Food for Thought

I hate my cast iron skillet

Am I Allowed To Say That I Hate This?

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and sometimes it chucks a cast iron skillet at your head and knocks you on your ass. But apart from being able to inflict some serious damage on someone, I am not really sure what the point of a cast iron skillet is.  I know not loving your cast iron is culinary heresy, but I just have to put it out there that CAST IRON SKILLETS ARE THE WORST – They’re heavy, they’re incredibly high maintenance, everything sticks to them, they’re a nightmare to clean, and everyone makes a lot of promises about them that never come to fruition. They are an impatient foodie’s worst nightmare when it comes to kitchen equipment.

The allure of a cast iron started for me when a chef told me that hers was so well seasoned that some magical thing (that I can’t even remember) happened to her food when she cooked with it.  Well, for over two years now, I have been cooking with my skillet, giving it nightly oil massages, and singing it a lullaby before going to bed and NOTHING IS HAPPENING. In fact, my cast iron just seems to demand more from me the more I give to it. I sometimes find myself giving it the stink eye. I never knew you could be annoyed by and feel resentment for an inanimate object.

I am totally perplexed by the love for the cast irons that I hear everywhere and read on the Internet. In a comment forum on the NYTimes, a woman cheerily states that her cast iron made her French toast taste like stir fry from the night before — IS THIS A GOOD THING? You know what my food tastes like? IRON – because the iron off the pan melts into my food and I have to eat it.

Granted, cast irons do have two things going for them: They’re inexpensive and they’ll last you forever. But I swear to God, as you are standing over a sink giving your cast iron its biweekly salt scrub massage you’ll realize that you’ll never get this time in your life back, and that maybe an extra $20 is not such a big deal. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it does last forever, but mine will be lasting forever in a drawer far from my sight and not driving me out of my mind.


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