Cast iron cookware consists of kitchen items made from a type of metal alloy that is formed into thin pans and pots.
It is one of the oldest cooking tools still in use today, and it is renowned for its durability and heat retention capabilities.
Cast iron cookware has been used for centuries to prepare meals on wood-burning stoves, charcoal grills, and open campfires.
It is made to last, and when correctly seasoned and maintained, it can be passed down from generation to generation.
Types of cast iron cookware
There are three main types of cast iron cookware:
1) Enameled cast iron: This type of cookware has a glass-like coating on the inside, so it doesn’t need to be seasoned. It is also very easy to clean, won’t rust, and is much more expensive than other types.
In this type, we usually get to see Dutch ovens, braisers, and skillets.
2. Pre-seasoned cast iron cookware: The story behind pre-seasoned cast iron is that it’s already been seasoned at the factory, so you don’t have to do it yourself.
3. Uncoated (bare) cast iron: The only difference between Pre-seasoned and unseasoned cast iron is that pre-seasoned is already seasoned with oil while uncoated cast iron needs to be seasoned before use.
Like every other type of cookware, cast iron also has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them:
Note: Here we will talk about seasoned and unseasoned cast iron cookware, not about enameled Cast iron.
Pros And Cons Of Cast Iron Cookware
Pros Of Cast Iron Cookware
Induction Friendly: Cast iron cookware is compatible with all types of hobs, including induction. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking to use the latest cooking technology in their kitchen.
Excellent Heat Retention: Cast iron holds heat extremely well, making it perfect for slow-cooking dishes and evenly heating food. Heat retention also means that you can reduce the amount of energy used for cooking, as you won’t need to continually adjust the heat or use a higher setting.
Versatility: Cast iron cookware can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, and even over an open flame such as a campfire. This makes it incredibly versatile and useful for any home chef.
Durability: Cast iron cookware is incredibly resilient, and with proper care, it can last for decades. It is also very difficult to scratch or damage, making it a great choice for those who are looking for cookware that will last them a lifetime.
Non-Stick Properties: When seasoned properly, cast iron cookware has a naturally non-stick surface. This makes it ideal for scrambled eggs, pancakes, and other delicate items that can stick to other types of pans.
Affordable: Compared to other cookware materials such as stainless steel or ceramic, cast iron is relatively inexpensive. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are on a budget but still want to invest in quality cookware.
Ecologically Friendly: Cast iron cookware is made without any synthetic materials, making it an eco-friendly choice for the kitchen. Furthermore, its durability means that it won’t need to be replaced very often, resulting in less waste.
Cons Of Cast Iron Cookware
Time-Consuming to Maintain: Cast iron cookware requires regular seasoning and maintenance in order to keep it in good condition. This can be time-consuming, and if not done properly it can lead to rust or other issues.
Heavy: Cast iron cookware is significantly heavier than other materials such as stainless steel or aluminum and can require some strength to maneuver. This makes it a less ideal choice for those with physical limitations or anyone who is not comfortable lifting heavy objects.
Difficult to Clean: The naturally non-stick surface of cast iron cookware means that it can be difficult to clean due to the possibility of food residue being left behind. It is important to use the right tools and techniques when cleaning cast iron cookware, as it can be easily damaged.
Can React to Acidic Foods: Cast iron cookware can react to acidic foods, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits, which can lead to a metallic taste. It is best to avoid cooking these types of items in cast iron pans if possible.
Heat Spots Can Occur: Heat spots can occur in cast iron cookware if it is heated too quickly or unevenly. This can impact the temperature of food and lead to uneven cooking results. To avoid this, it is important to preheat the pan slowly and evenly over a low flame.
Conclusion: Should you buy Cast Iron?
Now that we have discussed both the pros and cons of cast iron cookware, it’s time to decide whether you should buy it or not.
If you’re looking for natural, non-toxic, and durable cookware, then cast iron is a good choice. It’s also a good choice if you’re looking for cookware that will last a lifetime.
However, if you’re looking for a lightweight and dishwasher-safe cookware, then cast iron is not the best option.
It’s also important to note that cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned before use, which is a process that some people find to be time-consuming and annoying.
So, the decision of whether or not to buy cast iron cookware is ultimately up to you. Consider your needs and preferences before making a decision.
What is the main disadvantage of cast iron?
Do chefs use cast iron?
How Do I Season My Cast Iron Pan?
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, rub a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening onto the surface of the pan using a paper towel or cloth.
Next, place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven and bake it for 30 minutes.
Once the time is up, turn off the oven and let the pan cool inside. After it has cooled, your pan should be ready to use.
Why Is My Cast Iron Pan Sticky After Seasoning?
First, it’s possible that you used too much oil when seasoning.
Second, it’s possible that the pan wasn’t heated properly before or after being seasoned.
Third, it’s possible that the pan was never washed after being used, allowing residue to build up and cause stickiness.
My Cast Iron Pan Is Rusting. What Do I Do?
First, you can try scrubbing the rust off with a stiff brush and some soap.
If that doesn’t work, you can try using a chemical rust remover.
If the rust is still there after that, you can try sanding it off with fine-grit sandpaper.
Once the rust is gone, make sure to season the pan again before using it.