Sometimes new cooks are a little intimidated by cast iron cookware and tableware, but there’s no need to be afraid. It’s actually much more foolproof than normal pans and will allow you to get the perfect sear on your meats each time. A cast iron skillet reaches screaming levels of heat and it holds the temperature for longer. When you’re preparing an expensive steak, the cast iron skillet will brown it beautifully without burning or scorching the meat.
How to choose a cast iron skillet
If you are ready to try cooking with a cast iron skillet, the first step is to find the perfect piece of cookware and tableware. Cast iron skillets come in many different sizes, but they are all oven safe and perfect to use on the stovetop or grill as well. Prices can vary heavily depending on whether you choose a vintage skillet or something brand new. While vintage cast iron is pretty easy to find in any antique shop, it’s not always the best choice. You don’t have any control over the seasoning when you buy a used cast iron skillet so it’s a better idea to buy a new one.
Cast iron skillets are available with enamel coating if you want a more modern look. The enamel is non-reactive and non-stick, but there are some downsides. It is much more prone to chipping and generally doesn’t hold up as well over time. On the other hand, a bare uncoated cast iron skillet works beautifully and can last a lifetime if you care for it well.
You can typically find a large cast iron skillet ranging from $20 to $50 depending on the size and brand. The enameled skillets cost a little more and can be upwards of $80 in some cases. If you do opt to get an enameled cast iron skillet, make sure the enamel is thick to avoid chipping. It should feel heavy and the sides should all have identical thickness.