Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 Reasons I'm a Cast-Iron Girl

I'm pretty low key in the kitchen - no high tech gadgets, no fancy schmancy anything - just old school pots and pans and bowls and spoons.   So when Kate at Centsational Girl suggested having a kitchen gadget party I couldn't think of any I use.  But as I thought about the things I do use every day in our kitchen, I realized that our cast-iron frying pans and dutch oven are some of my favourites.  So although gadgets are small mechanical tools and cast-iron pans are a little outside of the gadget category, I thought I would share ten reasons I love using them.

Just looking at my cast-iron frying pan sitting there makes me want to start frying something.  We have two frying pans that are slightly different sizes and a dutch oven which has a lid that also fits on one of the frying pans and is so handy.  I use these babies daily.  So here are the ten reasons I love my cast iron pans:

1.  They were free - well mine were anyway as they were given to me by my Mother.  My Mother used them when I was young, but as my brothers and sisters and I left home my parents didn't need such big pans anymore.  My Mother also found them heavy to lift - which is a great segue to reason #2.

2.  You get a great arm workout lifting these pots and pans around.  Seriously, they are heavy so I store mine nested in each other on the back burner of our stove so I don't have to lift them from a cupboard.  That is about the only negative as far as I am concerned, but see how I spun it to be a positive.

3.  They take a lot of rough treatment - you can cut food in them (and I do regularly cut meat as it is thawing/cooking), you can use metal tools while you are cooking, and you can scour them with anything if something burns on them (which it rarely does because of the seasoning).

4.  You can make them look all purty and new again just by rubbing a drop of cooking oil around in them.  I don't actually do this too often as I find cooking in them keeps them seasoned enough.

6.  They heat evenly and keep the heat well.

7.  They add trace amounts of iron to your diet just by cooking in them.

8.  They can be used on the stove top for cooking and in the oven for baking or broiling.

9.  You wash them just by rinsing them in hot water - no detergent - and then dry them on the stovetop by turning the burner on for a minute or so.  Which leads me to #10.

10.  They are fun.   True fact:  Every night after supper when the kids were little, I would call out "Gather round, the pot is drying" and all the kids would come running to watch the fun.   I know - we are pretty simple folks and really should get out more.  For your viewing pleasure I took pictures of our frying pan drying.  I wish I had the time to figure out how to make it into a slide show, but you will just have to move your eyes quickly across the rows to get the effect (think of is as a silent film).

And to see some of my favourite soups that I make using our cast-iron dutch oven have a look here, herehere, and here.  Anyone else use cast-iron pots and pans?
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Linked to Favourite Kitchen Gadgets at Centsational Girl


  1. I love cast iron too, but I had to put our frying pan away because it is not recommended for use on a ceramic top stove. :( I keep the pan on the top of our kitchen cabinets for display purposes and we take it camping with us every summer and it's gets used for every meal! I think a cast iron frying pan was certainly a kitchen 'must have' item for many, many years! Great post Grace!

  2. I do use the cast iron with enamel coating inside but after reading your post I might give a try to use the real cast iron pans. I love your pans they are truly beautiful. You are so lucky to have them from your mom.

  3. You just can't beat an old cast iron frying pan. I watched my grandmother use one, my aunts use one, my parents use them and I have one too. I learned about "seasoning" pans when I was little. I thought it was just a southern thing but glad to see you sharing all about it too. The cast iron pans for corn bread are great too!

  4. I love cast iron, and we were just looking at a cast iron dutch oven that has a skillet lid. We are in the market for another skillet, and we like the idea of the dutch oven, too.

    We are on the same wavelength, my friend! I just showed this post to Trip, and he laughed and asked if I had asked you about iron skillets.

    Have a great evening!


  5. favorite steak (room temperture) is seared on stove- top both sides and finish in preheated 425* oven in dutch oven with pat of butter.

  6. Here's another cast iron girl! My mother had cast iron skillets when we were little, and I bought my first ones with wedding present money 30+ years ago. I have since picked up a piece or two to round out the collection, and I won't cook on anything else. A well-seasoned cast iron pan will beat a chemican non-stick pan every day! We dry ours the same way ... there's always enough residual heat on the burner to do the job. I have a roll-out drawer in one of the lower cupboards in this new kitchen for pots and pans ... less lifting and bending that way.

  7. I love my cast iron frying pan. I've always wanted a big dutch oven, but not so far.

  8. I have my grandma's cast iron skillets and dutch oven and use them all the time. You're right, they are heavy. I keep mine on a middle shelf in my pantry so they're not that hard to pull out. I recently bought a 15" skillet that I get my husband to wash because it is way too heavy for me.

  9. I have a set of cast iron pans that I've had for about 25 years. Small, medium and large! I have used them faithfully just as my mother and grandmother used theirs. I cannot imagine my kitchen without them.

  10. What a great post! I love that you reminded us that simple, tried-and-true things can be as effective and useful as high-end, expensive gadgets. I have the same trio and use them constantly--and mine were free from my in-laws! I've been wanting to invest in a skillet without sides for pancakes and burgers.