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Kitchen Histories: The Indestructible Cast Iron Pan

May 1, 2013

by Sarah Lohman

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Sarah Lohman is a historic gastronomist. She recreates historic recipes as a way to make a personal connection with the past, as well as to inspire her contemporary cooking. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Four Pounds Flour. In this series, Lohman will comb Etsy for items that speak to America’s culinary past.

Tucked amidst the brownstones and bodegas of Brooklyn is an historic site known as the Old Stone House. This reconstruction of an important Revolutionary War-era is home to an outdoor hearth: a fireplace, crafted by the loving hands of Eagle Scouts, right in the heart of the city. It’s there that I teach hearth cooking classes, instructing a handful of students how to make a four-course meal over an open fire; the classes are especially popular in the spring, when locals gear up to impress their friends on summer camping trips. I’ve found that learning how to cook with fire has made me a much more relaxed chef in my own kitchen, and my cooking has evolved from an equation of time and temperature to using sight, smell, sound and taste.

Sarah teaches a hearth cooking class.

Robert Levine

Sarah teaches a hearth cooking class.

cooking_hearth_etsy

Adriana Stimola

When I’m outdoors, my cookware of choice is cast iron; but my pots and skillets have made the leap from the outdoor hearth to my indoor kitchen. A large skillet sits permanently on my stovetop, waiting to make pancakes or stir fry, or a burner-to-oven dish like a Spanish tortilla. A Dutch oven is always on hand for slow-simmered stews and is also excellent for making especially crusty bread. I love cast iron because of its versatility, but I also love it because it’s indestructible.

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Moonshine Antique Shop

In anticipation of my spring classes, I wanted to add to my cast iron cookware collection. Search Etsy for “cast iron” and you’ll find an array of beautiful vintage pans. In fact, cast iron gets better with age and use: years of oil and scraping with utensils create a super-smooth, non-stick cooking surface. Vintage skillets by Lodge can sell for $100 — more costly than new pieces from the 117-year-old cookware maker. If you’re not interested in dropping a Benjamin on a pan, take my advice: go for the rusty pieces. You’ll find them priced at half — or even a tenth — of the cost of clean skillets of the same age and size. All it takes is a little TLC to get these pans back in working order.

I purchased a tiny Lodge skillet, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, for $10. I thought it would be ideal for melting butter and the perfect size for a fried egg, destined for a breakfast sandwich. But rust had bloomed all over the surface of the long-neglected skillet; it needed to be rehabilitated.

Cast iron: the before. Rust!

Sarah Lohman

Cast iron: the before. Rust!

I checked on the Lodge website, which offers a handy video on how to resuscitate vintage skillets. First, I needed to get rid of the rust. (If there is any other crud baked onto the surface of your pan, you may need to attack it with oven cleaner first.) To get rid of the rust, you just need hot water, a wire scrubbing pad (like steel wool), and a lot of love. And by love, I mean a few hours of your time and the determination to scrub until your fingers are pruny and decades of vintage grime is caked under your nails. It took me about 90 minutes of scrubbing to get my skillet clean. Vinegar added to the hot water can help. You won’t get rid of all the rust — just scrub most of it off, and you’ll be good to go.

Next, you need to “season” the skillet. To season the cast iron, the cookware needs to be rubbed with a coating of cooking oil, although some swear by lard or flaxseed oil. The oil fills in the nooks and crevices in the pan’s porous surface. At high temperatures, the oil forms a dense, hard layer that works like a non-stick surface. I rubbed olive oil all over the surface of the pan with a paper towel, then went over it again with a clean towel to sop up excess oil.

Lastly, the pan needs to be baked at a high temperature. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put a layer of tinfoil down on the bottom oven rack, and place the pan on the top. Bake for an hour, then turn off the oven and let the skillet cool in the oven.

Rehabbed cast iron.

Sarah Lohman

Rehabbed cast iron.

Voilá: your pan is like new, and you’re ready to cook. To help keep the pan in shape, you should cook something fatty like bacon the first few times you use it. Never leave food sitting in the pan, and when you wash it, never use soap — the soap breaks up that oily layer you worked so hard to achieve. Hot, hot water and a wire scrubber are best, and then I set mine on a high-heat burner to dry and sanitize. Every so often I’ll season it with a spritz of cooking spray, massaged into the surface with a paper towel.

