I threw every single one of my non-stick pots and pans in the trash after an article I wrote about the non-stick coatings used in air fryers that uncovered the hidden dangers of ALL non-stick coatings. The fact is that they are all chemical coatings that bio-degrade after time and excessive heat. All of which are toxic to the human body, especially the lungs.
This forced me to learn how to cook in the only pots and pans I had left, cast iron, stainless and enamel coated (glass) cast iron. It didn't take long to find out that a well-seasoned pan needs a little more oil to remain "stick-free," and the cooking style required to be tweaked just a bit. To get the iron's health benefits from the pan, we will have to slow down the process a bit—plan on this taking twelve to fifteen minutes. ...but you won't regret it. Slow-cooked eggs are mind-blowing to someone who has been microwaving them in toxic plastic cups. Your health is worth the wait.
When it comes to the little bit of extra fat used, it doesn't compare to the inflammation-causing, heart-damaging, microbiome-damaging toxins of the PTFE & PFOA toxins in non-stick cookware. New studies have proven that cholesterol doesn't come from the food you eat but is likely created by the inflammation from the toxins in the processed food you eat, what you cook in, and your environment. But this isn't a science or social debate. This is about cooking eggs in cast iron.
Please note that all stoves heat a little differently, according to the manufacturer's thermostat of choice. The idea here is going to be low and slow. Relax and enjoy the process of cooking with an ancient tool. The cast-iron pan needs to be heated slowly to evenly distribute heat without hotspots.
Start by preheating your pan just a bit on just under medium heat. Here is a photo of where that setting is on my stove. Please don't judge my scratched-up and overused stove. It was new two years ago, but I use it for three meals a day 365 with heavy canners and cast iron that has scratched the glass top from scooting hot pots and pans across the surface.
Place a tablespoon of butter in the warmed pan and wait.
Wait some more. Scramble your eggs in a separate dish and add salt and pepper to your liking.
We are still waiting. The butter needs to start to simmer and bubble slowly. This removes the excess moisture that would generally steam the oil into the eggs.
Compare the last two photos to see the difference in the butter. The butter in the pan has turned into oil, and it's time to start cooking. Once the butter is bubbly, pick up the pan and tilt it to coat the pan's sidewalls to prevent the eggs from sticking. If the butter browns, your pan is too hot, or you waited too long, and it won't work. Start over.
Add the scrambled eggs. They should only sizzle for a second or two.
Here is where the cooking process needs to be tweaked. It's a standard cooking practice to start stirring the eggs at this point but cast iron cooks differently. Do not mix the eggs. Let the eggs sit in the pan uncovered, untouched, and wait.
Wait until little bubbles start to simmer up from around the edge of the pan. Some of the eggs will begin to bubble up, making mounds in the middle. Compare the last two photos to see the ring of bubbles around the edge of the pan. The bubbles should get be the size of small pearls for the next step.
Gently push the eggs just enough to pile the cooked parts up on top of one another, letting the uncooked eggs run off onto the hot pan. This should only take two or three sweeps with your cooking utensil. The idea is not to mix in the oil underneath. Now that you pushed them around a little don't touch until you start seeing bubbles around the edge of the pan again. Not mixing the eggs keeps from blending the oil on the pan into the eggs. Once the oil in the pan is incorporated into the eggs is where the scorching and sticking occurs. The process starts moving on a little faster here as the eggs are warming all the way through now. In this photo, you can see how I flipped the eggs on one side of the pan before the other. It will still sit for a minute before I stir again.
Stir again, and now there is very little uncooked egg in the pan. It is still time to be patient. Don't go stir crazy yet. Wait until those raw eggs bubble at the edges and start to solidify.
Now that all of the egg is mostly cooked, it's time to start stirring. Fold the eggs over until all of the raw egg is gone.
Now chop the super fluffy eggs into bite size pieces with your cooking utensil. Move fast here so the eggs don't scorch and brown.
The eggs will slip right out like a non-stick pan. No scrubbing, scraping, or loss of eggs stuck to the pan. Once you understand how to cook something like eggs in cast iron, most everything else becomes second nature when using the pans. It may take you a few times to learn how to do it right. Buy a dozen cheap store eggs and practice if you don't want to mess up an early morning breakfast. Don't give up. Cast iron pans are a lifetime purchase far less expensive than the cost of new non-stick cookware every year or two throughout your life. You have to keep buying them because the coatings come off and you have consumed them. Something to think about before investing in your next pan. Now that you know how to cook in cast iron —happy toxin-free cooking!
I have been homesteading for 20 years. Ten years ago, we accomplished the goal of growing and processing 99% of our food here on the homestead. It has been a learning adventure along the way that I documented in a gritty, 500-page modern-day homestead novel.
If you are interested in reading, my novel is available HERE on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. The book has chapter by chapter photos, blogs and how we homestead available without sign-ups, ads, or pop-ups on my website growingbacktotheland.com