Cast iron seems quite intimidating — and time-consuming to the unfamiliar. And, while it does take more care than your average stainless steel skillet, it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds.
When to Use: Cast iron is perfect for cooking dishes that need time both on the stove and in the oven. But that’s not all — any stovetop dish that would benefit from cast iron’s even heating is great!
When Not to Use: Boiling water isn’t a great idea — it can cause rust to build-up.
How to Use: You can preheat cast iron in the oven for ideal heating. Start it on a low heat on the stove, and, when it’s hot (it will take longer than other materials), start cooking. The handles will be hot, so always use an oven mitt or a towel when picking it up. Also, don’t use metal spatulas or other utensils on the surface — use plastic or wood instead.
Fun Fact: It’s been said that you shouldn’t cook acidic foods on cast iron because it give off a metallic taste. However, the taste isn’t all that noticeable, and you get the added benenfit of a little more iron in your diet!
See tips on seasoning and cleaning cast iron on the next pages!