And even if you mess up and leave the pan full of soup overnight, or catch your spouse, with the best intentions, scrubbing it with soapy water, it doesn’t matter. Cast iron is indestructible — oil it, heat it, and your pan will be reborn.

More Posts From Sarah

101 comments

  • alexingebritson

    Alex Ingebritson from HowClefer said 6 years ago

    I didn't even know a historic gastronomist was something you could do! Imagine how fun and intersting that job can be

  • jeks2

    Robyn from PrettyThingsSupplies said 6 years ago

    Love cast iron pans!

  • valeriephoto

    Valerie from valeriestitchery said 6 years ago

    That's so interesting. I live a few blocks from the Old Stone House, but I never knew what it was. I'll have to drop by some time and say hello!

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    I love using cast iron pans when I cook. They are amazing to work with!

  • kgpaintings

    Kirsten Gilmore from PaintingsByKEGilmore said 6 years ago

    I love cooking in cast iron--though the cleaning takes a bit of work.

  • nativestrandsjewelry

    Rachel from PeppersJewelry said 6 years ago

    This was a fun read. Thanks for the great article!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    Debra Gilstrap from gilstrapdesigns said 6 years ago

    Great article I have a cast iron skillet that I've had for many years and I just love it all I do is season it every so often and that's it. I plan on buying another one.

  • EdelweissPost

    Patrick from EdelweissPost said 6 years ago

    My hubby and I cook eggs and kale in coconut oil *every morning* in our cast iron skillet. The jet black iron seems almost organic, the way it soaks up oil and disperses its nutrients.

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    Polkadot Magpie from ThePolkadotMagpie said 6 years ago

    Great tips, and I used a wire brush on my drill to get off rust.

  • misschristiana

    Christiana Odum from YarnDarlin said 6 years ago

    I LOVE Cast Iron!

  • BirdEnergy

    Genise Park from GeniseParkArts said 6 years ago

    I love using my iron pans for everyday! If they get a little rusty I use salt and oil for a light scrub. Great article!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 6 years ago

    Fascinating! I hate the seasoning and maintenance of cast iron though.

  • CharmingShopLove

    Marissa Howes from CharmingShopLove said 6 years ago

    Wow this is so interesting! Thank you for sharing.

  • CoralHome

    Elizabeth Veres from CoralHome said 6 years ago

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing! Now I need to get me some cast iron pans!

  • emberair

    emberair from EmberandAir said 6 years ago

    I love my cast iron products!

  • TheSkulleryUSA

    Falke Malum from TheSkulleryUSA said 6 years ago

    And it's pretty useful if someone tries to break into a home :) When I first moved in here, my "mothers" told me a cast iron on hand is a pretty good instrument if someone breaks in (LOL). I don't think they were lyin' The older grandmas told me to keep the flour roller as well in case the "hubby" picks fights! lol

  • ASParkerJewellery

    Amy Sarah Parker from ASParkerJewellery said 6 years ago

    Great blog, really interesting! :D x

  • knitsbycaitlin

    Caitlin Edge from knitsbycaitlin said 6 years ago

    Great read!

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    Elizabeth from ABreathOfFrenchAir said 6 years ago

    We keep a cast iron skillet on our stove at all times. We use it to cook blackened fish, saute veggies, or bake cornbread. Clean up is easy....wipe and dry.

  • RebeccasRoomKnitting

    Rebecca Symonds from RebeccasRoomKnitting said 6 years ago

    I LOVE cast iron...in the winter my Dutch Oven is in almost daily use. It sits on top of my cast iron woodburner and simmers away gently for free :)

  • atinyforest

    Kimberly from atinyforest said 6 years ago

    I have three skillets and my great-grandmother's Dutch oven; I use at least one of them every single day. To season a pan, my grandmother would build a good hot fire outside, grease the pan and put it in. Still my favorite way. :)

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the great article!

  • caitlinborck

    Caitlin Borck from TheSprightlyHound said 6 years ago

    Cast iron skillets are so handy! Great to cook with and hard to mess up...perfect for me! Thanks for the tips!

