People have told me they won’t cook in cast iron because it’s too heavy. They are right that cast iron weighs more than other types of cookware, but is that a good enough reason to not consider it?
Don’t get me wrong. No one has to cook in cast iron or even try if they don’t want to. However, you might change your mind if you understand why others prefer it despite its heaviness.
So, let’s look at my top three reasons and some other benefits that might appeal to you.
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3 Reasons to Use Cast Iron Even Though It’s Heavy
My top three reasons are what makes me passionate about cooking in cast iron. First, the food tastes better. There are some foods I always make in cast iron for that reason alone. Second, I don’t love cooking, and cast iron makes it more interesting. Third, cooking with cast iron reminds me of what it was like in the past, and I like that. Additionally, other benefits make cast iron worth it even though it’s heavy.
1. The Food Tastes Better
My number one reason for cooking in cast iron is I like the way the food tastes. That being said, I don’t cook everything in cast iron. Some things don’t improve the taste enough to make it worth the cleanup.
I don’t mind the everyday cleanup, but when the food sticks or doesn’t add to the flavor, I’m like most people and take the easy way out. For example, spaghetti is a meal I don’t cook in cast iron.
Bacon and eggs are what I cook most often in cast iron. But I have other favorites too, such as meats (especially steak), fried rice, cornbread, skillet meals, fried potatoes, roasted veggies, pizza, mac and cheese, and baked desserts.
I was first introduced to cast iron when our son-in-law cooked steaks for me and my husband. As he cooked, he explained why he liked it better for steaks. And we both agreed that the way he made them was as good as any restaurant.
Since that day, I have been interested in cast iron and found many foods that taste better in it.
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2. It Makes Cooking More Interesting
As I said, I don’t love cooking. I have never wanted to try lots of new recipes. I mainly used my mom’s recipes or cooked simple meals for years.
But once I discovered cast iron, cooking got a little more interesting.
Cast iron skillet meals are often simple and have allowed me to expand beyond what I always made. I can’t really explain why, but I found cooking more fun. I even enjoyed trying new recipes for a while.
Now, I try fewer new recipes but still find cooking more interesting than I did before.
And I attribute it to cast iron.
3. The Heaviness is Part of Its Charm
When I first read that a benefit of cast iron is that it connects you to the past, I agreed. I hadn’t thought of it before but realized it was true and one of the reasons I now enjoyed cooking more.
As I read and researched its history, I was fascinated. I knew nothing about cast iron since I didn’t grow up with it, nor did I know anyone who used it.
However, we did own a cast iron kettle that sat on our cast iron wood stove. But the kettle was used as a humidifier when we burned wood in the stove. That cast iron was used for cooking did not enter my mind.
After our son-in-law made us steaks, I decided to buy my own cast iron skillet. I got one at the hardware store where I worked. The store sold them in the camping section; I didn’t realize other choices existed. I used it for about three months before learning about Lodge, the oldest and largest American cast iron manufacturer. After that, I started buying Lodge.
Though Lodge has changed with the times to stay efficient and keep costs down, it has a rich history. Because of the changes, cast iron became even heavier. However, it’s always weighed more than other types of cookware.
You can still find lighter-weight cast iron today, but you will pay more. Or you might find a vintage pan at a flea market or garage sale.
Since cast iron cookware has been around for so long, using it can make you feel connected with the past. And, like me, you might agree that its heaviness is just part of its charm.
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4. Other Benefits
If you’re not convinced by any of my three reasons, here are a few other benefits of cast iron:
- Gets better with age
- Good for passing down
- Food will cook evenly if properly preheated
- With a bit of oil, the pan will be nonstick
- Goes from stovetop to oven
- Food stays hot longer
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As you can see, cast iron has many benefits. So, even if my top three reasons don’t appeal to you, one of the other ones might.
But to recap my reasons, cast iron makes food taste better and cooking more interesting. Additionally, its heaviness is part of its charm because it connects you to the past.
Cast iron is also durable, fantastic for passing down, and it keeps your food hot for longer, to name a few other benefits.
If you have been on the fence about cooking in cast iron and have hesitated because it’s heavy, hopefully, you now realize it has many good reasons to consider it.
Truthfully, the heaviness is a non-factor after getting used to it.