There's a lot of talk about cast-iron cookware. Here at The Huffington Post we've talked about how to care for it and how to cook in it, but has anyone ever stopped to wonder why we'd use a heavy cooking tool that demands such special care?
Lisa McManus of America's Test Kitchen puts it best in her in-depth interview on the publication's blog Behind The Issue: "It’s like the difference between lying on a sun-baked rock or in a hammock on a warm, sunny day."
The sun-baked rock is the cast-iron skillet, and the hammock is, let's say, a nonstick pan. They both get the job done, but nothing can accumulate and radiate heat quite like a cast-iron pan. And that is one of the reasons cast-iron skillets are so beloved in home kitchens across the country.
Then there's the fact that they're so darn durable. When McManus was asked if there's ever a point when a cast-iron pan is beyond saving, her response was, "If it’s snapped in two, or rusted right through -- which I’ve never seen." So in other words, no.
McManus also suggests a surprising fact about cast-iron pans -- that soap is not their kryptonite, despite what we've been told. She assures us that it's OK to use a couple drops of soap every now and again.
Are you ready to get with the cast-iron skillet game? Here are a couple of recommendations for the best ones to buy from the good folks at America's Test Kitchen.