  • KittiMomma

    Kat Compton from InspirationParadise said 6 years ago

    I LOVE my cast iron cookware! Not only useful in the kitchen, but also for camping trips or cookin campfire food out in the yard, too! Super versatile and long-lasting if you know how to take care of it :)

  • pamelakinniard

    Pam and Vanessa from Justwogirlsewing said 6 years ago

    We always had cast iron cookware in the house growing up. Oh the amazing home cooked meals!

  • InMaterial

    Peggy McCallum from InMaterial said 6 years ago

    I love cast iron skillets. I bought my first one in the 80s and now have 3, including a vintage one my mother in law gave me. It is caked with gunk on the outside, my I have read that putting it in the oven on the clean cycle will burn all that off. Then all I'll need to do is season it as you described. Like Kimberly said, they used to put it in a fire to clean. Absent that, the cleaning cycle is best.

  • sukran

    Sukran Kirtis from SukranKirtisJewelry said 6 years ago

    taste always much better

  • TheStitcherie

    Mary Beth Phelps from TheStitcherie said 6 years ago

    Wow! Awesome article! I've loved cast iron since I first started cooking in late grade school. My mom has vintage Lodge cast iron pans she inherited from her aunt who used them on family camping trips in the '50s and '60s. When I moved out I bought my own, one new and one vintage. They are fabulous and what I cook with most of the time. You really can't beat the flavor and cast iron makes it extra hard to mess up a recipe (something I tend to have a knack for doing). It would be amazing to take an outdoor cooking class. I can only imagine how it would add to one's experience and knowledge. Definitely something I would love to do someday!

  • krjewelrydisplays

    Kathy from krjewelrydisplays said 6 years ago

    I don't cook much now but I was raised with cast iron skillets and still have mine!

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    Gosh, my grandmother cooked absolutely everything in her iron skillet! Just the best! Unfortunately my skillet had the bottom fall out of it. While it was full. Cheap skillet? Or perhaps it was trying to escape my clumsy culinary clutches and save my husband from another bout of intestinal distress.

  • ionesAttic

    Barbara from ionesAttic said 6 years ago

    My 8 inch Griswold cast iron pan is my go to cooking implement. Last week it went from the kitchen (@Patrick are you sure we didn't have breakfast together...eggs, kale, wild rice, hot sauce?) to the patio (catfish nuggets over a wood fire, very hillbilly chic!)

  • SuVasi

    Debbie Vasilinda from SuVasi said 6 years ago

    Great tips! I love cast iron and have probably 10 pans of varying sizes, my grandmothers dutch oven from the 40s and my wedding gifts from the 70s. There's nothing like food from cast iron, from roasts to cakes.

  • SuVasi

    Debbie Vasilinda from SuVasi said 6 years ago

    I love cast iron, I have my grandmother's dutch oven from the 40s and my wedding gifts from the 70s, I probably have 10 pans in varying sizes and grab them first when cooking, from roasts to cakes, it's all good!

  • ayglesias

    Angela from RoughRosesLuxuryBags said 6 years ago

    I need one of these!!!

  • GracefullyGirly

    Kimberlee from GracefullyGirly said 6 years ago

    I love my cast iron pans and cookware, more than I let on to anyone! The only drawback is the weight of it; but looked at another way it is just a little muscle strengthener. My mom didn't cook much so I first learned about these vessels of fabulousness on a camping trip when a friend made a peach cobbler in a dutch oven with coals from the fire. I was awestruck! I still haven't tried it, but now I may just have to go find an old relic and nurse it back to life for just such an event for our soon-to-be camping excursions. Thanks for the reminder on how to make it cooking ready once again! I SO wish I could come to your classes. They sound awesome!

  • skyvalleyjewelry

    Jennifer from skyvalleyjewelry said 6 years ago

    Great article !

