Why should you buy a cast iron pan? Tips and best buy

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  November 9, 2020

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If you like to cook, it is nice to have good materials at home for making the tastiest dishes. Nowadays there is a lot of supply on the market that you can choose from.

There are many different pans, each with its own advantages. One pan in between is the cast iron pan, the benefits of which we will discuss in this article.

Firstly, the cast iron pans are available in many designs and shapes. This allows you to find out what suits you in terms of color and shape.

Best cast iron pans

It will also have a nice look in your kitchen. The use of the cast iron pan has also become hip again because they are available everywhere.

Let’s take a look at the top choices real quick:

Cast-iron pan Images
Best cast iron casserole: Le Creuset Signature Best cast iron casserole- Le Creuset Signature

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Best cast iron skillet: Le Creuset Best cast iron skillet: Le Creuset

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Best Cheap Cast Iron Pans: BK Best Cheap Cast Iron Pans: BK

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Best cast iron wok: Kasian House Best cast iron wok: Kasian House

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Best cast iron pans reviewed

Best cast iron casserole: Le Creuset Signature

My favorites are those from Le Creuset who started with their signature casseroles.

Best cast iron casserole- Le Creuset Signature

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Also read: different types of roasting pans and what can you do with them

Best cast iron skillet: Le Creuset

They now also have great cast iron frying pans to complete the range, such as this classic cast iron skillet with wooden handle.

Best cast iron skillet: Le Creuset

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Best Cheap Cast Iron Pans: BK

Cast iron pans from BK: fall into the category of 60 to 150 dollars

I imagine Le Creuset’s price range is not for everyone. So here I have two more affordable cast iron pan brands that can fit any budget:

Best Cheap Cast Iron Pans: BK

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Best cast iron wok: Kasian House

Cast iron pans from Surel: fall into the 50 to 100 dollar category

Best cast iron wok: Kasian House

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Pros and cons of cast iron cookware

Cast iron pans are made of good material so that you can continue to cook with them for years. The pans will never break by themselves unless you drop the pan yourself, because then the pan will fall apart into pieces.

A disadvantage of this is that you have to maintain the pan very well to use it for years. For example, you have to put a drop of oil in the pan after use, otherwise it will rust.

You can also buy a cast iron pan with an enamel coating, so you can skip this process. But what is the effort if you can enjoy it for years to come? You will find more information about how to best clean the pan later in the article.

Performance

Now we are going to look at the performance of the pan itself; why is the pan so good? To start with, a cast iron pan gradually spreads the heat throughout the pan.

This means you can always be sure that everything is cooked in the pan, even in the corners. In addition, the pan also retains this heat for a long time, so that the food remains warm for a long time when the pan is on the table, for example.

The pan will function better and better through the use of oil. This is because the pan absorbs the oil, creating a kind of natural non-stick coating.

The cast iron pan is also very suitable for dishes that also need to be put in the oven, because the pan is also resistant to that and you do not need to purchase anything special for this.

If you use the cast iron pan, you should also take into account that it can get very hot.

Unfortunately, this cannot be seen from the outside, so make sure you always have some protection (gloves or a tea towel) before you touch the pan. Of course, the same applies if you were to use a frying pan and want to take it out of the oven.

Cons

A disadvantage of the pan can be that it is very heavy as the name implies. Cast iron, of course, weighs somewhat heavier than normal cake and wok pans.

As mentioned before, you might drop the pan a bit faster. But the normal pans break much faster, or the non-stick coating disappears after a few months.

These are problems that you do not have when using a cast iron pan, provided you maintain the pan properly.

Cleaning the pan

Cleaning a cast iron pan has a slightly different method than cleaning a regular frying pan. There are several ways possible and we will discuss a few on the basis of a step-by-step plan.

The first method is when you are done using the pan to sweep a tablespoon of coarse sea salt through the pan, which will remove all remaining burnt from the pan.

After this you can clean the pan with a brush and dry it well afterwards. You can also use a potato to scrub the salt in the pan, which keeps it extra natural.

It is important that you always dry the pan well, otherwise it can rust.

The second method is to heat the pan well to a high temperature with water in the pan, so that all bacteria will disappear from the pan. Then throw away the dirty water again and then the only thing left is to wipe everything thoroughly with a cloth.

Whatever method you use to clean the pan, what you should do after cleaning is grease the pan with a cloth. For this it is best to use oil, this ensures that the bottom of the pan remains good and it also ensures that the oil already penetrates the pan.

