I want to buy a cast iron skillet but I'm very wary of health hazards. I will use it every day to cook meat, eggs and other regular food. Is there any evidence that this usage of a cast iron will leak iron into my food to the degree that it becomes a health-hazard? I am a young, healthy male and I work out regularly if it has any significance.

closed as off-topic by FuzzyChef, Erica, Doug, Ward - Reinstate Monica, moscafj Jan 23 at 14:32

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  • 2
    Um, you did know that iron is a nutrient, didn't you? You need it to live. – FuzzyChef Jan 21 at 20:49
  • @FuzzyChef Obviously, but too much iron, like everything else, is a health hazard. Especially for men since we are not depleting it. – Heuristics Jan 21 at 20:58
  • 1
    A well maintained (seasoned) pan should be just fine unless you have health issues that requires you to cut down on your iron intake. But if you are really concerned, buy a good quality (heavy) stainless steel pan instead. – Steve Chambers Jan 21 at 21:17
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    Iron/steel cookware has more or less worked for about 2000 years. – blacksmith37 Jan 21 at 21:40
  • Presumably you could get poisioning if you cooked in a completely unfinished, rusty iron skillet. Otherwise I don't see it. In any case, voting to close this question as "off-topic: medical advice" – FuzzyChef Jan 22 at 0:59

The amount of iron that you need is going to depend on your age, sex, and health. enter image description here

NIH: Iron Fact Sheet
WebMD: Iron: What you Need to Know

Having indicated that you work out, you may need more than you think, but you are wise to be concerned about having too much. A typical adult male only needs 8mg. How much iron is leeched into the food your cooking depends on what you are cooking -- and how old your pan is. Acidic foods like tomatoes and (for some reason) applesauce seem to demonstrate this more than other foods. But I disagree with nutritionovereasy.com's indication that food cooked in the pan will aquire a metalic taste (see link below). I've never had that happen.

Do You Absorb More Iron Cooking in a Cast Iron Pan?
Cast Iron Pans can Increase Your Iron Intake

Learning how to handle Cast Iron is a worthwhile endeavor. You can start a dish stovetop and slide it right into the oven. Some of my favorite recipes use the same skillet I've been cooking with for more than 3 decades. Here's one more link to get you off to a good start:
America's Test Kitchen: Cook It In Cast Iron.

  • Some cook with a Lucky Iron Fish just to supplement their iron intake. – B540Glenn Jan 22 at 16:23

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