As common as it is, the almighty and super-durable cast iron skillet stands out from other pans and tools you have in your kitchen because it’s got a delicate nature that requires a little more TLC. You really have to care for it differently than you would a stainless steel fry pan or aluminum baking sheet.
Like the name suggests, this type of cookware is made of heavy-duty cast iron and is ideal for techniques that require high heat, like searing, caramelizing, browning and baking. You can cook almost everything in this skillet, from chicken thighs and pork chops to eggs, pancakes and cornbread. The versatility of a cast iron skillet makes it great for all types of cooking — and knowing how to properly take care of it is therefore ultra-important.
If you’re overwhelmed at the prospect of properly seasoning your cast iron cookware, however, know that many highly-rated skillets now come pre-seasoned and require a little less chemistry to ensure great results when cooking — and we’ve rounded up six of them here.
New York-based chef and Ramen by Ra founder Rasheeda Purdie told HuffPost that if you’re working with a skillet that comes pre-seasoned, you only need to do a simple rinse and oil seasoning before you start using it.
“Lightly rinse [your pan] under water and dry immediately, followed by a quick seasoning with a thin layer of cooking oil and rub evenly,” she said. “Then, place it on your stove on low-medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Once done, let it cool completely then repeat once more.”
Your cast iron skillet also needs to be cleaned after every use to keep food and grease from caking up on it. Purdie recommended washing it by hand using hot water and a bit of dish soap. You can even use a non-abrasive scraper to get gunks off food off, if needed.
Now that you know how to maintain this special skillet, it’s time to get your hands on one that doesn’t have to be pre-seasoned. Below, we rounded up the best cast iron cookware you can buy online, according to glowing reviews.
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