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Old 09-30-2008, 11:57 PM   #1
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Does it matter whether a skillet is a non-stick or a cast iron skillet? And is there really a difference between a standard $12-$20 iron skillet and a $180 cast iron skillet? Or will any kind of skillet do for cooking basically anything?

Thanks in advance


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Old 10-01-2008, 05:34 AM   #2
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Yes. Cast iron can be subjected to more extreme heat without fear of ruinung the surface like non-stick. CI also retains it's heat better. And you always read about making cornbread in a CI skillet as it goes right from stovetop to oven, not so with non-stick. Non-stick comes ready to use though, whereas CI needs a little coaxing along to get to the point it works just as well as has a nice non-stick surface. And CI is a lot heavier. You never see a cooking show where they are hand flipping what they are cooking in a CI skillet, at least I haven't.

There's a difference between a very cheap skillet and a very expensive one, heat distribution, materials, grades of materials used, I'm sure there are others. The medium, med-low range works well enough for me. And I have non-stick, all SS and CI. I use all three, but someone else might use just one.
And "dishwasher safe" might come into play, too.

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Old 10-01-2008, 07:59 AM   #3
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I have used CI and SS and found that I love my CI. I have never bought a new piece of CI. I am using my Grandmother's and have found many pieces at junk stores, estate sales and antique stores. Much cheaper and usually already have some amount of seasoning which saves you the time. Once seasoned the work is done and you can just enjoy cooking. I got a beautiful 12 inch deep dish skillet for free because the cook was tired of caring for it! I also have a DO that I use for roasting, baking bread and of course the traditional soups and stews. As you can tell I'm biased! If you find one but it's really gunked up inside and out just place it in a fire, (bonfire), retrieve it a couple days later, when it's cooled and the gunk will come right off. Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:36 AM   #4
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When you say $180 cast-iron skillet, are you referring to enameled cast iron? That's different from the plain black cast iron I think the above posters are talking about, although they work the same. You can get less expensive ones; I think Walmart carries a line of enameled cast iron. Not sure of the quality comparison.

I've started collecting Le Creuset enameled cast iron, which is expensive, but imo worth it. I get it at a factory outlet store. You can also find used pieces on eBay, etc., for a lot less than the price of new; it will last pretty much forever, so that's a possibility.

I only use non-stick for cooking eggs. Everything else goes in cast iron or, more often, my stainless steel skillets or saute pans.
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:50 AM   #5
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I didn't catch they said CI $180 skillet. I didn't even know they made such a thing. It must come with reverse seared Kobi beef in it
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