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Caring for & Using the Cast Iron Skillet

Updated on September 16, 2011

cast iron cooking

Cooking is pleasure: preparing food that not only tastes good but is good for you is one of my favourite activities. Okay, there are times when I do not want to cook and will do one of three things, take a meal, such as chili, out of the freezer and heat it up; two, my wife will cook or three and the least popular option order or go out.

I work from home and have the time to prepare meals. This does make a difference in the enjoyment factor. However, even if you work outside the home; there are two kitchen essentials that make cooking simpler.

One is the slow cooker. I have two and many recipes which are used frequently.

The other is the cast iron frying pan or skillet. This is the second cast iron pan I have owned over the past 25 years and the current one has been used for the past five years and has many, many, more meals left to cook.

Both my mother and my grandmother used a cast iron frying pan. I made my first meals, probably fried eggs in one that my grandmother had given my mother.

Why is this, oh so basic tool so useful? It is inexpensive, will last for years, if properly cared for, is easy to care for and when used as it is meant to be used, cooks food fast and thorough and is easy to clean.

You can buy a pre-seasoned one or season the pan yourself. Seasoning is simple enough. Follow the directions and the skillet will serve you for generations.

I use olive oil on my pan and never let it sit in the sink and soak or let water sit in it.

There is no need to purchase special tools or worry about scratching the surface.

You will need a good pair of oven mitts as the handle will get hot over time. However, I find the even heat distribution and the nature of the cast iron is a very effective cooking system that reduces the time the pan needs to sit on the burner which means less time spent cooking. The easy clean up also reduces time spent in the kitchen. Two pluses for this great gadget.

Pork chops, stir fried beef, steak, burgers, sausage and so much more seems to cook faster and taste better when prepared in the skillet.

Green fried tomatoes, egg plant, home fries also are quick to make. Stir fries and eggs of all kinds are done in little time.

These two tools, the slow cooker and cast iron skillet are musts for people who cook.

No. 1 cooking tool, cast iron skillet. Bob Ewing photo
No. 1 cooking tool, cast iron skillet. Bob Ewing photo


Submit a Comment
  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

  • trsmith profile image


    8 years ago from Rapid City, SD

    The importance of taking care of your cast iron skillet is a must. Thank you.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


    9 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

    The cast iron skillet is the only way to go! Great hub!!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 

    9 years ago from East Coast, United States

    If I could only have one item in my kitchen, it would be a cast iron pan. Actually, I have 3 sizes and a skillet. The largest pan belonged to my grandmother and is around 80 years old.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Fortunately, we do not have a glass top stove, nor are we likley to get one. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Jerilee Wei profile image

    Jerilee Wei 

    9 years ago from United States

    Love cast iron skillets, but unfortunately in today's modern world most houses now come with glass tops burners that won't tolerate the skillets. Always glad when we get to go camping to break out the cast iron.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, I have not made cornbread, must do. Thanks for dropping by.

  • judydianne profile image


    9 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

    You are so right! My favorite thing in the cast iron skillet is cornbread. You can put it right in the oven. We have even made it over the campfire in the skillet! Great hub!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • myawn profile image


    9 years ago from Florida

    I love cast iron skillets. My mother taught me to cook with one and it is very nice. They last forever! Nice hub about them and crockpots love them too.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    Live Work Dream 

    9 years ago

    Totally agree with you on this one. I own expensive Calphalon pans but I still prefer my old cast-irons for almost everything.

    I have a set of various sizes that I inherited from my Mom, who was letting them turn to rust in her garage. She was going to toss them, and I nabbed them. I discovered that the brand, Griswold, is actually worth something.

    I would only add to this that the best cast-irons are made in the U.S., forget the cheap ones made in China, they're garbage.


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