A cast iron pan used to be the basic cooking tool of our grandmother's kitchens. Even in my mother's kitchen, cast iron pan were some of the most-used. I grew up using them and didn't think twice about the care they required - I was just thrilled that they didn't show up in the dirty dishes pile to be washed.
After a long absence, cast iron has finally made a return to my own kitchen. The care and feeding of a cast iron pan is slightly more complicated than the care of a modern non-stick pan. The payoff for your extra sixty seconds of attention comes when you don't have to spend money on a new set of pans every three years, and you never involuntarily become a guinea pig for the great experiment of seeing how a lifetime of ingestion of Teflon flakes affects human biology. Your food will increase in iron content, as well.
Successful use of a cast iron pan requires a different attitude in the kitchen. First of all is the intimidating concept of "seasoning the pan". Stop right there, it's not a as bad as you think. In fact, don't think of seasoning as an event - it's a process. It's ok not to achieve perfection in the first week. Your pan will improve as time goes by. If you have been using Teflon for a long time, you will need to reset your expectations - some foods will have some sticking, some of the time. With a little experience you'll realize that there are so many good things about cast iron that it's easy to overlook a little sticking now and then.
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