The Indestructible Cast Iron Skillet
Many people have the memory of their grandparents cooking in a large black cast iron skillet. Heaving it up onto the old stove, they’d heat the pan up and serve a large breakfast of bacon and eggs, toast on the side. The fond memories stick with us and will never disappear. The funny thing is neither will the cast iron skillet. The fact is they are virtually indestructible and will hold up under the worst imaginable attempts of destruction. The cast iron skillet is one that will be around forever.
When choosing cookware for a home, many people go out and purchase expensive sets of “fancy” cookware. However, if you’re looking for something that will last forever and hold up under heavy use, the cast iron skillet is a necessity. The cost of them is low in comparison to other low and high quality cookware. Purchased at a yard sale or thrift shop, you may only pay a few dollars for one.
While the newer and fancier cookware might be better to look at, they will not hold up under the heavy use and can get damage easily. If you have a non-stick pan and use the wrong utensil when cooking, you can seriously scratch the surface enough that you will not be able to use the pan again. If you stack your cookware inside one another, you can also scratch the surface. This will never happen with a cast iron skillet. You can use any utensil you want while cooking, throw the pan into the cupboard, or even let it sit outside for a year and it will not be ruined. The fancier cookware might look prettier, but the cast iron is the one that will last forever.
If you find that your cast iron skillet was left on the counter overnight with water in it, you’re going to find it filled with a bunch of rust. However, don’t throw the pan out! All you need is a piece of steel wool and some elbow power. Scrub the rust off and you are ready to have the pan seasoned. Seasoning the pan is a simple process of baking oil into the pores of the metal. When you have one that is well seasoned, you’ll find it is non-stick and will look quite nice all shiny and black.
The one thing you must be careful of with your cast iron skillet, however, is not to treat it like the other cookware you might have. The important thing to maintain your seasoned skillet is to not put this is dishwater. The best way to clean it is to fill it with water and boil. Use a brush to scrub out any stuck on mess or use a very small amount of dish soap. It is always best to clean it when it is warm and after drying it off with a paper towel, place it on a hot burner to make sure it is dry. Then, it’s simply a matter of putting a little oil on it and placing it in the oven for a few moments. Wipe off an excess oil and your cast iron skillet is ready to go.