We’ve gone from cooking on fires to cooking on wood-burning stoves to the induction stoves of today. Many are under the misconception that you need to exchange all your pots and pans when you switch to induction, and depending on what kind of pots and pans you have, that might be the case. But did you know that there is one pot that has worked since time of cooking over a fire, to today with our fancy, modern digital stoves? Can you guess what it is?
I’ll tell you. Pots and pans in cast iron have been used for several hundred years, and they work just as well today as they did back then. The same pot will work over a fire, on a wood-burning stove and on your induction stove. They are healthier for you than the regular non-stick pans available out there, and they add extra iron to your meals. They are easier to clean, the food tastes better, they keep food warm longer, the list goes on.
Here are the thirteen most important benefits of switching to cast iron:
You only have to buy it once - Cast iron, when well taken care of, can last your entire life and be passed on to the next generation.
It improves with use - The more you use it and season it, the better it’ll become.
It is easy to clean - All you need is a dish-brush or sponge and hot water. Then while it is wet, you set it back on the stove top, let the water disappear and then you rub a little oil on its inside.
What you cook in it tastes better - The food cooked or the beverages heated in a cast iron pan will have a richer flavour.
It maintains heat - It gets warm quickly and stays warm for a long time, which means that you can cook heat the pot on the stove and then shut it off and let the pan do the rest of the cooking.
It’s more or less indestructible - It is heavy, yes, but it is also a product that cannot fall apart or break if you drop it, bump it, or anything like that. It’s more likely you’ll get a bump in the floor than the pan breaking.
It is eco-friendly - As you’ll only need to get it once, you’ll never need dish soap or any detergent to clean it, and you will not produce any waste that will go out into the Universe or no waste will be ingested by you, it is the most eco-friendly option.
It is minimalist - Because you’ll only need to acquire it once, you will never need to replace it and because it can replace both a kettle, a coffee maker, an oven and a grill, it is as minimalist as can be.
You can buy it second hand - Don’t worry about buying it new. You can get it for a third of the price second hand and after a wash and some oil, it’ll be as good as new.
It boosts your iron intake - When you cook with cast iron, some iron fragments will inevitably appear in your food (not visibly) and that is completely healthy and will boost your iron levels. Great if you have anaemia or if it’s just that time of the month.
It’s frugal - Something you can cheap get second hand, only need to acquire once, that can use to replace a handful of kitchen devices and will last you for life, is frugal indeed.
It is versatile - You can cook in it, bake in it, boil water in it, make coffee in it, grill food in it; it is an all in one kind of product.
They require less oil - Which means you will be consuming less oil and your meals will become much healthier.
When I first moved out of my parents place, many years ago, I had decided that if I am to invest in 'things’, I’d like to make sure they are of quality, that I truly need and not just want them, and that I hopefully will only have to invest in them once. I then got my a cast iron pan from the wonderful brand Skeppshult. It has served me diligently since then. Today I also have a large pot from Satake with a wooden and a glass lid, in which I bake my bread and the occasional cake, and make hotpots and soup in frequently. I also have a teapot from Satake which has a stand, also in cast iron, that holds a candle which warms up a plate, where the teapot stands. In other words, the candle keeps the pot and the tea warm. The pot can also be used for coffee. A few years back I also got a butter-knife in cast iron, also from Skeppshult. It is with me still.
I can wholeheartedly recommend investing in cast iron products, for all the reasons mentioned and more. In contrast to cooking with other pots and pans, cooking with cast iron is an experience that forces you to focus solely on what you’re doing. It is somewhat similar to a meditative state, a soothing and serene experience.