What are the Differences Between Cooking With Glass & Cast Iron Skillets?

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A cast iron skillet is durable.

The right cookware makes your job as a cook easier. The material from which the cookware is made affects the length of time it takes to cook the food and whether or not the food browns easily. After the meal is done, some cookware cleans easier than others. Glass and cast iron cookware have different properties, but both can have a place in your kitchen.


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Glass cookware made today is designed to be used in the oven or microwave, but not on top of the stove. If you have a glass skillet, you might have inherited the piece from an older relative, purchased it from a thrift store, or bought it yourself several decades ago, when Corning made the line of Visions cookware. These amber or cranberry glass pots and pans were made for stovetop use and included a skillet.


Cast Iron

Cast iron skillets have been a staple in kitchens for decades. You might have a newer cast iron skillet, or one that has been passed down through the generations in your family. These durable, heavy skillets will last many years with proper care. Skillets are available in a wide range of sizes, from 6 inches to 18 inches and even larger. Cast iron cookware was once made in the United States by companies such as Lodge and Griswold. Today most cast iron comes from China.


Pros and Cons of Glass

Glass cookware looks lovely and moves easily from microwave to stovetop. It's lighter than cast iron. The skillet is attractive enough to use as a serving piece on the table. But glass is fragile. You can easily chip a glass skillet and the glass might crack if you transfer the skillet from the refrigerator or a cold cabinet to a hot stove. Glass also does not hold heat as well as cast iron. Greasy foods can stain your glass skillet, leaving marks that can require scrubbing with abrasive cleaners to remove. But too much scrubbing can scratch the glass, leaving it hazy.


Pros and Cons of Iron

A cast iron skillet will heat evenly and hold heat well. Cast iron is durable and easy to clean with a steel wool pad or a mild abrasive cleaner. A properly seasoned cast iron skillet is virtually non-stick. But cast iron is heavy, and the iron can rust if you allow water to stand in it or don't keep the pan seasoned. Also, cast iron cannot be used in the microwave.