For a cookware such as the cast iron skillet one question is repeatedly asked by chefs and it is “what can I use if I don’t have a cast iron skillet?”. The question seeks to find alternatives that come in handy if for any reason the cast iron skillet is not available.
Thankfully, it is not set in stone that it must be used to cook. There are other cookware that can replace it and still be used effectively. Yes its a special cookware but it is not irreplaceable as would be discovered further down in this article
The kitchen is one place where improvisation is very important. Not having all kinds and sets of cooking utensils is almost the norm and this is because of factors such as kitchen and storage space, availability of utensils in stores and shops around, type of meals cooked and even more importantly, the financial ability of the homeowner or kitchen user.
Why Consider a Cast Iron Skillet?
The cast iron skillet has interesting qualities that endears it to most customers. Some of these qualities include its weight; the cast iron skillet is weighty considering it is fashioned from iron and this further gives it balance which is very vital during cooking. It is also very durable so there is hardly a need to make a regular or frequent trip to the stores to purchase a new cast iron skillet every weekend.
Finally, the cast iron skillet ensures a uniform heat distribution so that food is evenly and properly cooked. It is also stylish and gives the modernized appearance and feel to the kitchen. For this reason and more, cast iron skillets have sealed their place. However, almost identical performances can be gotten from various cooking utensils. What are these other cookware that can be used instead of a cast iron skillet?
OTHER COOKWARE THAT CAN BE USED WHEN THE CAST IRON SKILLET IS NOT AVAILABLE
You can easily replace the cast iron skillet with other skillets such as stainless steel skillet, the enameled cast iron skillet and even the nickel-plated cast iron skillet would be a good replacement. However, these cast iron variants are not the only worthy replacements for the cast iron skillet.
When considering a replacement for cast iron skillets, it is worthy of note that the cast iron skillet holds heat so well that when you introduce cold food to a set of already heated food the temperature would not drop drastically. Any good cook understands why this is important because they know this factor determines whether or not they get an evenly cooked meal that absorbs little oil or butter.
Stainless steel covered pans
Stainless steel covered pans that are weighty can be an easy replacement for the cast iron skillet. They can carry out the same functions as the cast iron skillet. They are as heavy as the cast iron skillets which mean that they can hold more heat and they have more balance which are both endearing qualities of a cast iron skillet.
As much as cast iron skillets have sealed their spots in the hearts of consumers, it is good to know that just about any heavy steel skillet or pan can be used in its stead. So if you are not big on the cool appearance and nostalgic feeling that cooking with a cast iron affords then get a heavy steel skillet and get the same results.
The cookware that would hardly replace a cast iron skillet are those ones made from thin steel, aluminum and other metals that are not heavy. They might have a problem absorbing and retaining heat. Also a ceramic stoneware skillet would suffice when it is not feasible to get a cast iron skillet.
WHEN IS IT BEST TO USE A CAST IRON SKILLET?
The versatility of a cast iron skillet is one of the reasons why most people opt for it. Having the cast iron skillet can save you the money and space required to purchase other cookware. They have a range of uses and can be used to cook a lot of foods. The one feature that offers them this versatility is the fact that cast iron skillets can easily absorb heat and even retain the heat for long. This is what most foods need to be properly cooked.
Cast iron skillets can be used for pan-frying, they can be used for searing, broiling, roasting and even baking. Cast iron skillets can very easily replace a sauté pan since it can be used for sautéing. Most people have resorted to using the cast iron skillet for just about anything. There are only a few cooking techniques that they cannot accommodate.
Whenever you need to make recipes that would require intense heat to cook or you just want to have a fast grill then the cast iron skillet is your ideal cookware. Also when you need to make high temperature recipes that require a lot of stirring and flipping then the cast iron comes to mind since it is very convenient. Just like most frying pans, the cast iron skillet has sides that are sloped which makes it easy for you to stir-fry and cook foods that require the tossing technique. Shallow frying at a high temperature is simply best done with a cast iron skillet.
REASONS WHY YOU NEED A CAST IRON SKILLET IN YOUR KITCHEN
Most of the merits of the cast iron skillet revolve around the cookware’s versatility, functionality and most importantly, its durability. The cast iron skillet is simply that cookware that will outlive other cookware, come in often quite handy because it is reliable and can be used for about just anything. Some of the reasons to have a cast iron skillet in your kitchen include;
Any good skillet is relatively inexpensive. For all the qualities of the cast iron skillet, it still comes at a very affordable price in most stores. Other very expensive cookware are easily outmatched by the cast iron skillet. So the cast iron skillet is the cheap route to making your best dishes.
Once the cast iron skillet is cared for, then it can last for a very long time. The cookware is not subdued by heat. It also has the non-stick technology so it is easy to clean up after use. The cast iron skillet is seasoned so that it is one of the most durable metal cookware available. It is, however, imperative to note that acidic foods should not be prepared with the skillet because any part of the skillet that is not seasoned would add a metallic taste to the food.
Absorbing and retaining heat
The cast iron skillet can get really hot and stay at that high temperature for a long time and anyone with some good kitchen experience would tell you how much of a good feature this is. This ability to absorb so much heat and retain the heat means that one can cook dishes that require charring or even when you want to roast vegetables and chicken on a pan. The skillet also makes searing easier for this reason.
BEST CHOICE CAST IRON SKILLETS AVAILABLE
The lodge cast iron skillet is a special kind. It is a large piece of cookware. It is so big that it can be used for roasting a whole chicken. The size also supports searing a lot of meat at the same time. It makes for easy handling and use during cooking as it comes with a silicone holder that can insulate from heat for very high temperatures. Just as other cast iron skillets, this one is a great choice for versatility and durability. Click here to see on Amazon
Staub 10-Inch Frying Pan
This is an enameled cast iron skillet and the best of its kind available. This type is special for the major reason that it is non-stick from the point of manufacturing. Its enameled nature also means that the skillet would not be able to react with acidic foods to give off a metallic flavor into the food. This pan has very good performance and it is stylish and beautiful. Click here to see on Amazon
Utopia Kitchen 3-Piece
This is a three-pan set of cast iron skillets. It is a best seller because it is very affordable and has a high performance rating. The skillet comes with an extra handle that makes it easy to use and also comes with a double spout for pouring or draining the skillet. It is a top-quality cast iron skillet. Click here to see on Amazon
Cast iron skillets are the gems of cookware. They are non-stick pans and they have versatility, durability and functionality on their side as well. However, it is not impossible to imagine a kitchen without them and when this is the case, there are cookware and utensils that by their own design can be used in the place of them.