Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cast Iron Pans

Cast iron pans are superior to other pans in many ways. They are non-stick, retain heat well to brown food in a way that other pans do not, are incredibly inexpensive and last forever. Care can be somewhat tricky but I've found that now that I've got it down it really isn't so bad.

The key is to properly season the pans. I actually had to go through the seasoning process I found on a website twice with mine before I got the right non-stick finish. But the results are worth it.

Lodge has many different types and sizes of cast-iron pans (the Lodge site includes instructions for seasoning and caring for cast iron). I bought an 8" Lodge skillet at the Sur La Table in the Pike Place Market, and I use it for everything, including omelettes. I also have a larger one that I bought at Crate and Barrel.

Someday I might even cook stew over an open fire with one of those big cast iron pots (not the Le Creuset kind, although these are also wonderful, but the kind you get at the general store out somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula with a handle on it so it can hang over the fire).

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