Let’s talk pots and pans. I’ve owned many brands over the course of my life from T-fal to Calphalon to All-Clad and more. Just like everything there are pros and cons to each. I know people who swear by higher end brands and won’t buy anything else and others that think it’s ridiculous to spend a lot on cookware and still, both sides are fairly decent cooks. I’m not looking to steer you towards any brand in particular. I’m only saying there is one certain type of pan that everyone who enjoys cooking should own. I fully believe everyone should own at least one cast iron pan. Cast iron is by far one of the most versatile and useful pans to own!
A cast iron pan will give you that perfect sear on a steak and is one of the best pans to use for frying chicken. They can be used inside the home on the stove top or in the oven yet, they are equally as appropriate for use outside on a grill or even over a campfire. Cast iron is virtually indestructible and best of all, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on one. I have a few cast iron pans and they were all gifts. Yes I’m one of those odd women that would prefer cookware or a vacuum over something like jewelry. I realize that statement horrifies some but what can I say? It’s just the way I roll! (my kids are cringing in unison at my attempt to talk hip 🙂 )
Anyhow, three of the cast iron pans I have were a gift from my second oldest son back when he was a teenager. We were in Big Lots and they had sets of three pans for something like 11 dollars – I don’t recall the exact price but really inexpensive! I had expressed interest but didn’t buy them. However he remembered and got me a set for mother’s day. This easily was one of the best buys ever! No they aren’t name brand or fancy in any way but the price was unbeatable and they are so useful! These quickly became some of my favorite pans! A year later we had a freak October snowstorm here in New England. We were without power for nine days….yes I said nine. It was absolutely horrible! However with the cast iron pans we could at least cook vegetables, heat soup or water on the grill. Fast forward a few years after that and my oldest bought me a much larger cast iron skillet – Martha Stewart brand enameled with blue paint. Still not an overly pricey purchase, a bit prettier maybe due to the paint but equally as useful. I can now sear two steaks at the same time due to the size of the skillet. It’s fantastic!
You aren’t technically supposed to “wash” cast iron but admittedly sometimes there are simply times where they need to be scrubbed. Yet oil them immediately after any washing and viola – good as new!
Obviously you’ll still need pots and pans that are not cast iron for other uses however I really feel that everyone should own at least one cast iron skillet. I didn’t for years and that first set changed my view completely. I now believe it’s a tool no home cook should do without and you do not need to spend a fortune. If you have the opportunity give one a shot – you won’t be sorry!