If you want to discover more methods to keep the cast iron pan clean, you can search the internet or watch videos on YouTube to get more inspiration.

General tips

Here are some more tips what you can do to maintain the pan properly and what you should absolutely not do with the pan:

Do’s:

Don’ts:

In short, the cast iron pan is a nice addition to the kitchen.

In terms of cooking results, the pan will do very well if it is properly maintained with the methods we described above.

We hope to have inspired you with this and that there will soon be a cast iron pan in your kitchen.

Frequently asked questions about cast iron pans

If you have a question about cast iron pans, feel free to ask in the comments so we can get back to you.

Here is an answer to the most frequently asked questions that we have encountered:

Is cast iron better?

Cast iron is naturally non-stick. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet has a naturally non-stick surface. Few nonstick pans can safely go from the hob to the oven. Since cast iron is naturally nonstick, it is also easy to clean.

How do you reseason a cast iron skillet?

  1. Scrub the skillet well in warm, soapy water.
  2. Dry thoroughly.
  3. Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the pan.
  4. Place it upside down on a center oven rack at 375 °. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.)
  5. Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.

How do you know if the quality of a cast iron frying pan is good?

  1. Pick up your pan and feel the weight. Cast iron pans are heavy; if you have a lightweight pan, it probably isn’t real cast iron.
  2. Look at the bottom of your pan.
  3. Examine the pan surface for rust or discoloration.
  4. Check the handle to see if it is secured with screws.
  5. Examine the surface in the pan.

How do you maintain cast iron?

  1. Start right away: Clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still warm or hot.
  2. Add hot water: Hand wash the skillet with warm water and a sponge or stiff brush.
  3. Caked on Leftovers: To remove stuck-on food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water.

What makes cast iron black?

The hard, black coating that gives cast iron its glossy finish is called the seasoning or patina. The seasoning prevents the pan from rusting and makes it non-stick. You definitely don’t want to try to use cast iron without seasoning – the porous surface makes it very sticky.

I have copper and cast iron pans and use them for this

With cooking as my biggest hobby, I own an extensive collection of kitchenware. I use many different types of pans to put great meals on the table for my family, relatives and friends time after time. My favorites are copper and cast iron pans.

Because the use of copper and cast iron pans is no longer very common, I would like to share my enthusiasm and experience about using these pans. In my opinion, the pans are indispensable in every kitchen. Below I explain how and what I use them for.

Copper pans

First of all, let’s consider the fact that copper pans look great. They give your kitchen a hip retro / vintage look, which is completely hot again nowadays. I have my copper pans in a visible place in the kitchen.

Cooking with copper pans is fantastic. Copper is one of the best heat conductors! Heat is evenly distributed over the pan, so dishes are cooked perfectly. In addition, copper reacts quickly to an increase or decrease in temperature.

With a copper pan you can prepare sauces or risotto perfectly. This is because you can control the temperature very precisely. For example, you can switch relatively quickly from cooking to simmering or vice versa.

How do I use my copper pans myself? I take care always having my ingredients washed and cut. I do this because cooking in copper pans is much faster than in regular pans. I therefore make sure that everything is ready to go into the pan.

Copper pans heat up quickly. That’s why I hardly preheat the pan. In addition, I always use a wooden or silicone spatula, because copper scratches more quickly than a normal pan.

One of my favorite ways to use the copper pans is in the oven. Yes, that’s possible! I prepare the most delicious dishes in the oven using my copper pans.

A copper pan not only cooks great, but also lasts much longer than any other pan. You will not regret your purchase!

Conclusion

And now my experience with cast iron pans. My second favorite in the kitchen! I use my cast iron pans regularly and like to share some ins and outs.

A cast iron pan, also called a skillet, has a thick bottom that retains heat well. This makes the pan very hot, especially if you preheat it well.

I personally like to use my cast iron pans to make crispy chicken or steak. Because the pan heats to a high temperature and it hardly fluctuates, it is the perfect pan to get that delicious layer of crunch.

I also often use the cast iron pans to bake the most delicious creations in the oven. With my great passion for baking cakes, the cast iron pan always comes in handy. This pan is ideal to use in the oven instead of a cake pan or oven dish.

Last but not least, I advise you to make your sandwiches in a cast iron pan! Guaranteed the tastiest and crunchiest sandwich you have ever eaten.

Do you already have a cast iron pan? Or are you considering buying a copper pan? Don’t hesitate any longer! They are indispensable in my kitchen!

Also read: induction hobs, from built-in to camping, these are the best

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.