It’s my favorite tool in the kitchen and if I’ve cooked a meal, chances are at least one dish was touched by my iron skillet’s surface, seasoned by almost a hundred year’s worth of food memories.If I think about it enough, it almost gives me chills to think of all that history gracing each meal.Cast iron skillets have been used for hundreds of years and are known to be passed down from generation to generation.I’ve been lucky enough to inherit one from my Great Aunt Irene and my sister recently gave me two.Cooking in cast iron skillets is such a dream…they cook more evenly than typical pans, can work on the stovetop, in the oven, on the grill and even over fire if you are camping out.I’ve cooked everything from restaurant style steaks to cornbread with mine…I just love them!It’s also blacker than midnight and heavier than a house.(Making it ideal for both toning my arms and shooing away door-to-door salesman.) And working with it is a dream as it heats evenly, is nonstick and transfers brilliantly from the stove top to the oven. Even though I haven't inherited any of my family's iron cookware, my grandmother, my mother and my uncles all use cast iron that has been passed down through the generations.
You can get a great used cast iron for around (sometimes even less). As the name suggests, cast iron cookware is made from a molten hot alloy that is poured into molds, or casted.Lard or coconut oil can also be used (but not olive oil as the wiki How article above states though, since olive oil has a low smoke point and shouldn’t be used in applications like this). You know that sticky coating that you can feel on old pans, cookie sheets, muffins pans, and other baking pans?This comes from using the industrial vegetable oils that have only been consumed regularly since the 1950’s (and we know cast iron’s been around a lot longer than that).century China, but we are perhaps most familiar with its history in Colonial America.At this time, the majority of cooking was done in a hearth.