3 Health Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron

3 Health Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron
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3 Health Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron

1. You Can Cook With Less Oil When You Use a Cast-Iron Skillet

That lovely sheen on cast-iron cookware is the sign of a well-seasoned pan, which renders it virtually nonstick. The health bonus, of course, is that you won’t need to use gads of oil to brown crispy potatoes or sear chicken when cooking in cast-iron.

2. Cast Iron is a Chemical-Free Alternative to Nonstick Pans

Another benefit to using cast-iron pans in place of nonstick pans is that you avoid the harmful chemicals that are found in nonstick pans. The repellent coating that keeps food from sticking to nonstick pots and pans contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical that’s linked to liver damage, cancer and developmental problems.

3. Cooking with Cast Iron Fortifies Your Food with Iron

Although cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, it can leach some iron into your food ... and that’s a good thing. Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide, especially among women. Cooking food in a cast-iron skillet can increase iron content, by as much as 20 times.

Click through the slideshow for recipes that you can make in your cast-iron skillet!

Go Fig'ger

Use your skillet to create this grilled cheese, complete with ottocenere truffled cheese and fig spread.

Click here for the recipe: Go Fig'ger

Skillet Chocolate Sheet Cake

No need to preheat the oven. Try creating this chocolate sheet cake in a skillet instead.

Click here for the recipe: Skillet Chocolate Sheet Cake

Crisp Mashed Potato Fish Cakes

Craving fish? Look no further than the stove. Grab a skillet and create these delicious potato fish cakes!

Click here for the recipe: Crisp Mashed Potato Fish Cakes

Eggplant Taleggio Panini

If you want a hot sandwich but don't like grilled cheeses, try this eggplant panini.

Click here for the recipe: Eggplant Taleggio Panini

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Traditional homemade gnocchi are made with just potato, flour, egg and salt. Be sure not to work the dough too much or the gnocchi will be tough. Toss them with your favorite sauce and dinner is served!

Click here for the recipe: Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Hot Chile Grilled Cheese

This deconstructed version of a chile-relleno-turned-sandwich packs some heat and an ooey-gooey filling. We like the flavor of sourdough, but any kind of bread will work well.

Click here for the recipe: Hot Chile Grilled Cheese

Minted Tomato, Onion & Glazed Tofu Kebabs

Tofu kebabs with fresh mint, ripe tomato and onion make a delightful vegetarian supper from the grill. Pressing the tofu before marinating allows it to really absorb the flavors.

Click here for the recipe: Minted Tomato, Onion & Glazed Tofu Kebabs

Brothy Shrimp & Rice Scampi

Ladle up some real flavor in "big bowl" fashion as the aromas of garlic and shrimp rise up from the steaming broth.

Click here for the recipe: Brothy Shrimp & Rice Scampi

Broccoli Beef Stir-Fry With Noodles

It's the sauce that makes this flavorful stir-fry really special ... it simply combines tomato soup and ramen soup seasoning to make a restaurant-style dish in minutes.

Click here for the recipe: Broccoli Beef Stir-Fry With Noodles

Broccoli & Garlic Penne Pasta

You can serve this versatile pasta recipe for a speedy family supper, a girlfriends get-together or a casual dinner party. The aroma will draw them to the table, but the great taste will win them over.

Click here for the recipe: Broccoli & Garlic Penne Pasta

Mock Ceviche

Traditionally, ceviche is raw fish that's "cooked" by marinating it in acidic citrus juice. Here we quickly poach the tilapia then marinate it with fresh herbs, lime juice and crunchy vegetables for an easy summer dinner.

Click here for the recipe: Mock Ceviche


By: Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D.

Cast-iron skillets might seem like an old-fashioned choice in the kitchen. But this dependable cookware is a must in the modern kitchen. Cast-iron skillets conduct heat beautifully, go from stovetop to oven with no problem and last for decades. (In fact, my most highly prized piece of cookware is a canary yellow, enamel-coated cast-iron paella pan from the 1960s that I scored at a stoop sale for $5.) As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor of EatingWell Magazine, I also know that there are some great health reasons to cook with cast iron.

Click through the slideshow to learn why you should use cast iron in your kitchen.

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