With all its special usage instructions and required care, cast iron cookware might seem intimidating to the novice chef. But honestly, cast iron cookware maintenance isn’t as difficult as it seems — and it’s worth the trouble to reap the myriad benefits cast iron cookware brings. Not sure what those benefits are? Here are just a few:
Reason 1: It lasts forever
Have you ever heard of a family heirloom stainless steel or Teflon frying pan that’s been passed down from generation to generation? Probably not. (Yes, we realize Teflon cookware wasn’t invented ’til the ’60s, but you get the point we’re trying to make, right?)
Properly cared for cast iron cookware will last your entire life. Your great-grandchildren will fight over who gets to inherit it. Their great-grandchildren will discover it in an old storage unit and use it as a percussion instrument in their painfully hip indie band, and it’ll hold up to that abuse just fine because cast iron cookware is durable as heck.
The benefit to you, of course, is that although you might spend a little more buying a set of cast iron cookware in the outset, if you maintain it properly, you’ll never have to buy cookware again. Good deal!
Reason 2: It’s multifunctional
Did we mention cast iron cookware is durable as heck? That also applies to its ability to withstand heat. You can take a cast iron skillet off the stove and put it right in a hot oven. You can bring it camping and use it on the campfire. This thing is made of solid iron — it can basically hold up to anything you throw at it.
Reason 3: It’s easy to clean
Okay, it’s true that you can’t throw your cast iron cookware into the dishwasher and forget about it. But, if your cast iron cookware is properly seasoned, food will pretty much slide right off. Immediately after you’ve taken your food out of the pan, run warm water over it and rub it with a sponge or brush. Then, dry it thoroughly (you can pop it back on the stove on low heat for a few minutes to make sure it’s super dry), spray a tiny bit of cooking oil on it, rub the oil around with a paper towel, and you’re good to go.
Reason 4: It’s non-stick
Cast iron can be just as non-stick as Teflon cookware, with a little care. Seasoning your cast iron cookware (rubbing oil on it and baking it in the oven for a few hours) will create the perfect non-stick surface.