When I got married, I received a nice set of Cephalon non-stick pans. And, for the last 7 years, I have been using them almost daily. However, in the last 12 months, they have begun to deteriorate and I started looking for a new set of cookware. I came to the conclusion that I should switch to Cast Iron pans.
*Note: When non-stick pans deteriorate, they begin to peel and leave behind this toxic substance that sticks to your food. Eww!
There are so many options out there: Stainless, copper, ceramic, non-stick and, finally, cast iron. I did a lot of research on each type of cookware, and although they all have their advantages, I chose cast iron. Here are 5 reasons why you should switch to cast iron.
1. Cast Iron Will Last a Lifetime
When seasoned properly and taken care of, cast iron will outlive me. After only 7 years of use, my non-stick pans began to break down. I love that I can use cast iron daily and not have to worry about a time when these pans will wear out and I will once again have to go looking for new cookware. Although some people may enjoy the search and purchase of new cookware, I see it as another errand I have to run. On top of it all, these are sustainable options. Because cast iron will last and last, it’s less likely they will end up in the landfill.
2. Cast Iron is the Ultimate Non-Stick Pan
I didn’t know this, but when seasoned properly, nothing will stick to them! My pans are seasoned frequently (about once a month) and I can cook anything in these things and they don’t stick. Using butter or oil isn’t always necessary, although I do anyway because fat makes everything taste better. Cooking acidic foods, like tomatoes, can be tricky and ware down the seasoning. Whenever I cook with acidic foods, I make sure to re-season my pans shortly after.
3. You Can Put Them in the Oven
Cast iron pans can be used similarly to dutch ovens (hint: they even make dutch oven cast iron pans!). It means I can fry something in the pan, then prepare whatever needs to be baked and throw the whole thing in the oven. I then only need to clean one pan! Serving multiple functions just makes life easier, and who doesn’t want to do that?
4. Everything Cooks Evenly
Alright, when I first started cooking, I didn’t really think about how heat got absorbed by the pan and would change the way the food cooked. It wasn’t until after years of cooking that I researched why one pan was better than another and it all comes down to the way heat spreads across a pan. Cast Iron takes a bit of time to heat up, but once heated, cooks evenly and retains that heat for a while. My meals cook better now than they ever did before. Yay for science!
5. Cast Iron Lasts Forever, That Means Less Consumer Waste
From the moment I chose to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, I have made it a priority to up-cycle, re-use, and choose options that are better for the environment, while being cost effective and healthier. Cast iron lasts FOREVER, that means less waste and I can donate, sell or give them away and they will be good as new! Less waste is better for everyone. The iron from the pan also serves to supplement iron deficiencies in the diet, and the pans are completely non-toxic.
So there you have it, why you should switch to cast iron. If you’re considering the switch, look into how to properly care and season your pans because that makes all the difference.