Have you ever cooked dinner in cast iron pans? If you haven’t, you’re really missing out on an amazing experience. Beyond the fact that cast iron pots and pans are absolutely gorgeous and come in a variety of beautiful colours, they let you cook healthier, cook food more evenly than standard cookware, and enhance the flavour of your favourite dishes in ways you just can’t with your old pots and pans.
Some people may not have tried cast iron cookware because of all of the myths surrounding it. I’ve heard that cast iron isn’t durable and it chips if you don’t treat it lightly, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve had cast iron pans for over 3 years and they all look bright blue and as brand new as the day I brought them home, with no chips or dings to the enamel finish at all. You may also have heard you can’t use metal utensils on cast iron, but that’s a myth too. If you have a bare cast iron pan and you properly season it, you can use metal utensils because the because seasoning protects your pan from scraping and chipping.
Now that I’ve dispelled some myths on cast iron, here are of the many reasons why you’ll want some cast iron pans of your own.
You won’t need to cook with as much oil
If you’ve ever covered your pan in oil before you make an omelette or if you’re about to fry something that you know will stick, you know that adding a splash of oil prevents your food from sticking to your pan. Unless you have a Teflon pan, sticking will always be an issue, but a cast iron pan can be non-stick too if you treat it correctly.
If our mom had non-stick pan, she probably seasoned it to prevent it from sticking. To season, just cover the bottom of your bare cast iron pan with layer of kosher salt and a half-inch of cooking oil. Heat it until the oil starts to smoke and then pour the oil and salt off into a bowl, them take a paper towel and rub the inside of the pan until it’s smooth.
A frying pan like the BergHOFF Neo 12” Cast Iron Fry Pan has a cream enamel interior, so you won’t have to season before you use it, but you can rub it with oil and put it in a low oven to help build up a nice patina that will prevent sticking. Whether you use bare cast iron and season your pan or prefer an enamel interior like the BergHOFF, using cast iron will still require a lot less oil than traditional pans.
Your pans will be chemical-free
Some people aren’t a fan of Teflon non-stick pans because they contain harmful chemicals you’d rather not have in your food. Although the chemicals are only released from a non-stick pan after you’ve used high heat or you’ve scratched the surface, a cast iron pan can be used at high temperatures without the same effect.
That’s why the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enamelled Cast Iron cookware set is the perfect choice for anyone concerned about chemicals leaching from their cookware. You can grill, simmer, or sear on high heat and you’ll get great heat distribution. You can also use it in the oven, on the stove, or as a broiler and it can stand up to the heat.
Up your iron intake
Cookware to help you increase your iron levels? It’s true that bare cast iron pans can leach a certain amount of dietary iron into your food, and that’s good news for anyone who can use a boost of iron on a daily basis.
If you don’t want iron leaching into your food, you can still choose cast iron-just pick up an enamelled cast iron pan like the Staub 3.8L Cast Iron Round Cocotte. It has three layers of enamel on the inside and outside of the pan, and it’s perfect for roasting and simmering your food because it keeps the moisture in.
Cast iron pans last forever
When I brought home my blue cast iron pans and showed my friends, they were practically swooning over how beautiful they are. I can’t say I ever imagined I’d be so giddy about a set of pans, but that’s the reaction you get when you look at the latest cast iron cookware.
Available in blue, red, orange, and even green, cast iron cookware like the Mario Batali 12-inch solid cast iron sauté pan is flat out gorgeous, and the added bonus is that it lasts a lifetime. These are heirloom pieces built to stand the test of time, and I can see me using them for decades.
Whether you’re just married and need a set of pots and pans or you’re upgrading from your old set, getting new cookware requires a significant investment. But when you buy cast iron, that investment will last you a lifetime.
You can go from stove to oven to table
Want to do fewer dishes? Use a cast iron pan like the Staub 2.4L Cast Iron Chistera Braiser. You can brown your meat on the stove, add extra ingredients, and then pop it in the oven. Once it’s finished, you can take it right to the table and it will look and taste great.
Sear your meat and don’t remove it
Meat eaters love the taste of seared beef or chicken, and you can often only get that real seared taste if you use your grill. A cast iron pan like the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Grill Pan will sear your meat to perfection, and it makes a mean grilled cheese too.
You’ll never regret buying cast iron pans, and you can pick and choose from the many cast iron frying pans, casserole dishes, or grill pans and add to your collection as needed. Before you know it, you’ll have a cupboard full of beautiful cookware that’s built to stand the test of time.
Ready to get cooking with cast iron pans? Take a look at all of the great specialty cookware on Bestbuy.ca right now.