The Cast Iron Controversy

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What’s My Problem?

I have spent the better part of the last six months trying to sort through the myriad of homeopathic and all-natural health products, benefits, and common misconceptions. My current object of research is pots and pans. I’ve switched out certain food brands. I’ve started reusing and purchasing glass jars for whatever I possibly can. I’ve upgraded the dish, hand, and body soap that we use on a daily basis. Heck, I’ve even gone so far as to purchase beeswax wraps and bags to replace our plastic baggies. I keep coming back to my pots and pans. I cook almost every day, and I love my current non-stick, Teflon-coated (toxic) pans. I got two pans and two pots (with lids!) for a fair price. They’ve maintained their beloved non-stick feature for over a year now. I have two, maybe three, problems. The first is that I Googled some articles about Teflon, their toxicity, and recommended alternatives. Google will not stop hinting at shopping around for cookware in my search engine, so whenever I attempt to look something up, I see the recent or suggested search and I’m prompted to resume my research. This brings me to my second problem, I am very frequently thinking about whether or not I should be replacing my pots and pans. My third problem is that this will inevitably end in me spending a not-so-small amount of money upgrading my cookware, and it probably needs to happen sooner rather than later because both of my most used pans are scratched (a big Teflon-coating no-no).

What Have I Looked at So Far?

I’ve looked at Caraway, and I must admit that they’re very aesthetically pleasing. I also love the organizer they come with! I have read multiple complaints from customers about the pans becoming “burnt” looking and therefore ruining the beautiful aesthetic that initially pulls customers in. I want something that’s going to age well and look good a year from now and beyond. These wish list items brought me to stainless steel. I love the sleek design. I love how shiny they are. I love that they can take wear and tear, and I love that they’re not overly high maintenance. I also love that they’re naturally non-toxic. It means I don’t have to sort through ten or more brands that claiming to be non-toxic that aren’t. That said, they aren’t as user friendly as non-stick cookware. There’s a trick to getting your food out of your pots and pans without leaving anything behind, and it’s not complicated, but it’s not something I want to think about every time I turn my stovetop on, either. Furthermore, stainless steel also stains. I received one stainless steel pot as a wedding gift, and I love it. However, I burnt one meal on the bottom of said pot, and I haven’t been able to reverse the stain since. Of course, there are tips and tricks out there that I haven’t tried yet. Success could be just around the corner! Frankly, I don’t want to spend that time. I want something that can take a beating without breaking down. I want something that’s user-friendly. I want something that’s naturally non-toxic. I want something that’s going to maintain its good looks. If possible, I want something I can pass down through generations. I’m in love with the idea of my children being able to inherit quality clothing, furniture, cookware, and more from my husband and me.

What Was My Favorite?

As much of our fashion, food, and other lifestyle trends are going, I found my cookware material of choice by looking backwards. I found cast iron. Specifically, I found the Wasatch line from Backcountry Iron. They are the most gorgeous, shiny bronze color. They’re durable (also, heavy). They come in four different sizes, boast various cooking method capabilities, and are toted as being an item that can withstand the test of time, weather the ages, and therefore become a heirloom in their own right. What makes these cast iron pans stand out from others, aside from the bronze shine, is that they are smooth on the bottom. How many cast iron pans have you encountered with a smooth cooking surface? It was a first for me. The reason Backcountry designed Wasatch pans this way is because they wanted them to be more user-friendly. It works! I have had as easy a time cooking in these pans as I did my non-stick. Except, now it’s even more enjoyable because I’m seeing better cooking results without the toxicity concerns. The pans are undoubtedly pricey and comparable to Caraway in that respect, but if what Backcountry’s website description says is accurate then they should more than pay for themselves through the decades. Alternatively, they also sell the cast iron pans that most of us think of when we hear someone say cast iron, and these pans are more reasonably priced with all the same great features and benefits aside from the smoothed cooking surface.

What Are Other Good Options

The Cuisinel Store’s 12” Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Lid

Lodge Yellowstone 12” Skillet

The Utopia 12” Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

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