cast iron is healthier

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by beast, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    3 health reasons to cook with cast-iron

    [​IMG] By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., Associate Nutrition Editor at EatingWell Magazine Cast-iron skillets may seem like an old-fashioned choice in the kitchen. But this dependable cookware is a must in the modern kitchen. Cast-iron skillets conduct heat beautifully, go from stovetop to oven with no problem and last for decades. (In fact, my most highly prized piece of cookware is a canary-yellow, enamel-coated cast-iron paella pan from the 1960s that I scored at a stoop sale for $5.) As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor of EatingWell Magazine, I also know that there are some great health reasons to cook with cast iron.
    17 Healthy Recipes for Cast Iron Skillets

    1. You can cook with less oil when you use a cast-iron pan.
    That lovely sheen on cast-iron cookware is the sign of a well-seasoned pan, which renders it virtually nonstick. The health bonus, of course, is that you won’t need to use gads of oil to brown crispy potatoes or sear chicken when cooking in cast-iron. To season your cast-iron skillet, cover the bottom of the pan with a thick layer of kosher salt and a half inch of cooking oil, then heat until the oil starts to smoke. Carefully pour the salt and oil into a bowl, then use a ball of paper towels to rub the inside of the pan until it is smooth. To clean cast iron, never use soap. Simply scrub your skillet with a stiff brush and hot water and dry it completely.
    Must-Read: The 2 Healthiest Oils to Cook With (and the Worst to Avoid)

    2. Cast iron is a chemical-free alternative to nonstick pans.
    Another benefit to using cast-iron pans in place of nonstick pans is that you avoid the harmful chemicals that are found in nonstick pans. The repellent coating that keeps food from sticking to nonstick pots and pans contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical that’s linked to liver damage, cancer, developmental problems and, according to one 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, early menopause. PFCs get released—and inhaled—from nonstick pans in the form of fumes when pans are heated on high heat. Likewise, we can ingest them when the surface of the pan gets scratched. Both regular and ceramic-coated cast-iron pans are great alternatives to nonstick pans for this reason.
    Must-Read: 7 Simple Ways to Detox Your Diet and Your Home
    8 More Products to Help You Green Up Your Kitchen

    3. Cooking with cast iron fortifies your food with iron.
    While cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, it can leach some iron into your food...and that’s a good thing. Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide, especially among women. In fact, 10% of American women are iron-deficient. Cooking food, especially something acidic like tomato sauce in a cast-iron skillet can increase iron content, by as much as 20 times.
    Find out: Are You and Your Family Getting Enough of the Nutrients You Need?
    Do you cook with cast-iron?

    By Kerri-Ann Jennings
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2014
    Brokor, Falcon15, chelloveck and 4 others like this.
  2. STANGF150

    STANGF150 Knowledge Seeker

    Don't worry, wait awhile. Won't be long before sumone says it bad fer you.
    Falcon15 likes this.
  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    yeah but ive been eatin off castiron my whole life
    im aint gonna change cuz some city wimp that dont know no better says
  4. gasman28110

    gasman28110 Monkey+

    Finally got the wife to start using cast iron and now she loves it.
  5. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    I always thought you needed to put oil and bake it on. I've got a few pans and a griddle I need to season, I'll try it with the kosher salt.

    Any recommends about which oil to use?
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Bacon fat works well.
    STANGF150 and Falcon15 like this.
  7. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    i only season with bacon grease

    i even season my woodstove with bacon grease
    keeps it black n pretty and rust free
    not to mention i can drop a steak or somesuch right on top as its going
    and cook it without a pan
  8. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    Cast Iron is all I use to cook with...
    Falcon15 likes this.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    And a cast iron skillet

    makes for a great improvised weapon. wanna broken nose with that bacon and egg?
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Are you speaking from experience there Chell? Pays not to insult the cook, or the cooking, I think......
  11. limpingbear

    limpingbear future cancer survivor....

    my dad used cast iron all the time, up until he was diagnosed with hemocromotosis. it does fortify your food with iron, but if you have high blood iron to begin with it can be a bad thing.
    personally i use olive oil to season my cast stuff. i need to get more.....
  12. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    Thanks for the posting, Beast! Lots of good info. I have a 100-year-old cast iron frying pan which has been handed down in my late husband's family and I used it for many years. However, when the Teflon pans came out I was one of those who got sucked in to the ease of cleaning etc., so the cast iron pan was stored away. My recently deceased daughter had planned to move into the bush this year and would have been using woodstoves so I bought her a couple of secondhand pans which of course, have now reverted back to me. I think your posting is a sign for me to get cracking and fix all of these up and start using cast iron again. I will certainly need them if TSHTF and there is no power as I will be cooking on a woodstove. I'd better get prepared! Your posting is very timely, methinks!
  13. kdalton

    kdalton Monkey+

    Been reading on this last week. Think my teflon pans are moving on out.
  14. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    Okay, assume I can't use swine oil. What other oils can I use?

    I gave up the bacon months ago.
  15. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    Olive oil or a quality vegetable oil will be fine...I prefer the vegetable oil method myself.
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Canola oil supposedly has a higher flash point, so one could "assume" it is suitable. I like olive oil for seasoning the CI if it needs it between bacon fryings..
  17. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    Cool, thank you!
  18. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    one thing i considered long ago about seasoning pans
    when TSHTF where ya gonna get fancy oils?
    olive, peanut and sunflower are the only easily home made
    vegetable oils, everything else requires major processing
    same for bacon grease and lard, you can make em while ya cook
  19. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey+++

    And remember the report that teflon leaches into your food when the pan is heated. Idjits gave us this and many used it.
  20. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    After it's properly seasoned, my understanding is that any oil will do to keep it up, and the likelihood of having to re-season is low if you take proper care.
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