Cast iron has been a sought-after material for cookware for centuries. In fact, the first known use of cast iron cookware dates back to the Han Dynasty in China, approximately 220 A.D.!
The success of cast iron cookware can be attributed to many factors that make it the best option for even today’s most modern kitchens.
The durability, versatility, and almost indestructible nature of cast iron means it can last generations, and you’ll find even the newest cast iron skillets and cookpots are just as high-quality and durable as they were thousands of years ago.
1. It’s versatile
One of the biggest pros of cast iron skillets is that they’re incredibly versatile. A cast-iron skillet can be used for almost any cooking method: frying, braising, grilling, roasting, and even poaching!
With a cast-iron skillet in your cupboard, the sky is the limit when it comes to the number of delicious dishes you can easily prepare and cook at home! No more will you need a separate cookpot for every task; your cast iron skillet can do it all!
2. It can cook on virtually anything
Not only can a cast iron skillet cook almost anything, but it can cook on almost anything, too.
Pop your cast iron skillet on the grill for tasty BBQ burgers, grilled veggies, and more, throw it in the oven, use it as a saucepan… The high-quality cast iron can stand up to pretty much any task you throw at it (or throw it on). You can even use cast iron on a campfire without worrying about hurting the metal (just be careful not to burn your hands!).
Not only can cast iron cook on basically any heat source, but the hefty weight and thick material allow cast iron to retain heat for longer, perfect for slow simmering or even searing steak. Just be sure to pre-heat your skillet before cooking to avoid heat spots, and you’ll be sure to enjoy even, long-lasting heat from the pan.
3. It’s naturally non-stick
One of the greatest aspects of cast iron is the non-stick coating that enables you to do anything from frying eggs to creating tasty sauces without worrying about food residue sticking to the pan forevermore.
This non-stick coating comes from a process known as seasoning, whereby you treat the surface of the pan with fat or oil to create a protective layer that stops food from sticking and helps protect the pan from corrosion, rust, and general wear.
4. It’s free from chemicals
Because cast iron skillets get their non-stick coating from fat and oils, they are free from any nasty chemicals or toxins that could break down into your food at high temperatures.
This gives cast iron a massive benefit over other non-stick cooking options, such as Teflon, which can release chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) into the air. These chemicals can cause numerous health issues, including hormonal, liver, and brain problems, and they’re harmful to the environment.
5. It adds iron
Not only is cast iron free from potentially harmful chemicals, but it can actually fortify your food with extra iron, which is essential for our growth and development. Iron is also a vital ingredient in the blood cells that carry oxygen in our bodies, plus it’s used by the body to create particular hormones.
There have been numerous studies into whether cast iron can add this beneficial mineral to our diets. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association found cooking in cast iron can give you an iron boost of up to 2,000% (applesauce) in 1986!
In these studies, the results did vary depending on the food that was being cooked, the skillet’s age, and the length of cooking time. However, there was still plenty of evidence to show that cast iron skillets can offer an iron boost to your diet.
6. It’s easy to clean
Despite myths to the contrary, cast iron is incredibly quick and easy to clean. This is mainly due to the natural non-stick coating seasoning provides to a cast-iron skillet.
Cast iron can be effortlessly cleaned using warm water and a sponge or stiff brush. If there are stubborn food marks, a little kosher salt can usually remove this, and even rust is easy to treat.
7. It’s affordable
Not only is cast iron an incredibly durable and useful piece of cookware, but it’s also surprisingly affordable for an item that could last generations! In fact, you can frequently pick up a brand new, pre-seasoned cast iron skillet for well under $50… Bargain!
8. It’s basically indestructible
A well-seasoned and cared for cast iron skillet is virtually indestructible. Not only is cast iron basically impossible to damage, but even leaving it to corrode and rust doesn’t mean the end for cast iron cookware!
Not only is it basically impossible to hurt a cast iron skillet, but the cookpot will actually improve with age and continued use… Meaning this is an item that can last forever in your kitchen!