As mentioned in a previous post, for Mother’s Day my husband and son gave a cast iron casserole dish from Le Creuset. I was/am absolutley thrilled! In the past we had been using Teflon-coated skillets, but the protective coating would always wear out and start to let food stick because I enjoy cooking at high temperature, and those pans just can’t take the heat. After much research as to what would be the best option for us, I came across the world of cast iron. What attracted me to cast iron is that it’s been around for centuries, has health benefits for those with anemia (iron from the skillet leaches into your food), you can cook and scratch with any utensil you wish to use, it’s non-stick, and keeps food warm for a very long period after being removed from heat. Cast iron also has some down sides: it’s heavy … really heavy!, you can’t wash it in the dishwasher or with soap for that matter – rinse it out with hot water and dry it, it can rust (but you can remove the rust easily – it doesn’t damage the pan).
I thought it was worth a try, but who has â‚¬150 to put out for a pan??! My husband said that after long consideration (not currently having any sort of non-stick pan at home to make tortillas in helped), he came to the conclusion that it was the same price as buying almost 5 (â‚¬30,77) non-stick skillets from Ikea. The last one we bought lasted 2 years. So, over a course of 10 years, we would have spent that much. With a cast iron pan – you buy it for life – and then you pass it on to your children..and they pass it on to their children…etc.
All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this casserole dish to anyone who would like some healthy non-stick cookware. The price is worth it, and in may cases, you can find them on sale, or pay less for them on Amazon.com – currently $149.99 (my hushand paid â‚¬150, which is currently $202.50 including local sales tax of 19%)
So, which type of pan do you need/want? And, which is the most versitile for your needs? Only you can really know that, but here are some tips/questions:
- The 3 1/2 quart casserole dish comes with a lid and 2 handles and can make meals for up to 8-10 servings
- Do you like to watch your food cook while it’s covered? Get a pan that allows you to cover it with a glass lid
- Do you want to be able to flip it? Do you make a lot of creps and pankcakes? If so, a griddle or crepe pan may be what you need
- Do you like to grill indoors? Get a stove-top grill pan or a griddle with a ribbed side and a flat side for more versatility
- Do you like to bake with your pots and pans? Make sure that you get a cast iron pan that does not have a wooden handle. Baking with a pot is like cooking in a crock pot.
- How much storage space do you have? 1 multi-function pan may be all you have the space to store; if you have more space – more (buying) power to you
- Do you have the possibilty to cook over an open fire? Cast iron is great for this – just make sure that what ever you are using does not have any wooden or plastic parts that could melt or burn.
Oh, some other information that you may be interested in:
Le Creuset give a lifetime warranty for the lifetime of the original owner and is produced in northern France. Check-out their website here.