  • DamsonAndWhite

    Sophia from DamsonAndWhite said 6 years ago

    Such an interesting piece - another handy tip for getting rid of rust (from my eighty year old neighbour) is silver foil and water - works a treat!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    After 7 months living in a tent & cooking only over an open fire many years ago, you couldn't separate me from my cast iron pans with a crowbar! Not the fancy colored enamelled ones though, plain ol' black iron. They can be used on the stove top, in the oven, over a fire. They double as mixing bowls, doorstops, unspillable dog drinking bowls, & the largest has even done duty as a mini indoor sandpit for a visiting nephew!

  • NirvanaRoad

    Lisa from NirvanaRoad said 6 years ago

    Old cast iron pans are the best. Every year at our cabin the neighbors host a cast iron pot cook off. It's amazing what people can cook up in these pots. The dishes are delicious and beyond!!!

  • StillVintage

    StillVintage from StillVintage said 6 years ago

    The season your cast iron pan step is a must. Once seasoned you can enjoy that pan for years

  • lcarlsonjewelry

    Liesl Carlson from lcarlsonjewelry said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the great info. We use out large cast iron skillet to cook everything in, and I mean everything. I could not cook without and a kitchen is always in need of at least one!

  • H88255

    H88255 from HillarysSuperfoods said 6 years ago

    I ONLY use cast iron to cook anything! It makes everything taste 100x better. What I also love about cast iron is that it is safe cookware that emits to unhealthy or cancerous chemicals when you cook with it. An added benefit is it gives you a little extra iron in whatever food you make in it. To anyone who does not yet own one, GET ONE! You won't be sorry! :)

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose said 6 years ago

    Very cool!

  • HuellaHuella

    Fabiola Friedman from HuellaHuella said 6 years ago

    Such a wonderful post!

  • ClickityClack

    Ron and Phyllis McIntyre from ClickityClack said 6 years ago

    I love my cast iron and have lots of various pans. My sister Is really into campfire cooking and does a chocolate cake in a Dutch Oven buried in hot coals that is awesome. They also pop popcorn in a large cast iron hog scalding kettle. Since her husband is a farrier, they put the forge underneath, heat it up, add a gallon or so of oil and 50 pounds of popcorn and stir it all with a canoe paddle. When it starts popping good it is scooped out into clean garbage cans and everybody digs in. Takes a lot of people to eat all the popcorn........but the chickens and horses hope they don't eat it all!

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 6 years ago

    Incredible article. I love the advice. Now I'm off to look for a rusty ol' cast iron skillet. Thanks! ♥♥♥

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 6 years ago

    My mom had a cast iron pancake pan that she used to make great four inch pancakes for me: growing up it was my favorite treat. I wish I still had that pan! But I have a ceramic top stove and they scratch so easily that I can't use cast iron pans on them. I enjoyed the blog post...brought back some wonderful memories. Thanks!

  • TheGlowingSkin

    TheGlowingSkin from TheGlowingSkin said 6 years ago

    Bake a whole chicken on a cast iron skillet. It is a pece of art by itself, no hassle, perfect taste.

  • ThePattypanShop

    ThePattypanShop from ThePattypanShop said 6 years ago

    I enjoy using my four cast iron skillets!!! They are great kitchen items! Thanks for the post!!!

  • The1957Store

    The1957Store from The1957RetroStore said 6 years ago

    Great article !. I have replaced most of my cookware with cast iron from thrifts and fleas. Love them! The last one I bought actually has a lid and now I rarely use any other pots except a pasta pot for boiling water. It saves a lot of money because they don't need to be replaced. and the food tastes better and no dangerous chemicals leaking into the food. The ideal solution!

  • joliefemme

    Diana from joliefemme said 6 years ago

    I love my cast iron skillet! I care for it and keep it out for use constantly. Now I'm itching to find some salvageable old pieces and rehabilitate them myself. Look what you started!

  • vintagesideshow

    McCall from vintagesideshow said 6 years ago

    Thank you for clearing up exactly how to season a pan! I'm doing this tonight!

  • shirleyross3

    Shirley Ross said 6 years ago

    I fight with my husband and his cousin all the time over my cast iron. I just can't buy enough. As soon as he gets off his lazy hi-enus (Ha-Ha) and finish my kitchen and backyard camp-out I'll show them what I can do. I grew up almost like 18th century and man it's amazing the kind of cooking that can be done in cast iron.

