I complete most of my baking and cooking in cast iron pans. Cast iron cooking became a priority as a way to address my child’s diet-based iron deficiency symptoms related to autism sensory sensitivities to food. CLICK HERE to read about the benefits of cast iron cooking. Cast iron heats and cooks food evenly. CLICK HERE to read about how to clean and condition cast iron cookware. This article includes my picks for the 5 best cast iron cookware to stock your kitchen and food ideas on how to maximize the versatility of each recommended pan.
The 6 Best Cast Iron Cookware Needed to Stock Your Kitchen
1. Cast Iron Griddle
My most used pan is this cast iron griddle. I use it for frying burgers, cooking pancakes and crepes, and for baking pizza. I’ve also used this griddle for baking cookies, heating chicken nuggets, and for heating other frozen food. This griddle is versatile and I use it almost every day.
My second most used pan is my cast iron skillet. I brown beef and make tacos meat every week. Spahetti sauce with ground beef also works well in this pan. Scrambled eggs will cook well if the pan is well seasoned. If your eggs are sticking and the pan is hard to clean, it means you need to re-season your pan. Stir fry, chicken pieces, hamburgers, or really anything else you would cook on a stove top will work well in this pan. I own two skillets. One of my skillets has a more curved edge and the other has a more perpendicular edge. I have even used the curved-edge pan for baking a cheese cake.
3. Cast iron Pie Pan
Although I don’t make pies everyday, I use this cast iron pie pan that frequently. I bought this pie pan as it fits perfectly in my toaster oven. Now I can bake with the benefits of cast iron without heating up a large oven. I use this pie pan in my toaster oven to reheat left-over food, bake a few cookies (I keep cookie dough balls frozen and pull out just what I need for one serving), heat hotdogs, and heat chicken nuggets. I have also baked pies and cheesecake in this pan.
4. Cast Iron Baking Pan
The 9×13 casserole size cast iron baking pan is perfect for casseroles. I have used it for lasagna, baking fries, and baking tater tots. It could also be used for cakes and any other family sized meal. This baking pan would also work well with a batch of homemade rolls.
5. Cast Iron Bread Pan
Every kitchen needs at least one cast iron bread pan. Make banana bread, meatloaf, or sandwich bread that is fortified with iron just by baking in this pan.
6. Cast Iron Dutch Ovens
A set of dutch ovens will help complete your cast iron collection and serve as pots that can be used on any cooking surface or for heating and baking food in the oven. Include 2-quart, 5-quart, and 7-quart pots in your collection to meet all of you cooking needs. Make soups and sauces. Heat canned food. Make a pot of beans. Anything you would make in non-stick or aluminum pot can be cooked in these cast iron pots.
Conclusion on the 6 Best Cast Iron Pans for your Kitchen
Stock your kitchen with cast iron cookware for non-stick cooking that naturally fortifies your food with iron. Start out your cast iron collection by replacing 1 to 2 of your other pots and pans per month. I don’t mind investing in cast iron as I know it will last forever. Cast iron that is properly cared for will never need to be replaced.
Final Tips for Your New Cast Iron Cookware
Many new cast iron pans are advertised as pre-seasoned. Some of the pans will come well seasoned (I have always had the Lodge brand of cast iron come this way) and others will need additional seasoning before use. You may need to go through the seasoning process more than once to get the best cast iron non-stick surface. CLICK HERE to read about how to season your new cast iron pans.