I love my cast iron pan: super affordable, sturdy and invincible, and amazingly versatile. Don't be intimidated by the naysayers who claim cast iron pans are difficult to clean and maintain: just a little TLC goes a long way for these kitchen workhorses. Long version: Cast iron pans are porous, meaning they can rust easily without a protective barrier. The plastic coating seals the porous surface of the cast iron, preventing excessive sticking during cooking, as well as warding off rust. (Some cooks like to repeat this process up to 6 times after completely stripping their cast iron pans!)
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