How Cast Iron Cookware Saves Money
by Debra Karplus
Cast iron cookware is a smart purchase over other types of cookware for many reasons. We explore just how cast iron cookware saves money.
Your old Teflon skillets are starting to show their age. You had been ignoring the peeling at the bottom of the pan until a friend mentioned some of the dangers of Teflon because of its potentially toxic qualities. A new set of three replacement pans would cost less than $20 at the nearby discount store, but you remember hearing that there are many advantages to buying iron cookware.
Grandma used cast iron cookware and her food certainly tasted delicious. Yes, she was a fine cook, but there was something about that cast skillet that added to the flavor. Indeed, iron skillets have remained popular for generations for many good reasons. (See How Heirloom Cooking Saves Money.)
Here are some reasons you should seriously consider adding iron skillets and pots to your kitchen.
Iron cookware is versatile and easy to use.
Since the skillet or pot is entirely made of iron, no plastic handle, it can be used on the stove top or in the oven. This implies cost-effectiveness because it can be used in multiple ways, which means more savings for you and fewer pots to store.
Learning to use iron cookware is simple.
Because it is an ideal heat conductor, it takes a bit longer to heat up, but then continues to cook and remain hot long after the stove burner has been turned off. So you want to remove food from the iron pot or pan when it is done being cooked.
When you go to a restaurant and the food comes to your table still sizzling, and the waiter tells you not to touch it because it is still hot, it may be sitting atop a small iron skillet.
Before its first use, make sure you have seasoned the iron cookware, unless it was purchased pre-seasoned. Instructions with the skillet will provide simple steps for the one-time seasoning of your pan. Or look online for directions. Beyond that procedure, just rinse it off after each use.
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Iron cookware is good for the environment and good for your body.
Iron cookware is earth-friendly. It is made from nature’s resources and not from manufactured synthetics like most other cookware. Using iron cookware is just plain smart.
Everyone needs iron in their diets, particularly females of certain ages. Foods prepared in iron cookware inherently have more iron by nature of how they were cooked. Additionally, iron cookware lends itself to fat-free cooking. Because skillets are seasoned, they are non-stick. No fats or oils are required for the cooking process.
If there are any disadvantages to using iron cookware, there may be one.
Iron cookware is a bit heavier than cookware made from other materials. That’s really a good quality, unless you have weakness or some other health problem in your wrist or hand.
Iron cookware is very durable, ultimately saving you money.
Iron cookware seemingly lasts forever. There is little damage you can do to iron cookware. That may be the reason you seldom see it on a website of free stuff or in garage sales or resale stores.
If you own iron cookware, you are not likely to need to replace it. Plan on it outlasting you! Expect big savings for the long term.
Buying iron cookware is easy to do.
Online prices are generally lower than those in the store, especially if you qualify for free shipping as many online retailers offer. Pre-seasoned iron pots and skillets typically cost a bit more, and since the one-time seasoning process is so easy to do at home with vegetable oil and a few minutes of your time, it is probably cheaper to avoid purchasing the pre-seasoned cookware.
Like your current pots and pans, iron cookware comes in a variety of sizes and styles, so before you click “add to cart,” figure out what you really need. Because of the possible option for free shipping, it may be best to buy all you need at the same time. An eight-inch skillet typically sells for about $10 and a 12-inch one sells for $20. Buy a two-quart cooking pot with a lid and expect to pay about $30. A Dutch oven is approximately $55.
Because the iron handle on the cookware becomes as hot as the cooking part of the skillet, you might consider spending the extra $5 to $10 to buy a specially designed oven mitt, which covers only the handle. Especially if you move about your kitchen quickly, that might help avoid a serious burn on your hand.
Iron cookware is a smart purchase for many reasons. Search online for information about using iron cookware. It may be one of the best purchases you make.
Reviewed July 2021
About the Author
Debra is an occupational therapist, accountant, teacher and freelance writer. She is a writer for Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners. She also writes for Grand Magazine, has some items (fiction and non fiction) selling on Amazon.com (Kindle), has written several travel articles for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and several articles for freelancewriting.com and volunteers as a money mentor for the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension money mentoring program. Learn more about her at DebraKarplus.blogspot.com.
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