Stuff I Use: Cast Iron Skillets & Dutch Ovens

This dutch oven is HOT! 
When I got married, I had aspirations... like switching form plain old pots and pans to cast iron skillets and dutch ovens! This dream was realized thanks to my many guests who clicked on my registry and followed their hearts all the way to Crate & Barrel’s website, and they chose the cast iron stuff. To them, I am eternally indebted.

The reason I was so hot on these items is very simple. In fact, it may be a little embarrassingly simple, but I don’t hold back. I had heard a news report or read an article (or overheard a rumor, same thing, right?) that the cast iron helped put extra iron in your diet. Anyway, that was the hype on it, and I thought that was cool, I wanted some for myself, and I got em.

Once I had them, I realized that there was a lot more to cast iron pots than I had thought. I have an electric stove, which is great (the having a stove part), but I dream of a gas stove because they have more even and true heat. Easier control... but at least now with the cast iron, the heat distribution is much better for cooking. This might sound crazy, but I have skillets and dutch ovens that I trust.

I love to use them as roasting pans! 
I also like that I don’t wash it with soap. I know that this deters people from cast iron usage, but really, it shouldn’t. It’s actually EASIER to clean than regular pots and pans because nothing really sticks to it. Nothing. Ever. Sticks. And I feel like such a primitive woman--no soap! I am so hardcore...

Now for the real perk: stove to oven capabilities--holla! This is by far the biggest advantage to these pots and pans. I can’t tell you how truly glorious it is to be able to take a pan from the stove and just pop it in the oven. There are so many times when this comes in handy, I can’t tell you. (And cornbread in a skillet is only the beginning.) You brown and braise meat in fell swoop!

I have roasted chickens in my cast iron skillet, too, and let me tell you, this pan was made for roasting. Ducks, too... and pork roasts! Yes, stove to oven and back again is the bee’s knees, and a definite selling point for these loverly stovetop dwellers. The dutch ovens (in case you were wondering) are amazing and basically a necessity if you like to make certain types of braised meats, like short ribs, or shredded pork.

But they work great for risotto, too! 
The one downside? They are sort of heavy. But for now that’s okay. Oh, and that thing about the iron pots adding iron to your diet? Well that is actually true too. Pretty cool, huh? Just one more benefit to these awesome kitchen additions. It’s one supply I just can’t go without.

As for my brand, Lodge. It's amazing, durable, and has not ever let me down in the slightest. I also feel like their pricing is reasonable. You can pick some up for your holiday honey here... you know, if cooking is their thang.

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