Nonstick, durable, lightweight, that’s WearEver’s Cast Lite fry pans.
WearEver, the folks who’ve been making durable cookware since 1903, have come up with an alternative to cast iron pans: WearEver Cast Lite. Now, if you’re a cast iron pan fan like me, you’re probably skeptical that anything can be as good as our old standby pans. I was too, but Cast Lite is an interesting alternative that’s lightweight, durable, nonstick, and made in the U.S.A.
Cast Light is made from cast aluminum, which makes it nearly 50% lighter than iron pans. My 10” cast iron pan weighs in at a hefty 5 pounds; the same size Cast Lite weighs 2.10. That may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re hefting pans all day, the lighter weight is key. I keep my pans, including an extensive set of cast iron, hung on a wall with hooks. Lifting my heavy cast iron onto the uppermost parts of my pot rack can be a challenge. The problem is solved with Cast Lite. Because of their light weight, Cast Lite pans make a great alternative for people like RVers who love the cooking characteristics of traditional iron pans without the weight.
Dishwasher Safe, Nonstick, Heat Conductivity
Cast iron pans must be hand washed and immediately dried to prevent rusting. Cast Lite is dishwasher safe and rust-resistant. It’s got a non-stick exterior that provides easy release without adding extra fat. The pans are metal safe, meaning you can use metal utensils, but the instructions suggests not using “sharp edged” utensils. (I think I’ll stick with plastic.) The pans are also oven safe to 500 degrees.
One of the things I really like about cast iron pans is how well they conduct heat. They get really hot and stay hot. That’s true of Cast Lite too. In fact, the 10” Cast Lite pan we tested got super-hot much faster than traditional cast iron. And so did the handle (ouch). In fact, the handle of the Cast Lite got so hot, even the heat-resistant plastic holder cover didn’t completely resist the heat.
Like cast iron, the Cast Lite pan gave foods a good sear. Unlike cast iron, the Cast Lite didn’t burn everything. Too often, traditional iron pans can burn foods like chopped onions. That wasn’t a problem with the Cast Lite.
Traditional cast iron pans last for year and are often passed down from generation to generation. Can WearEver’s Cast Lite stand up to that reputation? Only time will tell. But WearEver guarantees Cast Lite pans for life. Now these days who guarantees any product for life? That’s impressive. And since WearEver has been around for more than 100 years, it’s safe to say they’ll be around to back up that lifetime guarantee.
Real bottom line: If you’re looking for pans that have the heat conductivity and durability of cast iron with the easy release of nonstick, 50% lighter weight, and good durability, WearEver’s Cast Lite is a great alternative. My 10” Cast Lite has joined my collection of cast iron pans hanging in my kitchen and, as soon as we break out the RV for summer, my Cast Lite is going traveling. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor
Editor’s Update 9/2015: After reviewing Cast Lite back in July 2014, a number of readers contacted us wanting to know where to buy Cast Lite. Unfortunately, the product seems to have disappeared from Wearever’s site. For a while, you could find Cast Lite pans on the Internet or at places like Walmart. However, this year, the product can’t be found anywhere (except occasionally on ebay). We tried contacting the p.r. firm who first asked us to field test this pan and review this product, but we got no response. At this point, all we can conclude is that Wearever is no longer making is very promising product and it’s not available. Hopefully, Wearever will reconsider because we love the Cast Lite pans. Sorry, friends. — BH