A cast iron skillet is seen as an unnecessary kitchen implement by many. Something else to clutter up an already busy kitchen. But if you cook steak very often, a good quality skillet can completely change how you approach it and the end result. They aren’t cheap but they are a solid investment in your kitchen, just like a quality set of knives.
There are several reasons why a cast iron skillet is worth considering if you like your steak.
It retains and distributes heat very well
Cast iron is well known for taking the heat and keeping it. That heat is then allowed to radiate across the surface of the pan allowing for a very consistent cook. Heat release is predictable and can be counted on when frying delicate steaks. It’s an excellent surface for frying fish for the same reasons.
Aside from cooking steak on a stone, few surfaces offer such consistent heat delivery.
It will last forever
As long as you look after your skillet, it could last for decades. Keep it clean, keep it free of debris, season it properly and lightly oil it regularly and you could theoretically pass it on to your grandchildren. They genuinely are that heard wearing. This is one of the reasons you will see cast iron in commercial kitchens.
No chemical non-stick coating
While chemical coatings only offer a theoretical risk, it is still a risk. If you can avoid that with a top quality pan without compromising on anything else, I think that’s a viable option. There are no downsides to cast iron. They are a little heavy but they are solid, well-built and deliver an even cook across their entire surface.
Easy to clean
As long as you season the skillet properly, cleaning is simple. All you need to do is use warm water and a gentle scrub for ground in debris. Then add some clean water to the skillet and add it to a high heat for ten minutes. Remove, dry and add a little oil to the surface to keep it rust free. Clean, hygienic and very easy to do!
I mainly use my skillet for steak but you can cook just about anything in it. You could go from breakfast, through lunch all the way to dinner with the one pan and still not be left wanting. As long as it is cleaned between meals, there’s no problem!
You don’t have to use a cast iron skillet to cook your steak but it can add a definite character to the meat. It’s definitely worth trying if you’re in the market for a new pan!