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The History of Cast Iron Skillets

The first known use of cast iron cookware occurred around 220 A.D. during the Han Dynasty in China. Casting techniques later spread throughout Europe and by the 16th century, cast iron cookware had become a staple in most households. In 1707, Abraham Darby patented the sand casting method, which is remarkably similar to the way cast iron cookware is made today. Due to Darby’s method, cast iron cookware became nearly ubiquitous during the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 20th century, cast iron skillets, pots, and pans experienced a decline in popularity as other materials like aluminum, stainless steel, and non-stick coated pans took over. However, cast iron skillets are becoming popular once again. This is due in part to cast iron cookware’s extreme durability. Cast iron skillets can be restored even if they have rusted over and are long-lasting enough to be passed down from generation to generation. Additionally, cast iron skillets do not carry the same health concerns that have been raised regarding certain non-stick pans, which is another factor that has contributed to the modern resurgence of this ancient cookware.

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