Cast iron pans are primitive, rugged, and inexpensive, but that doesn’t stop them from providing a superior cooking surface nor from being a chef favorite. Heavy iron is a wonderful heat conductor. In fact, it can easily withstand temperatures of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Some can even withstand oven temperatures of 600 degrees or more. Moreover, it can be used on a traditional oven-top burner, directly in an oven, on the grill, and even be placed in a direct flame. Furthermore, it can be used to execute almost any cooking technique. Check out this easy sweet potato hash recipe which is delicious in a skillet. From a fry to a broil, there are few jobs a cast iron skillet can’t handle.
Some people stray from purchasing cast iron because they don’t want to be bothered with the seasoning process nor be bogged down with specific cleaning requirements. However, many of today’s pans come conveniently pre-seasoned. What’s more, a seasoned cast iron skillet it virtually nonstick and will easily release food with little to no residue left behind.
Cleaning a cast iron skillet is simple too. While most manufacturers recommend you avoid soap, a quick soak and scrub will spruce up your pan for your next cooking adventure. Should you accidentally remove some of the oily protective layer, you can easily re-season your pan at any time.
There is a long list of reasons to purchase a cast iron skillet. Most notably, cast iron skillets seem to improve with age. Unlike easy-to-clean Teflon frying pans, cast iron will never degenerate with repeated use. In fact, it is not uncommon to see decades old pans still getting regular use.