Simplicity in Cast Iron


Last winter my mother-in-law gave me a cast iron skillet. I’ll admit, I wasn’t quite sure if this was a blessing or a curse. I had just gotten rid of about six skillets a month before, and plus, I was one of these “non-stick” skillet kind of gals. It wasn’t that I wasn’t thankful…I just had no idea what I’d do with this skillet or if I even needed it. After all, how many skillets does a family of two & 1/2 really use in a week? (Um, in my house…not many.)

Turns out, you only need one skillet. This one. This cast iron skillet is the bomb! I love it. And here is why: It makes my life more simple.

One skillet scrambles an egg, sears meat, and pan-fries all the things a skillet is supposed to scramble, sear and fry. But…I also bake in this skillet. Yep. Cornbread. Biscuits. Cake. You can bake yummy goodness in the cast iron skillet at any temperature. In fact, the reason I really love this skillet is because its multi-functionality allowed me to get rid of two baking dishes.

There are also many health benefits of cooking with cast iron.

As luck would have it, my addiction to those clever non-stick skillets has subjected my family to toxic fumes and substances. Aluminum pans aren’t all that great for you, either. Obviously the cast iron doesn’t have those nasty substances.

Frankly, I don’t really seem to have much trouble with things sticking to this skillet. Why? Believe it or not…It is nonstick. Surprisingly, a preheated cast iron skillet rivals the qualities of non-stick cookware, as long as it is properly seasoned and cared for.

In my seventh month of pregnancy I was diagnosed with mild anemia. It was my mother who said I should really embrace that skillet, and when I went back for my annual exam, no more anemia. The iron in the skillet could have been responsible – because, well, I’m not really much on eating stuff with iron in it.

Lastly, in an emergency (such as a freakish snow storm that drops 8 inches over night in southern Missouri), cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source. In fact, most of the food and survival tips on my “Be Prepared” Pinterest board require nothing more than a cast iron skillet and some foil. (Of course, I hope someone here knows how to start a fire, because I was absent that morning in Girl Scouts.)

So, in summary, thank you very much, Mother-In-Law. I love this skillet and all it has added (and subtracted) from my life. It really is the simplest item in my kitchen. And, dear reader, if you still aren’t convinced, check out these ten reasons to own a cast iron skillet.