One of the hardest parts of life on the road, is not having your own kitchen. While, I pride myself in being able to cook in nearly any situation as I’ve talked about in my 5 Cheap Travel Tips: Saving on Meals post, I’m giving myself a little room for kitchen nostalgia.
Despite not having my own kitchen, I keep blogging from the road, this week writing Secrets to Cooking the Perfect Steak. The photos on the post show me using skillets at hand which brought me a slight cringe and more than a little guilt over not showing my camp fire worthy Cast-Iron skillet. In honor of my beauties, begging to be brought out of their boxes and seasoned, I’m sharing my…
Top 10 Reasons to Own Cast-Iron
- I’m clumsy: I drop things in the kitchen, scratch things, cut things… sometimes my fingers. Which means, I like kitchen gear that can take a beating and Cast-Iron can. Despite the popular belief it’s hard to care for, it’s really not. Once it’s seasoned you can knock it around a bit more than your average shinny, overpriced high end pans.
- Versatility: Think beyond the steak. Want to bake up Drop Biscuits, Apple Brown Betty, Potato Gratin, really you name it, Cast-Iron can fry, sear or bake it.
- Nostalgia: As reliable and versatile as Cast-Iron is to cook with, you can rely on it equally for serving. I don’t care what you make, if you serve it in Cast-Iron, there is some charm, some vintage vibe, some secret desire for home cooked meals you’re tapping into that it serves up just right.
- Always In Season: There is a depth of flavor that comes from using a Cast-Iron skillet and all the wonderful “seasoning” that develops. You can almost taste the history of your family meals and while some get freaked out by the concept, it brings me comfort. I love cooking for my family and knowing each time I cook with Cast-Iron it makes the flavor of the next dish that much greater.
- Fried Chicken and Biscuits: Enough said.
- #RealWomenUseCastIron: Over the years in my kitchen, I’ve kept my arms in shape. It’s a mark of pride (which might be ridiculous) that there is not a single pot or pan in my arsenal that I can’t move quickly and easily.
- Cast-Iron is Healthier: It’s not just about the muscles, that’s purely vanity I admit. Cast-Iron counterpans (evil non-sticks) are sometimes made with PFCs (perfluorocarbons) which get released and inhaled when heated… and that’s just not good, like cancer causing not good. What is good…
- Cast-Iron Cheap Is Good: In a world where marketing can drive desire for high end and gadgetry, Cast-Iron stays true to it’s original form of being good even if it’s cheap. On the other hand, I’ve never met a cheap non-stick skillet that didn’t scrape, peal or melt in the oven.
- If You Can’t Take the Heat… You Must Be Non-Stick: As long as I’m bashing cheap non-stick, why not point out that Cast-Iron can take the REAL heat. Stovetop to Oven, Backyard Grill to Broiler, bring it on!
- No Really… It’s Healthier: Two cool health benefits. 1. If you’re iron deficient, cooking with Cast-Iron can boost your iron intake and 2. Cast-Iron, while technically not non-stick pans, pretty much are non-stick because of the slightly textured surface, so they require less oils to get perfectly caramelized meats and crispy potatoes.
As my Canadian Friends would say, Cast-Iron is Bang On! Just watch your head if you hang if have a pot rack above the stove.
Steak Night At Home
I found it, my tried and true method to making the perfect rare steak at home. There are a lot of methods that work but this one results in that “slow walk through a warm kitchen kinda rare” that restaurants often blaze over. Secrets to Cooking the Perfect Steak
If you’re looking for a way to get your family excited about salad, try grilling it!