There are many benefits of cast iron pans. These pans are cost effective, durable, and long-lasting. They also cook food evenly, act as a source of iron in the food being prepared, and are extremely versatile. Cast iron cookware has stood the test of time and continues to be a kitchen staple.
One major benefit of cast iron pans is their unique cooking ability. Cast iron is an ideal heat conductor. Unlike steel and aluminum pans, cast iron heats the cooking surface evenly and consistently. Other kinds of pans tend to heat unevenly and therefore cook food unevenly. Many professional cooks depend on cast iron cookware for precise control of cooking temperature.
Cast iron pans are also highly sought after because of their longevity. With a little bit of care, a cast iron skillet, grill, or pan can outlast its owner. These pans are often passed down as family heirlooms because of their ability to maintain quality generation after generation. They are incredibly durable. It is very difficult to cause any permanent damage to a cast iron pan.
Cast iron pans stand apart from other cookware in that they supply nutritional benefits. Iron is an essential nutrient in the human diet. Small amounts of iron are absorbed from the cast iron pan into food while cooking, thus adding extra nutrients. More iron is absorbed in acidic foods, such as tomato sauce. Cast iron can also be a valuable asset to a no-fat or low-fat diet. When properly seasoned, these pans don't require any cooking oils or added fats.
Cost value is another significant benefit of cast iron pans. A good quality cast iron pan can be purchased for $20 to $30 US Dollars (USD). The durability and longevity of these pans contributes to the value of the used cast iron cookware market. It is fairly common to find decent or worn cast iron pans at a garage sale for a discount, but don't be fooled by a worn appearance. With some scrubbing and seasoning, just about any cast iron pan can be restored for many more years of use.
Seasoned and properly cared for cast iron pans are nonstick. Many people believe the quality of the nonstick surface of cast iron cookware surpasses the expensive, manufactured nonstick pans. They also won't crack or peal like manufactured nonstick pans because of cast iron's superior heat absorption capability. Seasoned cast iron cookware is widely available, but some people prefer to season their own pans. Seasoning instructions can be found with a quick Internet search.
Another benefit of cast iron pans is versatility. These pans can be used for almost any kind of cooking. Scrambled eggs are a breeze on the nonstick surface. The heat capacity is great for browning meats as well as deep or shallow frying. The cast iron can also be transferred from the stove top directly to the oven for baking.