This $15 Tool That Makes Cleaning My Cast Iron Pan Effortless

This $15 Tool That Makes Cleaning My Cast Iron Pan Effortless

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This is the first time I’ve said (erm, written) it out loud: I used to be afraid of cast iron cookware. Soap or no soap? Towel dry or put back on the stove? Should I season it after I clean it? Is it game over if it rusts? Advice on taking care of cast iron can be conflicting and intimidating! Even after reading some very helpful articles (I recommend this one and this one), my cast iron skillet only got occasional love. I wanted all the amazing benefits of cooking in the stuff, but I just couldn’t seem to convince myself that I would be able to take care of it properly. That is, until I got my hands on Lodge’s Cast Iron Scrub Brush.

Now, you may be thinking, “Really, a brush? A brush changed her mind?” Well, let me tell you why… I already own other cleaning brushes like a bottle brush, and a few other general scrubbing brushes. So, I figured another brush could do no harm. When I came across the Lodge Cast Iron Scrub Brush, I actually got excited. A scrub brush that is any amount of aesthetically pleasing is a win in my book. With a mock wood handle (which totally fooled me) made out of rubber, natural-looking nylon bristles, and a matte black head that mimics the look of cast iron itself, this brush proudly lives next to my sink.

The most important factor of this Lodge Cast Iron Scrub Brush, however, is that it gets the job done. There is just something about those bristles that cleans the cast iron better than any other brush (or cleaning tool, for that matter) I’ve tried; even after months, it remains perfectly intact. It effortlessly sloughs grease off the surface of the cookware without retaining any in its brush head. This scrubbing solution removes the grease and leftover food bits without stripping away the seasoning, so that fine flavorful patina I’ve been building (now that I actually use my cast iron!) stays intact.

There is nothing I love more than cooking in my cast iron skillet. Its versatility is endless, and it has a magical way of deepening the flavors of any dish. It seems so silly to say, but I can’t believe it took a brush to get me over my reservations and actually utilize one of the most reliable and loved pieces of cookware in history. But it did. Now I plan on gifting these brushes to as many friends and family as possible this year, because everyone deserves to cook in cast iron!

Le Creuset Is Offering Huge Deals on Their Iconic Cookware and Kitchen Essentials — Here Are 5 Things to Snag ASAP

Le Creuset Is Offering Huge Deals on Their Iconic Cookware and Kitchen Essentials — Here Are 5 Things to Snag ASAP

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Every kitchen needs at least one piece of Le Creuset’s iconic cookware. Not only are they stunning to look at, their top-quality construction makes them an absolute dream to cook with. The only problem? This exceptional cookware often comes with a high price tag — but not right now! Le Creuset is currently hosting a sale that includes some of their most popular pieces, which means that now is the perfect time to stock up on essentials for winter cooking. We’re talking a signature casserole dish for more than 40 percent off, a Dutch oven for more than 30 percent off, and tons more amazing deals. Take a look at our top five picks below, and shop the entire sale here while you can.

The Budget-Friendly Dutch Oven Editors Love Just Got Even More Affordable (It’s 30% Off!)

The Budget-Friendly Dutch Oven Editors Love Just Got Even More Affordable (It’s 30% Off!)

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Dutch ovens are a cookware VIP in Kitchn’s eyes. The kitchen workhorse is a must-have item for novice and pro chefs alike, and there are very few pieces that can do it all quite like a good Dutch oven can, from searing and browning proteins or caramelizing veggies to slow-cooking a stew.

When it comes to Dutch ovens brands, though, we’re all familiar with mainstays like Le Creuset and Staub, which are amazing and have mastered the artistry of the perfect Dutch oven. However, for newbies unsure if they’ll actually use a Dutch oven as much as they’ve been led to believe (spoiler alert: you will), shelling out several hundred dollars on a high-end piece of cookware can seem like a big commitment.

Enter: Lodge’s Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven. With over 25,000 five-star reviews on Amazon (seriously!), there’s no question that this baby is a kitchen staple worth trying — especially since select colors of the 6-quart model are on sale for $79.90 (normally $115). Made with the same cast iron technology and attention to detail you’ve come to know and love from all Lodge products, the Dutch oven is coated in a chip-resistant porcelain enamel finish that comes in some truly stunning shades (we’re pretty partial to the whisper-green of Desert Sage or Indigo). Plus, the whole thing is stovetop and oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, with easy-to-grab side handles and lid for safe and seamless cooking. This reliable Dutch oven even made it onto our Kitchn tools editor’s Best List.

