Iron Maiden

Published September 15, 2012 by livinggraciously

It was inevitable, but today was the day: I realized that I need two cast iron dutch ovens. I have a pot roast simmering in my dutch oven, and I also want to bake a loaf of bread.

The thing is, I have large, heavy, stainless steel stock pots, but they simply don’t serve the same function as the cast iron. The heaviness of the stainless steel doesn’t come close to the slow, even heat that cast iron provides.

I grew up cooking in cast iron, until Mom got some no-stick pans. We used them for a little while, but quickly found ourselves back to using the good old cast iron pans. Food cooked more evenly, and just tasted better. When I got married, one of the first things I bought was a cast iron pan. I cooked in that pan, and the others I bought to go with it, for most of my first marriage.

When we left Alaska, I made a bad mistake. I traded the weight of my cast iron for the relatively light stainless. And for a long time I lived without cast iron. But I missed my cast iron. Then I read about the high quality bread that a dutch oven produces.

I’d say it was the thin edge of the wedge, but there’s nothing thin about that dutch oven. It weights 17 pounds. Still, I have added a 15″ skillet (a MONSTER – it’s fabulous!), a deep 10″ skillet (a lovely gift from dear friends) and a little 8-incher. I still want a 12″ skillet, and of course a second dutch oven.

At this point, my regular stainless steel sees very little use, except for my really nice All-Clad 12″ skillet, which I use when I’m cooking eggs. My storage for my cast iron is inconveniently placed and I have to heft it about quite a bit. For me, it’s worth it.

As for today, I switched bread plans to a flatter, ciabatta-style bread. And started daydreaming about more cast iron.


2 comments on “Iron Maiden

  • I really can relate to this. I have a small collection , and it’s not the enameled stuff either . The old school ones are what I have. My dutch oven is a 9 qt one and one time before I got my gas stove I actually broke the element on the stove it was so heavy . Yes you do have to be strong to be using this type of cookware, or have a forklift in the kitchen to lift it for you ! My frying pans are all different sizes, but like yourself , I too dream of more , I like going to the Lodge site to look up the styles and add to my wish list. Best cookware ever.

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