Created in a world before Teflon, cast iron is said to be the original "non-stick" skillet. It's one kitchen must-have that's in demand for professional chefs and busy moms alike. You may have heard of cast iron, but have not yet invested in your own piece. Some of you may have been lucky enough to be passed down an heirloom piece, because cared for correctly a cast iron skillet can last longer than a single lifetime.
Some of the best skillets are antiques like these, but if you're looking to buy one or have an old one that needs a little TLC, we have the steps to get you cooking. Our recommendation for purchasing a new cast iron skillet is the same as if you were purchasing a new AK kitchen: Don't look for the lowest price, look for the best value!
Pictured above, lodge cookware skillets come highly recommended. Produced in a Tennessee foundry, their seasoning process won a Good Housekeeping “Good Buy Award,” leading to a world wide renaissance in cast iron cooking! Lodge sprays vegetable oil onto the cookware, then bakes it on at high temperatures to create a natural, easy-release cooking surface. Their 13" skillets are $60 which seems like bargain. To continue seasoning a new piece like this, or to repair and re-season and old piece, wikiHow seems to encompass some of the best tips for cast iron:
- For crusty cast ironware that you inherited or picked up at a garage sale:
Your cookware may have some combination of rust and thick crackly black
crud. It can be restored fairly easily to good as new condition! First
place the cookware in a self-cleaning oven and run one cycle OR place in
a campfire or directly on a hot charcoal fire for 1/2 hour, until dull
red. The crust will be flaking, falling and turning to white ash. Then,
after allowing to cool a bit to avoid cracking your cast iron,use the
following steps. If you have more rust than crust, try using steel wool
to sand it off.