  • GailQuiltsInMontana

    Gail Flesch Green from GailQuiltsInMontana said 6 years ago

    I l-o-v-e cast iron pans and they are my favorite. Easy to clean but just get in the habit of doing them right.

  • jenniferbranch4

    Jennifer Branch from Guineverecollection said 6 years ago

    Very interesting. My mom loves cast iron. Now I know why. :)

  • smishko11

    Julie S. from julesoldjewels said 6 years ago

    I grew up learning to cook in cast iron. Great items for the kitchen!

  • SilverFoxDesigns6

    SilverFoxDesigns6 from SilverFoxDesigns6 said 6 years ago

    I love cast iron. I had to fight tooth and nail to keep my cast iron frying pan. If you poach smoked cod (or any other smoked fish) in the frying pan, try making a grilled cheese sandwich in it (after washing of course) the next day, the sandwich will have a wonderful smokey flavour to it.

  • AntonellaMia

    AntonellaMia from AntonellaMia said 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing the rehabilitation process ;)

  • iheartfink

    kristen from iheartfink said 6 years ago

    I too love my cast iron pans and use them every day ~ excellent article!

  • SusanEastmanStudio

    Susan Eastman from SusanEastmanStudio said 6 years ago

    the only pan i ever use is a large cast iron i bought for $1 at a thrift store, almost thirty years ago! thanks, enjoyed your story.

  • ArtworkzByCheri

    Cheri Street from ArtworkzByCheri said 6 years ago

    GREAT article! I have had mine for so long I don't remember where I got it but I know I can make a perfect pineapple upside down cake in that big ole thing every time and it is always a hit with my family ....many things of the past are wonderful and sooooo worth keeping... May God bless.

  • simpledream2

    Lisa S. from simpledream2 said 6 years ago

    Love your story. I've always told my children as they were growing up and I was cooking out of cast iron that the best wedding gift you will ever receive is a well seasoned cast iron skillet. One time my daughter turned and asked "which one are you giving me?" When she left to live abroad I handed her the mini skillet I received from my grandmother, when she married I gave her a full size cast iron skillet and a cast iron griddle. Then my two boys were each given some of my cast iron as they each left home. Fortunately I had enough to share. I too keep my large cast iron skillet on the stove at the ready.

  • TheresasGourmet

    Theresa Ryales from TheresasGourmet said 6 years ago

    I LOVE my cast iron... Wonderful pics!! It cooks so great.

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 6 years ago

    I love using my iron skillets to cook in. Last month I even baked a chocolate cake in one. It turned out wonderful!

  • PruAtelier

    Jeanne B from PruAtelier said 6 years ago

    My goodness, I just fell upon your article and it is exactly what I needed to see....and would love to learn! Isn't it also the coincidence that i just happen to have an iron frying pan that looked just a tad too skanky-rusty and keep it on the woodstove for water to moisturize the air when running the stove. NOW, I'm going to try that steel wool. A smaller iron frying pan is my all-time favorite for omelettes and never seems to need a re-seasoning washing with soap, brillo, etc. There's nothing better hands down than a seasoned frying pan for cooking and cleaning....too bad teflon, you were never permitted in my kitchen anyway! That problem solved, still wish I could hands on learn hearth cooking!

  • PattyMfashion

    Patsy Meecham from PattyMdesign said 6 years ago

    That's so interesting. I wish I have a backyard to experiment the mini coal stove..

  • glitterandstones

    glitterandstones from glitterandstones said 6 years ago

    I love cooking in cast iron pans. Food tastes really good. Thanks for the tips:)

  • guidouxvintage

    Guidoux Vintage from GuidouxVintage said 6 years ago

    Great article!! I love using iron skillets to cook in steaks, vegies and almost everything, I use a spray of olive oil and food taste lovely!! I'm listing a gorgeous vintage Le Creuset orange cast iron pan, and will list soon a yellow one as well if you are interested https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/130132014/big-vintage-french-le-creuset-cousances?ref=shop_home_active Thank u for sharing the tips:)

  • poplovedesigns

    Andrea Hughes from PopLoveHers said 6 years ago

    I really wish I could indulge in a cast-iron pan myself! I do love the concept of their indestructibility and their richness in both history and flavor... alas, the rules of a kosher kitchen make it nearly impossible for us to invest in (at least a used) cast-iron pan. On the other hand, a new one could work...

