Up until recently I have been cooking with non-stick skillets without much thought and have never really had a problem using them. I haven’t had the “Teflon-flu” or had a pet die due to fumes. Realistically, if you cook at medium-to-low using a non-stick pan, chances are you’re probably okay to use it. However, if you are a high-heat cook, maybe Teflon isn’t the best choice.
Visible warning signs to turn in your non-stick pan:
- Charred surfaces
- Peeling or flaking surface
That might sound really obvious but I don’t know how many homes I’ve been in where I look up at the pan rack and see just that. My pans were getting a bit old and in need of replacing which bothers me because I like things that really last! Cast-iron pans offer a lifetime of cooking if taken care of correctly.
Lodge is one of the oldest if not THE oldest family-owned manufacturer of cast-iron cookware. If you have ever been in an antique store and seen a cast-iron pan, it’s more than likely a Lodge. With that kind of longevity, that’s just the pan I bought. The extra work of having a cast-iron pan is that you have to clean it properly and keep it “seasoned,” which involves hand washing, drying immediately, and giving it a light rub of vegetable oil so that it doesn’t rust. Easy peasy.
Now for the benefits:
- Cook at any heat you like, but because of iron’s efficiency to conduct heat, medium is often the highest you’ll need.
- The more you use your cast-iron, the better it cooks.-Cast-iron pans can be used on the stovetop or directly in the oven.
- Use less oil/butter with a properly seasoned pan.
- No Teflon, just iron.
- Inexpensive cookware that can last well past your lifetime, reducing waste.