My previous aversion to cast iron was divided into three parts:
1) People--friends--had told me that to appropriately care for a cast iron skillet, you can't wash it. No soap. No water. Ew. This is called "seasoning" the pot.
2) Cast iron is very, very heavy. And I am very, very light. I didn't want a skillet that required two arms to hoist onto the table, or anywhere.
3) Cast iron is not non-stick.
Actually, here is the truth about cast iron:
1) A seasoned pot is cool, not gross. After I received my new cast iron as a Christmas gift, my dad and I had a long talk about Grandma Culpepper's cast iron skillets. I'm following her seasoning instructions, which are as follows:
- preheat oven 235 degrees
- rub down pot with a layer of vegetable or olive oil
- place in oven for an hour, or as long as desired
- repeat every so often. I do this routinely on weekends.
Since I received the skillet, I've been surveying friends and family about their preferred methods for cast-iron care. My family lives sprawled out over the midwest, and everyone I talk to has a cast iron skillet and everyone has a different method they swear by.
2) Cast iron is indeed very heavy. I don't move it very much. Problem solved.
3) An appropriately seasoned cast iron skillet IS a non-stick surface.
4) Cast iron will put iron in your food--important for women, and vegetarians, and I am both.
5) Cast iron cooks food evenly.