  • shopworndesigns

    shopworndesigns from ShopwornDesigns said 6 years ago

    Great post! I don't normally use cast iron. I'll give it a try. You make cleaning it sound so easy. Thank you. Shopworndesigns.

  • leahleaf

    Leah Moses from Yumyo said 6 years ago

    those classes sound so fun! we were lucky enought to be gifted an entire set of le creuset cookware from my finace's parents when they were downsizing their kitchen.

  • minipotterybyanita

    AnitasPottery.com from potterybyAnita said 6 years ago

    Oh, this brings back memories! Like an idiot, I threw away my first cast iron pan, years ago, when it got all rusty, like the one in the "Before" photo! Stoopid! I could have at least put a plant in it or something ! LOL! I bought another one later, but it's a cheaper, thinner cast iron, made not nearly as well. Oh well, lesson learned! HA! ♥♥♥

  • TwitchyWitchy

    Bonnie Waller from TwitchyWitchy said 6 years ago

    I thought I knew everything about cast iron, but you definitely taught me some things this morning.

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 6 years ago

    My cast iron skillets see lots of use! I think I would enjoy your outdoor cooking classes! Thanks for the article!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 6 years ago

    Love cast iron skillets...My hubby threw one out because he that it wasn't good anymore...Didn't look nearly as bad as the one pictured above...Wish I would have read this sooner!!

  • JessieArch

    Jessie Archambault from 1509Partridgeberry said 6 years ago

    Great post! I cook with my large cast iron pan most days of the week. If I could only keep one piece of cookware, my cast iron would definitely be it!

  • BlueSquiggle

    Monique Flannagan from BlueSquiggle said 6 years ago

    Beautiful, functional and tough...I sing high praises for cast iron! My other half brings them home rusty, ugly pieces home all the time and then when he has about 30-50 pieces he cleans them up - usually a two day process. He burns, grinds, seasons, & bakes them in a convection oven. It's quite a project, but if you have a big group it makes it worthwhile. We also cook with it! It's a great way to get iron! Plus it's nearly indestructible! I know from experience it will survive a house fire! Great article!

  • amandaduffle

    amanda duffle from Tropicalchick said 6 years ago

    I love cast iron pans. Thanks

  • krayexclusive

    RAY from KRAYExclusive said 6 years ago

    I love cast iron pans. Food, specially meat tastes better when cooked in this types of pans. I own couple of them.

  • Motleycouture

    Motleycouture from Motleycouture said 6 years ago

    Cast iron is the best! Could not be without my griddle!

  • TopStitchDesign

    Anna from TopStitchDesign said 6 years ago

    I love cast iron pans. Sadly moved recently and left all of them with my mom. Now need to acquire some more!

  • CarpetShopPrincess

    Katie Koshy from carpetshopprincess said 6 years ago

    I think the oldest thing I own is my great-grandmother's cast iron pan. Great article!

  • lisalabrey

    Lisa Labrey from Vintagedesignerwhous said 6 years ago

    My mum used to have a cast iron pan, when I was growing up. It lasted for years and never let anything stick to it, no matter how badly it was treated! Think it must of been handed down to her as the handle finally became too dangerous to use and it was reluctantly thrown away :-(

  • cheapnchicvintage

    Samantha Palmer from MissMagnoliaVintage said 6 years ago

    I've wanted to purchase a vintage one but was afraid of the rust! You have convinced me!! Now if only I can keep my husband from messing up the seasoning coat...

  • ParisCabinet

    JD Kohler from ParisCabinet said 6 years ago

    I love iron cookware and have many pieces that I use all the time. Years ago I went through the non-stick pan era till I realized food does not cook the same as in iron. The big secret to using an iron skillet is to let it warm up for 10 minutes. We have our rule, first thing is to start the preheat while other things are being prepared, chopping vegetables, setting the table, etc. Even melted cheese pops right off after browning nicely. Oh, the little skillet is actually an ash tray but perfect for melting butter.