If there was ever a time to try cooking with a Dutch oven, it’s during the fall. The piece goes hand-in-hand with some of our favorite hearty fall recipes, like braised short ribs, French onion chicken, pumpkin soup, and garlic mashed potatoes. As one reviewer raves, “I wish I’d invested in one of these a long time ago. It is NOTHING like using regular pots. I don’t have to turn my burners up as high, it heats so evenly, no hotspots, no burning, no cold centers.”

The reviewer also added, “I went slow and low with my sauce today, and it came out better than it has ever come out. Cleanup was a breeze and I was able to make a giant batch and freeze most of it after dinner. If you are like me and need an “entry-level” enameled cast iron, GET THIS. It was worth every penny.”

Are you convinced yet? Jump on this major deal on Lodge’s Dutch oven while you still can!

I’ve Been Using the Our Place Always Pot For a Month and It’s Even Better Than I Imagined

I’ve Been Using the Our Place Always Pot For a Month and It’s Even Better Than I Imagined

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I’m not a betting person, but if I had to wager whether or not a piece of cookware could inspire a 30,000-person waitlist, I would’ve definitely lost. Because that’s exactly what the Our Place Always Pan did … and continues to do. It keeps selling out, flooding our Instagram feeds, and inspiring legions of fans (including celebrities!) with its space-saving, nonstick promise.

But let me back up. What is the Always Pan, you ask? It combines eight tools (a fry pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, nonstick pan, spatula, and spoon rest). So, you can simmer, sear, braise, sauté, boil, and steam in one convenient, beautiful pan.

Of course, if you’re looking to build a versatile cookware collection, the natural complement to a skillet is a pot. Which is why it made total sense when, last month, Our Place released the Perfect Pot.

And I had to try it … immediately. After cooking in it for a couple of weeks, here’s my honest review of the Perfect Pot.

What’s the Perfect Pot?

The Perfect Pot comes with a pot (obviously), a lid, a roasting rack (that doubles as a steamer), and a wooden spoon that has notches on the back of it to easily rest on the pot’s handle. The Pot is meant to combine a “stockpot, Dutch oven, sauce pot, roasting rack, steamer, strainer, braiser, and spoon rest,” Our Place says.

To get a good handle on the pot, I’ve used it to steam dumplings, sear and then simmer meatballs in tomato sauce, make rice, boil water, and roast a whole chicken. Here’s an honest list of the pot’s pros and cons.

Well, clearly there are way more pros than cons! If you’re already a fan of the Our Place Always Pan, I think you’ll really like the Perfect Pot. While the Pan is really best for two to three people, the Pot is bigger and can accommodate recipes the Pan can’t (i.e., ones that serve four, soups, stews, stovetop-to-oven recipes). It’s also lightweight, which is a huge bonus for those who struggle to lift heavy cookware.

Because of the Pot’s nonstick constriction and oven temperature restriction, it won’t last as long and can’t accommodate high-temperature recipes like an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven can. However, for those looking for a good nonstick pot that works well, is easy to use, a cinch to clean, and certainly looks good, the Perfect Pot more than fits the bill.

Do you have a question about the Perfect Pot? Leave it in the comments below!

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Lifestyle Editor, Tools

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the Tools Editor at The Kitchn. A professional kitchen equipment tester, she’s worked for America’s Test Kitchen, EatingWell, and Food52. Her goal: to find the best gear for your kitchen so you don’t waste time or money on anything else. She lives in Boston, MA with her two dogs.

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Nordstrom’s Fall Sale Is Here and These Are the Home Deals You Can’t Afford to Miss

Nordstrom’s Fall Sale Is Here and These Are the Home Deals You Can’t Afford to Miss

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Here at Apartment Therapy, we pride ourselves on never missing out on a Nordstrom sale. After all, the mega-retailer has basically everything you could want to shop — from trendy clothes and home accessories to the latest and greatest cookware and kitchen gadgets. It’s pretty much our duty to scope out the best deals, right?

Their latest fall sale is no exception, coming at the perfect time to stock up on a few seasonal refreshes for our homes and upgrade to the kitchen gear we’ve been eyeing all year ahead of the holiday baking frenzy. For a limited time only (September 24 to October 4 — write that down!), Nordstrom is offering up to 30 percent off of some must-have products and brands like All-Clad, Jo Malone, Casper, and more. You’re going to want to act fast, though — like most sales at Nordstrom, the good stuff won’t last long, and you don’t want to end up sad and without a cozy throw blanket to keep you company this fall (aw). Here’s what we’re eyeing for our wish lists: