I love using my cast iron for cooking. Some day I hope to have as much cast iron as in the picture above, but for now, I will enjoy the four pans I have. The benefits of using a cast iron pan are numerous, but today, I want to share with you ten things I like about cooking in cast iron. There are probably many more reasons someone else might have.
If you know some other benefits, I hope you will share them in the comment section below. But only after reading the ten things I like. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to repeat anything I have said lol.
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Cast Iron is Durable
Cast iron is tough; it’s strong; it’s durable. Cast iron is really hard to ruin or destroy. Even if you have an unusable pan, it can be restored without too much effort.
Even after years of use, cast iron doesn’t wear out. In fact, I’ve heard it just gets better.
Cast Iron Stays Hot
After you have finished cooking your meal, your food will stay hot longer in your cast iron than if you use another type of pan. This is a really nice benefit.
It is best to preheat the pan when using it on the stove because once it is hot, it will retain its heat. I usually preheat my pan for 3-5 minutes before I add any food for cooking. If it is going in the oven, then I don’t worry about it being heated beforehand.
Cast Iron Cooks More Evenly
As long as you have preheated your pan, it will stay hot all over. And because it is hot everywhere, your food will cook more evenly. It’s not perfect with all foods, but in general, I would say it cooks your food the same no matter where it is placed in the pan. In my opinion, it does a better job than many other pans.
We cook bacon in our pan almost every morning. We love how the bacon cooks the whole piece about the same. Except when the piece is really thin, then the middle cooks too fast for the ends to keep up, but most pieces aren’t that thin, and therefore it’s not really a problem.
Cast Iron Gets Better the More You Cook In It
I really like this about cast iron. Most cookware wears out after a while and needs to be replaced but not so with cast iron. As long as you season your pan in between uses, the oil will bake into the pan as your food is cooking, creating a nonstick surface. It’s also important to follow the three steps for cleaning your pan (wash, dry, oil).
That is why people who understand some things about cast iron will go to garage sales, flea markets, or antique shops looking for old cast iron pans and skillets to buy.
Cast Iron Adds Iron to Your Food
Sure, it’s a small amount of iron, but even a small amount is a benefit. No one should consider the iron to be significant enough to replace taking an iron supplement if they are low in iron, but every bit helps.
For sure, follow your doctor’s advice if they say you need more iron. Don’t say, “Doctor, I cook in cast iron, so I don’t believe I could be low in iron.” No, of course, you wouldn’t say that. If your doctor says you are low in iron, you will need more than what you can get from cooking your food in a cast iron pan.
Cast Iron is Nonstick
As long as you season your pan in between uses, it will be nonstick for a long time. Sometimes, though, you might cook something that requires more work to get it clean, and in the cleaning, too much of the seasoning is taken off. Then you might have to season it in the oven.
With time and many uses, your pan will build up its nonstick properties as the oil or seasoning bakes into the pan. It’s as simple as that.
Cast Iron Makes Your Food Taste Better
Of course, this is my opinion, but really, I think there lots of people who agree. Because you have preheated the pan and because the pan is so good at retaining its heat, the food cooks crispier on the outside but stays tender on the inside.
When our son-in-law made steaks for my husband and me in a cast iron pan, it was seared to perfection and so tender and juicy on the inside. It was maybe the best steak I had ever had. I’m not much of a steak eater, but the one he made me was good. My husband loves steak, and he was equally happy with the one made in cast iron. I have yet to try making one myself. I would rather ask my son-in-law to do it since he does it so well lol.
I’ve just started making desserts in my cast iron pan. I really like the chocolate chip skillet cookie with its crispy outside and gooey inside. Of course, it needs some ice cream to go with it, and some hot fudge, maybe some whipped cream to make it complete. Yum!
Cast Iron Is Great For Passing Down
I only know this to be true from talking to other people and from what I have read. I didn’t grow up with cast iron, and my mom didn’t have any to pass down to me. Maybe I wouldn’t have wanted it when I was younger; when I didn’t know much of its benefits.
Today, I would have loved having some passed down to me. That’s why I call it a benefit that I like. Plus, I will have cast iron to pass down to my children if they want any. I hope they do.
Cast Iron is Versatile
Its versatility is one of the greatest benefits of cast iron. You can use it for frying on the stovetop or for baking in the oven. One of our favorite simple meals we have made in the oven is Baked Beans and Sausage. It’s a one-pan meal, or you can add a salad to go with it.
I have also made an easy chicken potpie with refrigerated biscuits in place of the crust in the oven. Using your cast iron pans in the oven and on the stovetop makes cooking with cast iron so enjoyable, especially if you like the way the food tastes.
I have already told you we make our breakfast on the stovetop. I make a few other things on the stove as well, but I more often cook in the oven.
Cast Iron Helps Me Identify With History
I enjoy history much more now that I am older. When I was in school, I didn’t care about history at all. I remember in college, going to Hawaii with a group from my school. One day while in Hawaii, we had the choice of visiting Pearl Harbor or going to the beach. Guess what I chose? Yep! I decided to go to the beach because Pearl Harbor didn’t interest me at all. But as I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate history so much more, including the way others cooked in the past.
In the 1800s, almost everyone had a cast iron pan that they cooked with. Some of those pans have been passed down and are still in use today. I find that quite interesting. When I cook with my cast iron pans, I feel somehow connected to the past. Does that make sense?
It is nice that technology has made many improvements to cast iron cookware. Today, you can buy pre-seasoned pans or enameled cast iron, all of which are good. We have the best of both worlds, so to speak.
I have shared with you ten things I like about cooking with cast iron. I find the benefits of using a cast iron pan are greater than cooking with other types of cookware. I hope you have enjoyed reading about why I like cooking with cast iron and what I think makes it so wonderful.
As I said earlier, if you know any other benefits or have questions about what I wrote, I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment in the comment section below.