Secrets to cooking with cast iron

Everyone knows that cooking with “modern” non-stick cookware is a bad idea, right? In addition to the fact that the non-stick surface gradually flakes off and winds up in your food, it also emits toxic gases that can kill birds if it gets too hot. So, what do you do instead? Cook in cast iron, of course!

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Cast iron cookware
has been around since the 1800s, and it’s wonderfully non-stick when used correctly. The keys to taking advantage of cast iron’s non-stick magic are …

  1. Be sure the pan is well seasoned. Most cast iron pans sold today are already seasoned, but if you happen to inherit one or find an old one at an estate sale that looks abused, you can easily restore it to its earlier glory. Give it a good scrubbing with soap and hot water and a scouring pad, then season it by rubbing a thin coating of oil on it and putting it into a warm oven for an hour. You can also deep fry something in it. Basically, you want to get oil into the iron. So, the more you use your cast iron cookware, the more seasoned it gets, and the better the non-stick surface becomes.
  2. Add a thin coating of butter or oil when cooking.
  3. Cook on low to medium heat. If you crank up the temperature too high when cooking things like eggs, they’ll stick.

So, maybe you’ve heard all of this before, but you tried, and it didn’t work for you. Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is priceless, so I created this video to show you just how easy it is to cook with cast iron.

And unlike many of the best things in life, cast iron is actually less expensive than the chemical alternative. (Check out this Lodge L8SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet.) On top of that, cast iron cookware will last so long that you can put it in your will. My son already has dibs on my cast iron when I die, but I imagine he’ll probably buy his own long before then.

Read more: Seasoning a Cast Iron Skillet


9 thoughts on “Secrets to cooking with cast iron”

  1. You can truly draw out the flavor in vegetables by adding them to moderate cooker formulas. Vegetables cushion out stews and soups and the turn out delicious, succulent and with an extremely rich taste. Onions are added to various moderate cooking formulas, as are shallots and leeks.Click here

  2. The other very important component to cast iron cooking, that I don’t hear mentioned often enough, is the metal spatula. If you primarily use a wooden or plastic spatula on your cast iron, the seasoning will build up in a lumpy and uneven manner, which kinda defeats the whole “non-stick” effect. The seasoning is hard, and the wooden or plastic spatulas just don’t have enough bite to dig into the lumps. It’s important to have a metal spatula with a flat edge and rounded corners that you use to scrap the seasoning on the bottom flat. To learn more, visit

  3. Hi Niemann,
    I even have a number of forged iron pans and posts myself. Through serious, they are doing last forever and zilch beats creating a cut on a forged iron pan because it gets extremely hot! I conjointly coat mine with a layer of oil once I’ve wasted it.
    Have an excellent week! Marino

  4. Thank you for this post! I’m going to ask questions. 🙂

    I’ve recently bought two pans at the Goodwill that look and feel like cast iron–but now I’m too scared to use them because they don’t really say what they are.
    Is there a look-and-feel-alike that’s dangerous, or am I being a ninny?
    Is there a way to clean them (since I have no idea what they’ve been through) that’s better than really hot water?

    Thank you again for the great information, and in advance if you can shed any light on my quandary.

    • Congratulations on your new pans! That’s actually a good question. If they are solid black and heavier than any other pots you have, you’ve probably got the real thing. I’ve never heard of anything that looks like cast iron that would be dangerous. Feel free to give them a super tough scrubbing! They can handle it! That’s what I did when I bought a dutch oven at an estate sale. I used hot soapy water with one of those stainless steel pads. Then dry it with a paper towel (because it’ll turn your towel black) and put a thin coating of olive oil on it or whatever oil you cook with. No need to wash before using it. If you think it’s collected some dust, you can just wipe it with a paper towel.

  5. Maybe remind everyone that iron rusts! So never leave sitting around with water on it or in it. Love my cast iron!

    • Great reminder! Yeah, don’t leave a pan soaking in the sink overnight. You can get the rust scrubbed off, but it’s not fun.

    • I can’t think of a reason why not. Just set it down gently. But you should probably do that with all pots.


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