Cast iron is an alloy of iron and a small amount of carbon. It is super hard and, therefore, must be made into its shape through casting. Cast iron skillets are ultra-durable and can do just about any type of cooking. Use it on the stovetop, inside the oven, above a campfire – cast iron pans are a weapon of choice in the kitchen and outdoors.
From searing steaks to deep frying chicken, up to creating paellas and baking bread, a cast iron skillet is a versatile kitchen cookware. It heats up quickly and retains heat very well. There are numerous types, shapes, and features to a cast iron pan. We are here to help you choose the best one.
A cast iron skillet is a kitchen cooking essential. It is extremely versatile and is practically indestructible. However, not all of them are created equal.
You want to choose a cast iron skillet that is most useful for you and could take one the type of cooking you plan to do or do the most. Below we breakdown the things you need to consider before buying yourself a cast iron skillet.
Both are great options. So, this boils down to your personal preference. Basically, you are choosing based on your love for cooking and everything it entails. Do you want a simple, easy to clean skillet or one that adds to the overall culinary experience and not just the cooking part? If you don't know your answer yet, you'll know after reading this article.
Uncoated cast iron skillets require seasoning. To season a cast iron pan is to bake oil into the pan so it creates a non-stick surface through polymerization. Seasoning creates a film between the raw metal and the food so it slides right off and it also prevents the skillet from rusting. They might also require periodic re-seasoning. Worry not, most cast iron skillets come pre-seasoned.
Like fine wine, cast iron skillets get better with time and proper use. This is why they are a favorite, chefs and home cooks alike. Use it on a stove, in an oven, or on the outdoor grill, or even over an open campfire; their plain cast iron construction make them a cookware for anywhere there's heat or fire. The simplicity and extreme versatility of this type make them a stand out kitchen tool.
Enameled skillets do not require the tedious seasoning: applying oil, baking, and rust-proofing, that uncoated ones do. If you like to focus solely on the cooking part and want to do it in the most efficient way possible, this might be the choice for you.
Enameled cast iron skillets are simple to use, cook with, clean, dry, and reuse. The downside is that, while the cast iron can take much heat, the other fittings of enameled skillets like the handles and knobs may be prone to melting. While cast iron skillets have a high heat threshold, the additional fittings will require you to be more careful with them.
A lighter skillet is easier and more comfortable to handle. It prevents burns, spills and, inadvertently, wasting of both food and effort. It helps you cook with less strain and more finesse. The more you can control the pan, the better you can cook and focus on the dish.
You are more likely to choose a skillet that you are most comfortable with. Cast iron skillets are heavier than the usual cookware, so it is best to keep in mind its weight. Bigger is definitely better, but heavier is not. Choose a skillet than can accommodate more ingredients while being less taxing to cook with.
A cast iron skillet is either deep or shallow, that is the main difference. The more shallow skillets are known as frypans; the deeper ones are called Dutch ovens. One thing's sure, you will be able to create mouth-watering dishes with either.
Frypans are the most common. They are an all-arounder. They are not only for frying your favorite bagnet, but also for searing and browning the pata for patatim, baking buko pie, sautéing afritada, and grilling liempo.
Dutch ovens are great for soups, stews, and casserole. Great for braising kambing for kaldereta or baka for pares, those that require long hours of cooking. It is great for meals that require simmering, boiling such as bulalo, pinapaitan, sinigang and a whole lot more.
You must also consider the cooking surface of the pan, a flat bottom is better since there is better contact between the pan and your meat of choice that gives a perfect sear. Some have a ribbed bottom which is great for grill marks. Depending on what you cook often, these are the two choices.
The shape is mostly important in regards to the heating of the pan; round pans heat more evenly which is the most ideal. Square-shaped skillets are more for grilling, dry cooking, or dishes that you move or stir constantly.
Consider a cast iron skillet that has a helper handle for easier, two-handed carrying. This makes cooking safer, and moving with the pan easier. Another to consider is if it has a pouring spout, this makes for easy draining or soup-serving.
For containing oil or sauce spatter, taller pans contain them better. Even better, look for skillets that come with a lid. You might also want to consider the handle such as those spring-wrapped or rubber-wrapped versus pure cast iron handles.
We went through a lot of cast iron skillets online; and, not all of them are at par with the high standards we want for you. Rest assured, you'll definitely find a pan or two below that fit your cooking style. Be ready to make your favorite dishes after going through our review of the top cast iron skillets you can purchase online.
|Type||Deep Fry Pan|
|Size||25 cm, 8 cm deep|
Cast Iron Frypan
Deep Dish Cast Iron Skillet
3.2 Quart Seasoned Deep Skillet
Enameled Cast Iron Pan
Cast Iron Paella Pan
Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
Square Cast Iron Skillet
Induction Ready Skillet
Cast Iron Square Grill Pan
Mini Square Skillet
The Ultimate All-Around Cast Iron Skillet
Heavy Duty Pan for the Heaviest Dishes
The Deep Skillet of Choice for Wet Cooking
Smooth-Casted Frypan Best for Stir-Fry Recipes
Traditional Flat Pan for Paellas and Other Rice-Based Meals
An Easy to Lift Skillet for Comfort Food Cooking
Square Grill Pan Great For Baked Pasta
Thick-Gauged Deeper-Than-Usual Frypan
A Skillet that is Great for Searing and Soupless Dishes
A Mini Skillet for Small Meryenda Meals
|Price Starts at||₱589.75||₱699.75||₱3,196||₱2,500||₱1,089||₱4,500||₱640||₱3,900||₱780||₱876|
|Size||25 cm||25 cm||25 cm, 8 cm deep||30 cm||25/28/30/35 cm||28 cm||24-26 cm||26 cm||24-26 cm||5.5 in|
|Type||Fry Pan||Deep Fry Pan||Dutch Oven||Frypan||Frypan||Dutch Oven||Frypan||Frypan||Grill Pan||Frypan|
|Coat||Uncoated||Uncoated (Pre-seasoned)||Uncoated||Enameled||Uncoated||Enameled||Uncoated||Uncoated||Uncoated (Pre-seasoned)||Uncoated (Pre-seasoned)|
To get the best out of your cast iron skillet, you must learn to season it properly. Not only does this make it better to cook with by rendering it non-stick, but It also strengthens the alloy making it more durable. Plus, seasoning your cast iron pan also rust proofs it. The video by Tasty, a very popular food channel, gives the following important points that you should remember when cooking with cast iron:
In the kitchen, you can have a wide array of tools and equipment to help you create the best dishes imaginable. But, before you start, you must be sure you have the fundamentals covered. You already know which cast iron skillet best fits your goal. Now, it's time to choose your other kitchen essentials. Follow the links below and set yourself up with the basics.
There are many skillets out there, but there are only a few that are up to the task of everyday cooking. In terms of reliability, cast iron skillets are the cream of the crop. A great artist can utilize one brush to complete a masterpiece, in the kitchen, a cast iron skillet can be that brush. Durability and versatility, it's a hard combo to beat.
Author: Petre Baliton
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