Surprisingly, I have met many people who do not know the difference between a cast iron skillet and any other normal frying pan. Are you one of them? It pains me to say this, but it must be said: That's ignorant on your part. It's like not knowing the difference between Michael Jordan and every other basketball player ever, which is just exceptionally ignorant. In both the case of the cast iron skillet vs. the regular frying pan and Michael Jordan vs. every other basketball player ever, you're unaware that both cast iron skillets and Michael Jordan are the best of all time in their respective fields.
So, I get it, you don't understand what's so great about a cast iron skillet (if you don't get what's so good about Michael Jordan, this is a link to his Wikipedia entry). Here's a quick primer.
1. It gets really hot and retains a lot of heat. Often when cooking meats, specifically steak, it's important that the first surface that your meat touches (TWSS) be insanely hot. Why? Because that way it creates a crust that seals in all of the juices and keeps your meat moist and delicious (TWSS!)! The cast iron skillet is critical to cooking a delicious steak, this is very important to remember. I'm sure if you are cooking vegetables (eye roll), it's just as good as for that.
2. Even distribution of heat. Along with heat retention, an even distribution of heat is also really important to the cooking process, ESPECIALLY if you're searing (as mentioned above), deep frying, or even baking. So make sure you're always preheating your cast iron skillet, and also not burning yourself, because you want a nice even (often high) heat to get your best results.
3. It's versatile. So we know you can cook a steak with a cast iron skillet, great. You know what else you can do? Bake an mf-ing pie! A PIE. Can you believe that? Isn't it insane that you can just throw this skillet in the oven right after you've been using it on the stove? If this doesn't impress you, then kudos on having a life so filled with wonder that the versatility of cooking utensils leaves you joyless and dead inside. Me, I'm not like that. I'm not like you. I enjoy life.
Obviously, life isn't perfect. We're all fallible. And like us, and unlike Michael Jordan, the cast iron skillet has some flaws. It's a little heavy (IT'S MADE OF CAST IRON, NOT FEATHERS). If you have difficulties with spatial relations, it's possible that you will burn yourself. But you know what? Maybe you deserve it. If you can't stand the heat of a cast iron skillet, then get out of the kitchen and stop trying to grab the handles of cast iron skillets that have been preheated without wearing some sort of protective hand thingie. But for those of you who are able to navigate your way around a stove, get yourself a cast iron skillet. I cannot overemphasize the richness it will bring to your life.
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