Top 5 Reasons Your Family Should Be Cooking With Cast Iron. Cast iron cooking is a long long skill, but it’s made a roaring comeback and for good reason. Our family has been using cast iron for the last few years and I can’t imagine us not using it at this point. Here’s why you should start cooking with cast iron – and some tips to help you get started. Top 5 Reasons Your Family Should Be Cooking With Cast Iron
How in the world can a pan be healthier you ask? Iron from the pan can leach into your food, this isn’t a bad thing– it can actually be good for you if you are deficient in iron and a lot of people are. Take a look here. Cooking with cast is a safe way of supplying some additional iron to your diet.
If you have a well-seasoned cast iron pan, you will not need nearly as much oil to cook with as you normally may be used to. This helps keep costs down as well as your waist line 🙂 Even when you’re frying food, you can get by with a small amount because the cast iron pan will naturally release a little oil from when it was seasoned.
IT GETS BETTER EVERY TIME YOU COOK
The longer you cook with your pan, the better it gets. Over time, the pan will develop a natural seasoning, which in turn helps prevent sticking.
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HOW TO SEASON YOUR PAN
What does seasoning actually mean? Most cast iron pans come pre-seasoned now, but I urge you to go ahead and do this process anyhow. You’ll have better results. I love Lodge Cast Iron’s explanation: “Seasoning is just oil baked onto cast iron through a process called polymerization. It gives your cookware that classic black patina. Seasoning forms a natural, easy-release cooking surface and helps prevent your pan from rusting. It may take a little extra care, but a well-seasoned cast iron pan will last for generations.” Source here.
I bought one of our cast iron pans new and the other from a yard sale, so I’ve taken one to the brink of death and brought it back to life. It was in terrible rusty shape, but with a little elbow grease, it’s my favorite one to use.
If your pan is new, then you don’t need to wash hard. Just use some water and completely dry your cast iron skillet with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. You can place it on the stovetop on low heat for a few minutes to make sure it’s completely dry. This is important. You don’t want standing water on your pan.
Once completely dry, place a small amount of any oil of your choosing to the pan. You can use a lint free cloth dedicated to your pan or use a few paper towels. You’re looking for a thin layer here, not dripping. Cover bottom, top, and all sides.
Place a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of your oven rack to catch any access oil that may drip. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, place the cast iron pan upside down onto your oven rack in the center. Bake for 1 hour.
Turn oven off after the hour and let your oven and pan cool completely before removing it. This allows the seasoning to further establish.
Not in the market to find one at a yard sale? Here are some of my favorite cast iron pans.