  • TreadleLady

    Donna Kohler from TreadleLady said 6 years ago

    I have the easiest solution to removing rust, just let time do the work with an amazing product called Evapo-Rust. http://www.evaporust.com It has no hazardous components, gloves or mask not needed, look at their MSD sheet. You use the product to soak rusty items over and over till it is so black it won't work. Iron cookware is incredible, two skillets sit on my stove at all times and the nearby cupboard has other sizes, a wok, 3 corn stick pans, flat grill for tortilla making, Dutch oven and even a Dutch poffertjes pan!

  • PoshPrincessBows1

    Sheila Rinehart from PoshPrincessBows1 said 6 years ago

    I love cast iron pans! They have a nostalgia about them that takes me back to my mom cooking dinner - fried chicken in a cast iron pan, it just doesn't get any better!

  • NinaRaizel

    Nina from NinaRaizel said 6 years ago

    I love cooking with cast iron! Because of how dense it is, it heats everything evenly and efficiently. Nothing works better than a cast iron skillet for pancakes, roast veggies, or chili. Treat it with care and it will definitely last forever.

  • gogoabigail

    Abbey Nova from gogoabigail said 6 years ago

    Sarah, Your posts are some of my favorite on the Etsy blog!! I love this post and cast iron. My father had a cast iron pan he used to make omelets -- he guarded it with a passion and woe to you if he caught you washing it with soap!!

  • deadsetbabes

    dead set babes from deadsetbabes said 6 years ago

    absolutely love cast iron pans

  • astarteearthart

    astarteearthart from astarteearthart said 6 years ago

    I have one large and one small cast iron skillet that I use almost every day, that is the one item I'd take on a deserted island with me!

  • richdon1

    Rich and Dona from TheCottageMouse said 6 years ago

    I purchased a very large pot at a yard sale a few years back. The pot was sitting in the sun and when I touched the handle it actually burned my hand. I knew than I had to have it. This was a new addition to my collection of antique cast iron past down from generations to me. NOTHING compares. I can make a pot of Manhattan clam chowder to feed 30 now. Thanks for the post.

  • BirchAndWillow

    Mandi from BirchAndWillow said 6 years ago

    Love these! Good article!

  • ForeverRenee

    Crystal Renee from ForeverRenee said 6 years ago

    I have such great memories of watching my grandma cook with her cast iron skillets! Great article.

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery said 6 years ago

    I still cook with my 50 year old cast iron pan I got when I was in my 20s:>)

  • AmyMeredithHutson

    Amy Meredith Hutson said 6 years ago

    Nothing better than cooking in cast iron...so versatile & easy to clean, also hear that the iron content absorbs into cooked dishes making them healthier as well. Amy Meredith Hutson

  • AmyMeredithHutson

    Amy Meredith Hutson said 6 years ago

    Cast iron is so versatile and easy to clean. Also, the iron itself gets absorbed into the prepared foods so they are enriched with the needed mineral. Amy Meredith Hutson

  • AmyMeredithHutson

    Amy Meredith Hutson said 6 years ago

    Love it, so versatile...

  • LoveTheBaby

    Allison Moss from LoveTheBaby said 6 years ago

    Sarah, thank you for the article. We often use cast iron skillets and dutch ovens at our house. This morning before work I made some pasta sauce to go with our lunch in a skillet that is about 3 inches deep; my favorite for pasta sauce. We bought an awful looking pot about 10 inches deep and 6 inches across from an antique store for 25 cents. The world had given up on that pot, but we saw a new beginning with it. We brought it back to life and it's the perfect pot for making french fries and fried shrimp and oysters. Totally with you on the dutch oven crusty bread.

  • kaystyle

    Kay from kaystylejewelry said 6 years ago

    Wow . Such great information . Now I can rescue my cast iron pots and put them back in use. Thanks for posting.

  • ProjectU

    Ursula from ProjectU said 6 years ago

    Love my cast iron pans and le creuset dutch oven. Got my small cast iron for $1, medium for free, large for free after store coupon and x-large for $20! Search at thrift stores and yard sales for the best deals--used cast iron pans are EXACTLY the same as new ones, in fact their better, they have more flavor infused already!

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