Cast Iron

Castiron Cookware Buying Guide

Castiron cookware has graced kitchen shelves since the Wild West was won and they are mainstay items that every creative cook likes to use to prepare family dinners in record time and enjoy the home-cooked flavor in every bite. Indispensible to the country cook is the cast iron fryer. Seasoned over time, many handed down generation after generation; castiron cookware has been this country’s favorite for over one hundred years. They have withstood fire and flood, and not fun to clean-up after either, but are indestructible. Nothing is better than cast iron cooking.

Love Grandma’s castiron cookware? Find out all about cast iron cooking here…

 

Pros:

  • Increases level of iron in the blood
  • Conducts heat evenly
  • Retains heat well
  • Very durable
  • Perfect for searching or browning
  • Temperature proof
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Must be seasoned
  • Cannot boil water in it
  • Increases level of iron in the blood
  • Cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher
  • Food reacts if stored in it

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CastIron Cookware EXPERT BUYING TIPS:

Castiron cookware sets are the all-time classic. Strong, inexpensive, conducts heat evenly, holds heat extremely well, and adds extra iron to your diet.

Castiron cookware has graced kitchen shelves since the Wild West was won and they are mainstay items that every creative cook likes to use to prepare family dinners in record time and enjoy the home-cooked flavor in every bite.

Indispensible to the country cook is the cast iron fryer. Seasoned over time, many handed down generation after generation; castiron cookware has been this country’s favorite for over one hundred years. They have withstood fire and flood, and not fun to clean-up after either, but are indestructible. Nothing is better than cast iron cooking.

Cast iron cookware is one of man’s oldest forms of cookware, but today’s cast iron cookware sets are alloys that permit thinner and lighter-weight pans with greater strength.

A cast-iron pot heats more slowly than other metals, but distributes heat evenly and maintains a steady surface temperature desirable for browning, pan broiling, slow stewing, or baking. Cast iron skillets are very popular with blackened meats and Cajun recipes.

Nothing will put that caramelized sear on big steak-like cast iron.

Put a big cold steak on a copper or aluminum pan and it will transmit that coldness, reducing the thermal shock necessary for a good sear. Iron holds its heat and will deliver a huge smoking sear like nothing else available in the kitchen.

This heat retention property of iron is good for “low and slow” cooking too, like for stews in a cast iron dutch oven. Food in the cast iron pan will keep on cooking for a long time. This makes it good for deep frying and slow-cooking. It can be used on top of the stove or in the oven. Nothing fries chicken like a cast iron fryer.

The most common items are the cast iron fryers, cast iron skillets, roasters, cast iron dutch ovens, broilers, grills, and griddles as well as specialty items like muffin or corn stick pans.

All cast iron cookware must be seasoned before use which is a process of oiling and heating in the oven, but once well-seasoned, they are virtually nonstick cookware.

Cast iron cookware sets require different care from other cookware metals and are a discipline. The time and patients required to season a cast iron skillet can be too much for some cooks in our fast-paced world. It requires more work than other forms of pots and pans, except copper which is the most work of all.

For the performance of cast iron cookware but without the trouble, you can find cast iron enamel cookware. The addition of nonstick interior coating and porcelainized exterior finishes make these pots and pans easier to care for. However; interior coatings rob castiron cookware of its browning ability, often regarded as its most desirable characteristic. It is dishwasher safe, nonstick, and can store food in it, all with the great heat retention of cast iron cookware.

The enamel finish does not interact with food and requires no seasoning. Saucepans and casseroles coated with enamel can be used both on the stove and in the oven making it extremely versatile. The cast-iron woks, cast iron grills, and frying pans facilitate virtually fat-free cooking and are excellent for low-fat healthy cooking, something we all need today. Cast iron enamel cookware comes in a wide range of decor colors from kiwi to pink.

Things to consider when buying CastIron Cookware:

To care for castiron cookware, run hot water over stuck-on food to help loosen and remove. If you scrub it remember you will remove your layer of seasoning. After your cast iron pot has been washed it should be dried thoroughly. To prevent the pan from rusting, rid it of any excess moisture by setting it on the stove over low heat until all moisture has evaporated and coat with oil before storing. If you storing it for a long time, you can place it in a plastic bag and seal it to help prevent rusting.

One recommendation for cleaning stains is to use salt. Just rub the salt around your skillet and let it sit for a few hours. the salt will absorb the stain and clean your pan.

 

Castiron cookware has to be washed by hand with soap and water. So before this, obviously you have to let it cool down. Never cool down your cast iron cookware by running tap water over it; it will break! Always wash your cast iron cookware with hot water. And you can’t let it soak in soapy water either. Some people clean cast iron cookware by just wiping it off, but it’s better to wash it with soap so that you don’t get rancid food oils on your pan.

The two caveats here are that the iron cookware cannot be allowed to rust and that it is prone to cracking from thermal shock. That means that you cannot put a hot piece of cast iron into cold water and also that you cannot put a cold piece of cast iron on a red hot eye. You have to warm your iron up before cranking the heat all the way up.

Be aware that using soapy water to wash will strip the seasoning from your castiron cookware. There are many family traditions and legends about the best way to season cast iron cookware.

Cast iron cookware sets are one of the best choices for cooking. It conducts heat evenly and has no hot spots. When properly cared for, it is nearly non-stick cookware. Since we need iron in our diets, the small amount of iron that leaches into food is actually a benefit. Due to the thickness, it heats up more slowly than other types of cookware. It is also extremely heavy, which can be a drawback for people with hand or wrist problems.

Many people swear that food tests better cooked in castiron cookware than any substitute. Cast iron cooking is not held to just one group, either. Some of the dishes that are most commonly pointed to as being best out of cast iron include everything from Cajun seafood to Mexican style fajitas to any type of breakfast food. Even cornbread!

When cooking breakfast, country cooks can use a cast iron grill press to present their guests with flat bacon slices that are truly delicious and top the meal off with a stack of pancakes that are fresh off a cast iron griddle.

It is easy to learn to use castiron cookware, just heat your pan in your preheating oven while you are preparing to start your dinner. One of the most popular methods of checking to know if the pan is ready is to drop a few drops of water on the pan. If the drops sizzle, then the pan is ready. If it evaporates instantly, then you need to cool the pan down a little.

Remember your mittens though, the whole cast iron pot and handle gets very hot and can cause a really bad burn.

While the maintenance of castiron cookware may seem like a lot, it is actually easy, and the high quality of food, affordability of pans, that are durable and won’t scratch or warp and, make it a tough choice to beat. Especially since with proper care your cast iron cookware sets will last for generations, a claim no other pan can make.

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