10 January 2012

the end of disposable pans

Since I became more aware of the dangers of non-stick cookware, I started shopping for an alternative to replace my saute pan which was nearing the end of (sort of) safe lifespan.

I found it's shape very nice to cook with, having a large flat bottom surface. Okay, so it's been a while since it's actually been flat, it was warped so badly that only the middle touched the element, making it really wobbly on the ceramic cooktop, far from even heat.

I searched many different stores, looking for my new, awesome skillet that met all of my requirements. It would be large and flat, non-aluminum, even heating, less disposable and wouldn't contain or produce PTFE or PFOA, and needless to say, not cost too much.

I looked,


 and looked,

but skeptical me, (with product reviews) wasn't sold on any of them. I couldn't find the pan in my mind. I finally thought I'd have to settle for something.. imperfect.

The end of the pan's life had come. I couldn't with good conscience, serve my family anything cooked on it. I asked Dave how to dispose of it. He liked the circular pattern on the bottom, thinking it would make a good target. "Let me shoot at it". Okay then.

The next time I went to cook, I searched my cupboard for something that would do. When I opened that drawer under the oven, which I thought only housed the turkey roaster, I found an old cast iron pan. "I guess that will do, for now." After scrubbing it, and re-seasoning it, I placed it on the stovetop.

the perfect pan

Then it hit me. It was heavy, large and flat, non-disposable, even heating, contained no synthetic chemicals, somewhat non-stick, oven safe, and as an added bonus, can provide a little more iron in our diets. It's exactly what I was looking for!

I feel like I discovered the next amazing new thing! Perhaps it's something that corporations want us to forget, in order to spend more. Either way, I'm happy I didn't have to spend a cent. If it's been a while since you've used cast iron, if you're looking to replace your disposable pans, I'd suggest giving it a try.

I do have to make a little handle cozy to go on it though. It was pretty hot when I forgot it wasn't insulated, ouch.

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