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Stainless steel vs cast iron

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  • Stainless steel vs cast iron

    I'm looking to get new skillets for Christmas to move away from the non-stick ones that are 6yrs old. Plan to eventually get a whole set to replace the pots as well. I cook eggs nearly every morning and do a lot of cooking from scratch. Should I go for stainless steel or cast iron?

  • #2
    Love my cast iron. If you've been cooking on non-stick, there's a bit of a learning curve to using cast iron for some foods, but once you figure it out, they are the best. Clean up is a breeze. I also like the fact that cooking in them helps to increase the iron content in the food. I do have keep a couple stainless steel pots for cooking acidic foods in, but other than that, it's cast iron for everything.

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    • #3
      I use cast iron most of the time but stainless for high water content foods. Steaming veggies, soups etc... everything else goes in my cast iron.

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      • #4
        I love my stainless cookware, but I can't cook eggs in my stainless steel, they *always* stick no matter how much fat I use. For this reason I have a cast iron pan as well. I don't recommend new cast iron from the store though--you'll be re-seasoning it constantly because the surface isn't smooth. Instead, look for an older pan at yard sales/thrift stores/etc. that has a smooth bottom, you can see where it's been machined (kinda like a circular pattern, even a rusty pan will be pretty smooth on the cooking surface). Strip it down however you find easiest--dishwasher, grill, fire pit, steel wool, etc. and then render some pork fat in it slowly either in the oven (if you don't mind stinking up the house) or on the grill. Bacon grease works okay but can get sticky if the bacon had any sugar in it.

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        • #5
          I use stainless and have no problem frying eggs in my stainless pan. There is a trick to it though and it involves more than using a lot of fat.

          First heat up the pan without putting anything in it - this is important. This usually takes just a minute. Put in your butter - enough to well coat your pan. It should sizzle when you place it in the pan. Then let the butter melt and it will bubble. There is a moment when the bubbling stops and - THAT IS THE MOMENT that you crack your eggs into the pan - don't wait until the butter starts to burn - do it right at the moment the bubbling stops - that is when the butter is hot enough. Leave them alone until the whites are set.

          Remove from the heat and remove from the pan. They ALWAYS come out without any problem.
          Female, age 51, 5' 9"
          SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

          Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
          2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

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          • #6
            One quick point - if cast iron pans give you extra iron then that's a very BAD thing from men's perspective.

            Men don't usually need any extra and iron does in the body what it does outside, ie it rusts (oxidizes). I'd rather use Teflon.



            AC

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            • #7
              Lots of image place marks but can't see anything?



              AC

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              • #8
                used to be obsessed with trying to use cast iron for everything, before i broke down and admitted to myself that it's a huge, gigantic pain in the ass. still have a couple of pans, will use 'em occasionally, but really, the hype is just... overhyped.

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                • #9
                  I think it depends on what you are cooking as to what type of pan you use. I have both stainless steel and cast iron. I use the cast iron for frying things that I want a nice even heat for (frying fish for example). I also use a cast iron dutch oven for braising in the oven. I use stainless steel for making things like soups or acidic dishes that would leach iron from the cast iron or damage the seasoning of the cast iron.

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                  • #10
                    I don't use cast iron too much. I've never had good luck with them. I got a set of stainless last year and I love them. They are great for searing and browning food. When you add liquid the brown comes off the bottom of the pan and it adds such a nice richness and deep flavor to the food. It took a while to learn how to use the pans. For the first week I thought it was a mistake in buying them but then I got the hang of it. Maybe buy one of each for now instead of a whole set to see what you like better. Good luck!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AlanC View Post
                      One quick point - if cast iron pans give you extra iron then that's a very BAD thing from men's perspective.

                      Men don't usually need any extra and iron does in the body what it does outside, ie it rusts (oxidizes). I'd rather use Teflon.



                      AC
                      really? i mean, really?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jakey View Post
                        used to be obsessed with trying to use cast iron for everything, before i broke down and admitted to myself that it's a huge, gigantic pain in the ass. still have a couple of pans, will use 'em occasionally, but really, the hype is just... overhyped.
                        tsk tsk... i'm disappointed in you jakey. i've used cast iron pans my entire life and find them to be the easiest type of cookwear to use. definitely no hype at all. they retain heat beautifully, clean in a snap, and are non-stick without being teflon. how is that overhyped?

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                        • #13
                          Men don't need extra iron, but we need polytetrafluoroethylene? I'll take my chances with the iron.
                          The Champagne of Beards

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                          • #14
                            I have stainless steel pots with copper outside, and cast iron pans. Works really well for me. I love that I can put both pans into the oven or on the flame, keep heat forever...and I love the stainless steel ability to just not make trouble. My stainless steel pan is hoewever prety much out of service.

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                            • #15
                              Pretty much the only pans I use anymore are cast. Good quality cast, when well seasoned, is a thing of beauty. Nothing sticks!
                              Male, 32y, 6'0" tall
                              SW 306lbs (6/1/12)
                              CW 244lbs (1/17/13)

                              BP down from 120/80 to 110/74

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