I have several very old cast iron pans that have taken lots of abuse. There is just nothing like a well-seasoned cast iron pan that is not only versatile but also one of the healthiest cooking vessels to use. You can virtually cook anything in it, as it easily goes from stovetop to oven, as with this super-simple Gluten-free Dutch Baby for a quick and easy breakfast.
A well-seasoned cast iron pan is naturally non-stick so you can skip all of those chemicals used to make nonstick pans that are toxic and break down at high temperatures. Even modern non-stick pans use chemicals that can break down and cause fumes under high heat. Also, once you scratch them, they are no good anymore. Cast-iron is virtually scratch proof. Even if you do abuse it and cause damage, you just start over again and give it a new surface.
To maintain your cast iron, it is best to clean it while it is still warm. Don’t soak it. Use hot water and a plastic scraper or brush. Never use soap or put it in the dishwasher. Stuck on food can be removed with a sponge and some kosher salt. Dry your pan immediately and then wipe a very light coat of coconut oil over the entire surface. Each time you cook with it, it get’s better and better!