Don’t Own a Cast Iron Skillet? Use These Pans Instead

But also…why don’t you own a cast iron skillet?

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

If you’ve made it through life so far without a cast iron skillet, I’m almost proud. Or maybe you owned one but lent it to your cousin—for what reason, he wasn’t clear—and you never saw it again. For one reason or another, some of us in life don’t have cast iron skillets. Lots of recipes use these pans though, so what stovetop tool should you use in its place? 

Worrying about using the right pan can add to the confusion of cooking when you’re first learning, so here’s one piece of advice: the pan you have will work just fine. Now, if you don’t own a cast iron skillet, they are well worth the purchase and generally, fairly cheap. But if you can’t buy a pan immediately, here’s what to use.

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

What Makes a Cast Iron Skillet So Great?

Cast iron skillets are great at retaining heat. Once hot, they stay hot longer than other pans, which makes them great for cooking foods like meat. When you add ingredients into a cast iron skillet, the temperature of the pan stays relatively constant, whereas other pans may cool when new ingredients go in.

Also, once the pan is properly seasoned several times, the surface of the pan takes on a non-stick quality. It’s not like your best nonstick pan, but it works well enough to cook eggs.

Here's What Pans To Use Instead

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Any Heavy Skillet

A heavy skillet, like a cast iron pan, retains more heat than lighter pans. If you want to get heat a pan and keep it hot, a heavy bottom will help the pan keep heat. Let’s say you own a stainless steel pan that you can barely lift. That pan will probably work well.

A Dutch Oven

While this really depends on what you’re cooking, dutch ovens can be great for browning and braising meat, cooking veggies, and baking bread. They are a versatile item. Generally, they do weigh a little more, so they will do a solid job of retaining heat. They can be used on the stovetop and transferred to the oven.

Carbon Steel

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet but you do have a carbon steel pan, that would be impressive. Still, these are great pans to use in place of a cast iron skillet because they are much lighter but bring similar benefits. Like cast iron, though, it will need to be seasoned and maintained. 

Read the original article on All Recipes.