This was originally part of this question about usage of stainless steel and cast iron skillets, but I was advised to split it into two different questions.

I've been using nonstick pans exclusively all my life. Most recently, after doing a lot of research, I decided to buy a cast iron skillet (10.25'' Lodge).

I know that I need to season and reseason the cast iron skillet, and avoid soap when cleaning it. Do I have to handle it differently during cooking. Anything else I might not know yet, since I'm used to only using nonstick?

3 Answers 3


First, use oil. Many people use no oil at all on nonstick, but it won't work that way on a cast iron pan.

Second, preheat it properly. With iron, it takes a long time. If you have a resistive electrical stove, it will be quite longer than you expected.

Third, you might want to steer away from non-bound starches in the beginning, until the seasoning has set through use.


Arm fatigue.

They're heavy enough that you'll need to consider how you hold them as you're dumping food out of them. You'll often see chefs on cooking shows grabbing the handle in a strange way, where the grip is from underneath, and then they hold it with the handle at the top and the pan almost dangling below.

Learn this technique, and you won't end up straining your wrist from trying to hold the pan out in front of you as you scrape the food into a serving dish.

... Also in a similar fashion -- if you're used to being able to flip your food without needing a utensil ... it might take a little bit of strength training before you're ready to do that with cast iron.

  • Is there any chance you could include a link for a video that shows how a chef holds a cast iron skillet (which I should adopt)? I haven't seen a lot of cooking shows and when I do, I have a hard time identifying which pans are which material.
    – Huy
    May 19, 2016 at 13:26
  • I'll have to try to dig one up ... I know Alton Brown typically held pans when plating the way I'm talking about ... I think Nick Stellino might as well.
    – Joe
    May 19, 2016 at 14:46

Mine lives on the burner only moved if all 4 burners are occupied.

Once sticky food is dished out, it gets an inch or two of water and brought to boil. drain, wipe, done.

Great in oven as well. Just not so much for iron-flavored berry pies.

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