Sunday, October 24, 2010
Loving My Cast Iron
As a wedding gift, my husband and I received a really nice set of Belgique cookware. This set included stainless steel pots, nonstick pans and the corresponding lids. I was thrilled to own such a nice set of cookware. What a blessing!
Over the years I used these pots and pans constantly. Slowly, the nonstick coating on my pans started to deteriorate. Eventually, it began to flake off. The thought of feeding Teflon flakes along with dinner, or should I say in dinner, rather disgusted me. In response I tossed the pans and replaced them with new nonstick pans.
After repeating this process a few times, I became rather frustrated. Would this define my cooking life? Would I always purchase nice nonstick pans only to replace them in a couple of years? It just didn't seem right that my pots continued to last while my pans appeared to be a disposable item.
So my search began. Could I find pans that would be a one time investment? Stainless steel pans last, but they are not nonstick at all. Finally, my search ended with cast iron pans.
My cast iron adventures started at Costco with the purchase of a set of 2 Lodge cast iron skillets. Through trial and error I learned many things about cast iron pans. I realized that liquid cannot sit in them. (They rust.) I realized that they need to be cleaned relatively soon after a meal. (Again, they rust.) I realized that rust is removable and the pans can be reseasoned. (Thank you, my husband.) I realized that the pans do not start out very non-stick. (They need to be used and seasoned.) And I realized that the pans improve with age and use.
Today, my collection has expanded to the set pictured above. My pans are not rusty (um, other than some small spots on the bottoms of a couple of pans), but well used and seasoned. These pans can perfectly cook in a nonstick sort of way hash browns, eggs, vegetables, and meat. These pans are not nonstick, they are even better. They will continue to stand the test of time and be a valuable investment.