It could be a chef’s knife sharp enough to split hairs, or a KitchenAid that mixes, punches, and whips.
But truly, if you had to force me to choose, I could deal with a cheap knife (I know, I know) and kneading bread dough with my bare hands. Because I would choose a cast iron pan.
Cast iron pans are classic and they’re ever-so-humble. This dull and unassuming cookware regularly surpasses fancy, shiny cookware. Unless we’re talking copper pans, which have the best heat conductivity with basically no hot spots. It’s arguably the most attractive too, though the most expensive. Which is why we turn to our trusty cast iron pans.
When well seasoned, a cast iron pan can last for decades. My mom has been using the same one for as long as I can remember, and it looks exactly the same. They can even last for over a century.
Photo by boeke.
There really are few downsides to cast iron, the only two I can think of are that they weigh two tons and can scratch my glass top stove. Oh and they must be hand washed without soap. I usually just scrape the gunk off while it’s still warm or after soaking in plain water. Really not a big deal.
Cast iron, cast iron. Oh how I love thee. Did I mention that it makes everything it touches taste 10x better? And that it actually adds iron to your diet? Doesn’t flake like Teflon (and the flakes that do come off of cast iron aren’t harmful)? And it’s economical and green (if you’re into that sort of thing).
My pan retails for $20. That’s cheap my friend.
As for being environmentally-friendly? You can go here to the Lodge website to read more. Lodge, by the way, is the only domestic U.S. manufacturer of cast iron pans.
The biggest reason why I use cast iron though, is that it makes everything taste downright delicious. For instance, melt a little butter in your pan and pan fry some sliced bell peppers for a few minutes. Or tomatoes. Or zucchini. Heaven.
If you don’t already own one of these pans, I urge you to purchase one. From anywhere. My OpenSky store is right here, but I’d be happy if you went anywhere to buy one. There is no way that you could regret it.
P.P.S. I made Pad Thai in my cast iron pan last night. And it’s totally better using a wok. And easier to clean than the wok. I’m non-traditional like that.
P.P.P.S. If you aren’t convinced that you need one yet, you will be convinced by THIS.
Note: I received a sample Lodge Logic 10inch pan from Wassterstrom Restaurant Supply. My opinions however, are my own.