HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Alternative to cast iron pans as doctor says no

My doctor say I should not cook with cast iron any more. They have been my go to pan for years.

I was looking at the Le Creuset Signature Skillet. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions. I

Thank you

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think we'd need to know what specifically you are supposed to be avoiding that makes cast iron unacceptable to your Dr.

    1. Yes. Specifically why are you told not to use cast iron pans? Do you have very high iron plasma level?

      1. Sorry, my error, my iron levels are too high.

        1 Reply
        1. re: fjc1z1

          I see. In that case, yes, maybe you should stop using cast iron or carbon steel cookware. It may not be the only cause, but it is a good start (to troubleshoot). Of course, I am sure your doctor told you to cut down the iron rich foods as well. Good luck.

          One thing I want to say is that I notice the iron plasma test can be very shaky. One year you can get an abnormal high number and another year is perfectly fine. My iron level was perfect for years, but it suddenly went up last year for no reason. My friend's iron level also shot up really high one year, and he did a bunch of other tests which pointed to nothing, and he has since gotten normal iron level. So don't worry too much if this is a one time thing.

          In term of cookware, most stainless steel surface cookware and enameled cast iron cookware will work fine to you. In fact, Teflon cookware will work perfectly.

        2. Nickle-plated cast iron---no food contact with the cast iron itself. olvidacookware.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: mwhitmore

            If I were no longer able to use CI or CS cookware, I think I would go for this stuff, or ceramic nonstick cookware (and resign myself to replacing it every few years) because although I like the look of enamelled cast iron, it sticks a LOT.

          2. I have the 9 inch version, and I like it. I wouldn't use it for eggs as it's definitely not a non-stick surface. It works great for almost everything else. It's cast iron for those of us who just can't maintain the seasoning on our regular cast iron

            1. What and how you cook might also affect the iron intake from your pans. If your cast iron pans are well seasoned, and used for things like eggs, steaks and pancakes, they shouldn't be contributing much iron. Braising and cooking tomato (or other acid) sauces, on the other hand, will add a lot of iron.

              In short, things that benefit from, or contribute to the seasoning, are more iron neutral. Things that strip off the seasoning and leave bare metal will leach iron. Use stainless steel or enameled pans for these 'wet' dishes.

              1. What is your budget for the replacement skillet? How do you use your current one? What do you cook in it most often?

                I have a Calphalon Tri-Ply stainless 10" I got for $35 which is pretty good. The Demeyere Proline 5*/Atlantis skillet is better but, more expensive.


                The Silit Silargan ceramic surface over steel is another good option for you. It's not as heavy as the Lodge cast iron skillet in a similar size but, cooks very well and similarly.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Sid Post

                  I would use it for eggs, pancakes/French toast, burgers and a few other items. My son would also use and he may not be a careful as I am. Probably used 2-3 times per week.

                  1. re: fjc1z1

                    The only thing that is close to well seasoned cast iron (and carbon steel) when it comes to nonstick properties (important for things like eggs and pancakes) is the 'traditional' nonstick (PTFE/Teflon). Some manufacturers claim their 'green/organic/better for you' 'ceramic' surface is just as good, but the jury is still out on that comparison.

                    Le Creuset Signature Skillet is enameled. That should be fine for burgers, and great for searing meat followed by deglazing. But I think you'd be frustrated cooking eggs or pancakes in it.

                    1. re: paulj

                      <is the 'traditional' nonstick (PTFE/Teflon)>

                      I notice that I am starting to call the PTFE/Teflon as the original nonstick pan as well. How times must flied that the Teflon technology is starting to be called "traditional" and "classic".

                    2. re: fjc1z1

                      For eggs, pancakes, Fr toast, get a nonstick pan. A set of two (8" and 10") can often be had at a discount. For burgers, bacon and such, get a carbon steel pan. I wouldn't try to cook everything on one type of pan.

                      If you get a good nonstick pan for eggs only, don't let your son near it.

                  2. http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/does-c...
                    Does cooking with cast iron pots and pans add iron to our food?

                    1. Many who have tried the Le Creuset skillet (I haven't) have found that it is a bear to clean.