Are you looking to have a consistent sear on a rib-eye steak? Do you always find yourself in a battle with the food crusted stuck on your pan after cooking as you are trying to do the dishes? If you find yourself replacing cookware every few years or simply want to have a pan that is versatile enough for fried chicken or sunny-side-up eggs in the morning, a cast-iron skillet is what your kitchen is missing.
The History of the Cast Iron Skillet
Some of the oldest cast-iron tools go all the way back to ancient China; however, the concept of cooking with a cast iron was brought up in the 18th century in Europe. The pieces of iron alloy were melted and then poured into sand molds for pots and cauldrons. Cast iron cookware was found in most American kitchens by the 19th and 20th centuries due to their extreme durability and low cost for production.
What Makes Cast Iron So Great
Any kind of cast iron cookware can last for generations if it is correctly cared for. It has a natural nonstick coating if you bake oil into the surface to produce a protective layer of “seasoning.” Some skillets can come “preseasoned,” which means that you can use them right out of the box. The goal is to preserve that oil into the iron so that washing the skillet is a breeze because it requires little to no soap and minimal scrubbing.
The cast iron material is also ideal for heat retention as it makes cooking stews or braised meats simple. For most people, using a cast iron pan or skillet for cooking makes the whole process easier. It can also provide a more flavorful meal since the seasoning on the skillet gets better and better with time.