First off, you don't NEED to use cast iron for Keto cooking. Personally, I never used cast iron until after I started Keto. Cast Iron cooking is a very popular method of cooking with Keto. There are many benefits to using cast iron pans for cooking, here are a few:
1. They last forever! You can go to thrift stores, garage or estate sales and pick up used ones very inexpensively. And I recommend that you do! The older they are, the more they have been used and the more seasoned they are already. Of course if you pick up used cast iron be sure to clean it before use, and re-season if necessary. Remember, NEVER use soap on cast iron. We will talk about how to clean cast iron later on.
2. They are chemical free. Many pans have coatings with chemicals that may leach into foods. Cast iron pans contains iron, which is an essential mineral, that may leach into foods, but fear not! This is a bonus and does not pose any health risks.
3. Cast iron can be used on high heat. Much higher heats than traditional cookware. The "seasoning " on the cast iron makes them naturally non-stick. If they begin to stop being as stick resistant, just clean, dry and re-season!
4. Food cooks more evenly in cast iron pans. Heating in aluminum or other types of pans don't heat evenly which can cause food to burn in places while other places may be undercooked. Don't ruin good meals because of a crappy pan!
5. Versatility! You can cook something on the stove in your cast iron pan, add other ingredients and finish it off in the oven!
6. Good investment! Because they last forever, they are a great investment, but even more so because they are actually relatively inexpensive! Buy one piece at a time if you want, or replace all of your old pans at once. Either way, you won't be needing to replace them in a few years like other pots and pans. I only use cast iron in my home, I have replaced all my old pots and pans. I'll never go back!
WHERE can you get cast iron pots and pans?
As I mentioned above, some of the best places to get cast iron is thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales. Places like Walmart and even TJ MAXX even sell them! If you don't want to go out you can get them on Amazon!
HOW do you clean cast iron?
You don't want to use soap on your cast iron. Never put your cast iron in the dishwasher, and don't use steel wool.
Use hot water and dry thoroughly! Water remaining on the cast iron can cause rust. You don't want rust. It can change the way your food tastes and food may stick to the areas of rust.
One of my favorite tools for cleaning my cast iron is my chain mail scrubbers. It's inexpensive and cleans well. Food doesn't even get caught in the rings if you rinse it well, then hang to dry.
I only paid $6.99 for the one pictured!
Here's the link to pick up one for yourself: Chainmail Scrubber
These pan scrapers are great for getting any stubborn stuck on food. I paid less around $3 for the set of two. If you'd like to pick some up for yourself, check them out here: Lodge Pan Scrapers
My most recent masterpiece using my cast iron was MKC's Tuscan Chicken. I browned chicken pieces in a cast iron skillet, made the sauce in my cast iron pot then poured the sauce right over the chicken in the skillet and popped it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Cooked perfect and evenly!
Wanna give it s shot? Find the recipe here: CREAMY TUSCAN CHICKEN
Ready to get your first cast iron piece? Go get it! Want to order from the comfort of your own home? Here are some pans that I personally recommend:
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