Cast Iron Cookware
I used aluminum pots, pans and baking sheets for many years until I started my healing journey back in 2009 and realized how the aluminum from these items was leaching into the food I was eating and then into my body. If this is news to you, I suggest starting with my first book, Eating Clean, which walks you through how to remove harmful toxins and chemicals in our everyday cookware, food, home products and personal care products. It’s a bible of sorts, as many people have said, to understand what to toss and what to keep.
That being said, tossing everything that contained aluminum in my home (including the deodorant I was using) forced me to look at other options for healthy cooking. Now, I didn’t know a darn thing about cast iron cookware and the whole idea freaked me out because I knew anything made of iron would be heavy to lift and I barely had the strength to walk up my stairs when I was healing. I was also worried cast iron cookware would be difficult to clean. But, I was wrong.
I tried out a few brands. You know, the usual cast iron brands that are sold everywhere. I was disappointed to say the least. Many chipped. A few others left a funky lingering smell of rust in my kitchen even after drying and oiling them after each use. I, of course, chose all the less expensive brands first and learned my lesson because I ended up throwing them away or giving them away. The only exception here was the baking sheet. I purchased the Lodge cast iron baking sheet (below) and it’s been fantastic after hundreds of uses.
I was left with one brand to try, Staub, which tends to be the most expensive, of course, so I avoided it for years but let me tell you… I have never been so pleased from cookware in all of my life. The cleaning is simple (I only use warm water and baking soda), they dry beautifully with no rust smell, they don’t chip and they still look fantastic after dealing with me for years in the kitchen.
Now, before you get all bummed out because they’re pricey, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Well, it’s not so much a secret but it’s key to know if you’re purchasing cast iron. All cookware usually goes on sale just before Christmas (sometimes even starting on Black Friday) and through the New Year. This is when I purchased a few of my Staub products for half off. Yes, it’s a serious sale and it’s so worth waiting for.
Anyway, I wanted to feature cast iron as a stand alone article because I really can’t believe how much easier my life is (and healthier) after removing aluminum pots and pans, which never cleaned well to begin with, but that’s another story for another day. You’re welcome to purchase whatever cast iron brand your heart desires. This is simply my way of saying, I’ve tried them all and here is what I love.
Here are the cast iron items I’ve been using in my kitchen for the last five years. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve tried verious brands of cast iron over the years and I’ve found Staub to be the most durable and without any residue or iron smell after each use. They’re my go-to choice for cast iron and they still look good as new after five years and a heck of a lot of cooking.
Below, I’ve included the color I have as well as how I use each item in my kitchen. For the full list of all the cookware I use, please see The Kitchen.
Cast Iron Cookware
Large Cast Iron Skillet (I have the grey color and use this for my everyday cooking and roasting)
Large Cast Iron Oval Dutch Oven (I have the white color and use this for making soups)
Medium Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven (I have the white color and use this for making soups and sautéed vegetables)
Petite Cast Iron Round Oven (I have the marin color and use this for boiling water instead of using a tea kettle)