of the best options for cookware. Cast iron ware is heavy and heat is evenly held and distributed which makes it ideal for everything from frying to searing to baking.
Food prepared in cast iron tastes better :) That's what I think and my family concurs. Cast iron also adds iron to foods, which is very beneficial in a time when many people--especially ladies-- are anemic or border-line anemic.
If seasoned correctly cast iron becomes non-stick, therefore replacing Teflon, which is wonderful if you are concerned health-wise about different types of cookware. I try to use only stainless steel and cast iron cookware, and avoid aluminum if possible.
Cast iron is easy to find new in stores, but if you don't want to pay full price they are easily found at resale and antique shops and yard sales. New skillets and pans usually aren't the signature black color--they are grey and will turn black when seasoned and used a few times. I would recommend re-seasoning second-hand skillets bought at yard sales and resale shops, not just washing them.
Below are some things my mom has taught me about cast iron. I hope you find them helpful. Enjoy!
Care of Cast Iron:
- Never, ever use a steel or rough scratcher on a seasoned skillet. It will remove the "season" an the skillet will no longer be non-stick and may cause it to rust. Treat it like you a non-stick skillet.
- Never, ever put cast iron in the dishwasher. This will make it rust and it will be need to be re-seasoned.
- Wash with mild soapy water and dry thoroughly. Wipe down inside of cookware lightly with oil and it's ready to use again.
- Wash with mild soapy water and dry thoroughly.
- Coat entire surface with oil (I use vegetable oil), including outside and handles.
- Place in a 250 degrees F oven for 2 hours. Let cool slightly and remove from oven. Wipe down with paper towels.
- Wash with mild soapy water and it's ready to use.