Cooks looking for an alternative to non-stick cookware might find themselves in a quandary. Although stainless steel seems to be the healthiest alternative, it still is the most expensive. Plus, it does not extend itself well to cooking with pancakes, eggs, and other dishes needing non-stick cookware.

This is the time to consider the benefits of cast iron cooking. For all of you who have never heard of “cast-iron skillet”, it’s the blackened material that is used for most of the frying pans, cauldrons and even the stove that was used by earlier generations in the U.S. These cast-iron pots and pans are very durable and can last for 100 years or so if taken care of properly.

Here are 10 reasons to buy and use a cast iron skillet:

  • Nonstick

A preheated cast iron skillet is as good as the qualities of a non-stick cookware, as long as it is properly seasoned and cared for. According to one who has been using cast-iron cookware for years, you can season your skillet by wiping it with a thin layer of coconut oil, then baking in a 250-degree oven for about 1 ½ hours. Afterwards, let it cool and wipe it down like any good nonstick pan available in the market.

  • Easy to Clean Up

Cast iron is easy to clean up. Food lifts off the cast iron cookware even without the use of soap (soap tends to erode the seasoning).

  • No Toxic Fumes

Using cast-iron skillets instead of the non-stick types will enable you to avoid cooking with toxic fumes that accompany most non-stick cookware. Cast iron is also a good replacement for aluminum cookware, which also poses health risks.

  • Offers Health Benefits

Using cast-iron cookware can boost your iron intake from all of that iron in the cookware. Iron is great for maintaining energy levels and strengthening the immune system.

  • Food cooks well

Using cast-iron, you can create restaurant-quality, homemade potato pancakes, French toast, homemade fish sticks with golden-brown, crispy breading. This you can’t do with the usual non-stick cookware which makes browning not as great.

  • It wears well

Since cast-iron cookware doesn’t scratch, there is no fear of using your beautiful silverware or plastic utensils to scoop food from your skillet. This material lasts so long that many people consider this cookware as heirlooms – one would usually inherit them from their grandparents and parents.

  • Not Expensive

Just look at the difference between the prices of a highly coveted stainless steel skillet and that of a cast-iron one. A high-end, 12-inch stainless steel skillet can cost over US$100, while a similar-sized cast iron one can cost less than US$30.

  • Mighty Durable

Cast-iron has been used for thousands of years, as far back as the American forefathers landed on US shores. Sometimes old technologies are much healthier to use than the most recent advances now.

  • Usable with Any Kind of Heat Source

In an emergency or an immediate need for cooking utensils, cast-iron cookware can be used with any kind of heat source. This is the survival choice of cookware.

The Negatives of Using Cast Iron

They are pretty heavy – but who cares? And you need to keep them really clean and the skillets seasoned to use them well.

So how about you – do you have any personal experience of using cast-iron cookware? Share in the comments section below!

Image by Artist / CC0 1.0