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Sep 9, 2012 12:24 PM

Why Cast Iron? Another reason .....

We periodically discuss the advantages (and the few disadvantages) of cast iron cookware on Chowhound. Those who love it sing its praises while those who dislike it tend to heartily berate it.
I just discovered that one of my non-stick pans needs replacing. As I took it out of the cupboard I noticed my extensive collection of cast iron on the shelf next to the non-stick and it occurred to me that I typically find it necessary to replace a non-stick pan every few years and I've never had to replace any of my cast iron - some of which is over fifty years old. Just one more reason why I love that stuff.
Do you love it or hate it?

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  1. I love it, esp. for making pasta sauces.

    I'm borderline anemic, and it's a great way for me to get iron into my system without supplements (which makes my innards do somersaults as if they were punch-drunk).

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I've done pasta in my De Buyer Mineral pan but, pasta sauce really peels the seasoning off. I agree with you though, cast iron is a great way to add iron to a diet for those lacking other natural sources in their diets. Myself, I'll stick to meats and saute's with some occasional cornbread.

    2. Love it. I buy my cast iron at estate sales so all of the pieces I own are 50+ years old and beautifully seasoned. I have cast iron that is probably twice my age and in excellent condition.

      1 Reply
      1. re: weezieduzzit

        I wish I lived in an area with more estate sales :) I love my cast iron. I even bought a smallish stovetop griddle to replace an old "nonstick" one. I also like enameled cast iron.

      2. I agree about the durability and the possibility of picking up iron in my diet. I tend to run anemic too.

        However, I have experienced a cracked vintage skillet. I continued to use it until packing for my move. The crack had increased slightly in length, and I didn't want to send it to my new home, so I put it in mixed recycling.

        Nothing lasts forever. But CI could outlive its first owner. But it might not. You never know.

        1. <I typically find it necessary to replace a non-stick pan every few years>

          That is pretty good if only every few years. Many people replace their every 1-2 years.

          As for cast iron, I do like cast iron cookware very much. Based on many responses, it seems many people who do not like cast iron (or carbon steel) cookware have trouble with the seasoning. Either they have trouble putting the seasoning on or they have trouble keeping the seasoning on.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I prefer cast iron to cook in. I never use non stick stuff any more and I can not fry in stainless steel without it sticking. It seems from reading this board that those who do not like cast iron are those that learned to cook in non stick, which is easier to use.

          2. Hi, todao:

            Neither love nor hate. For what it is (cheap, durable, and versatile) it is great.

            I only use it for high searing and baking no-knead bread these days. Oh yeah, my 1875 waffle iron is CI, too.