Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: Cast-Iron Skillet

A cast-iron skillet is something I have wanted for a REALLY long time. I keep eyeing them every time I get the opportunity -- lifting them up, feeling their heft and dreaming about beautifully seared meats and crusty biscuits and peach cobbler and... and.. and.. and... beautifully roasted chicken!!!

On Monday, I was ridiculously jet-lagged but needed to get out of the house for an hour or so. So I did something very dangerous: I went to Williams-Sonoma where I drooled over the cast-iron pans on display there. I was able to hold off buying one. (Whew!) But then I kept thinking about it when I got home. And I got on Amazon. I ordered the new Hunger Games book -- and because you need to spend over $25 to get free shipping, I also broke down and ordered my long-desired 12" cast-iron skillet.

What?! I was weak with exhaustion. Plus, it was $18. And a sound investment.

I already have a perfectly adequate set of pans, including two lovely, large skillets. So why does cast iron rock my socks so much?

I'll tell you.

Let's start with performance. Cast-iron cookware is well-known for even distribution and retention of heat. This means that your food will cook evenly instead of having hot spots here and there. While cast-iron pans take a long time to heat up, once you get them going they cook like champs. As an added bonus, cast-iron pans can go directly from stove-top to oven and back again without a second thought.

Cast-iron withstands high temperatures, and sears meat beautifully. When seasoned properly, cast-iron is non-stick with no questionable chemical coating. It also lends a beautiful flavor to foods.

Moving on, let's talk about value (because, as the Barenaked Ladies so aptly put it, I'm all about value). Have you ever seen someone destroy a cast-iron pan? These things are indestructible! They last for generations. They are the tanks of cookware. If you can get past how pretty enameled cast-iron pieces are (Oy with the Le Creuset! I'm all verklempt over here.), I think you'll find that bare cast iron has a charm of its own, particularly when you consider their affordability.

Do I have you convinced yet? If not, you should hop on over to The Pioneer Woman Cooks for some cast-iron inspiration.

What do you have on your wishlist? Do you have any thoughts on cast-iron cookware? Any tips to share with me while I break in my new acquisition?
Leave a comment!


  1. I should really get myself a cast iron skillet. I have a cast iron dutch oven that I use constantly to roast things in the oven. And it's the best think ever.

    And I am so glad that mockingjay is on it's way to you. I haven't picked up a copy yet and am starting to get antsy about it.

  2. When my husband's Grandmother died, his Aunts fought over her cast iron "chicken" pan. She made the best fried chicken in that skillet!!

    Make sure you season the pans well. You get a workout just from lifting the pans!

  3. Welcome back!

    And I'm so glad that you broke down and made that investment. Cast iron is for sure a sound investment and so very wonderful to cook with.

    P.S. maybe on Saturday you should bring me the 2nd Hunger Games book and I'll bring the first one back to you... I'm just sayin' is all.

  4. Colleen, do you use cast iron? Any tips you want to pass on to little old me?

    PS: Maybe that sounds like a good plan. :)


Thanks for your comment. Let's keep things friendly!