Cast Iron Cookware

Features of Cast Iron Cookware

  • Durable, will last for generations
  • Superior heat retention and even cooking
  • Stove top or oven

Where to buy:

Cookware.com

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For many generations, cast iron cookware has been the workhorse of the kitchen. Way before aluminum was even discovered our ancestors cooked in either cast iron or some kind of earthenware.

There are two types of cast iron cookware. One is bare cast iron the other is enamel coated.

 

Bare Cast Iron:

This is the stuff that many cooks have inherited from their mothers and grandmothers. It is still sold new, or found at garage sales and flea markets. These pieces never die.

Cast iron frying pans are great  for searing steaks and chops (deglazing with wine is not recommended since iron is reactive and may change the flavor)
Dutch ovens are great for stews and braising meat and  low flame cooking in general.

Before it can be used, bare cast iron needs to be seasoned. To clean, it should be washed by hand in cold water only (no soap) using a metal scouring pad.  Because it rusts easily, it must be dried thoroughly before storing.

What we like:

  • Cast Iron is an excellent heat conductor
  • Excellent for searing or frying
  • Use it on the stovetop or in the oven
  • Good for induction cooktops
  • Will last for generations

What we don’t like:

  • Not dishwasher safe (in fact forget the dishwasher)
  • Must be seasoned well  the food will stick
  • Will rust if not cared for properly
  • Reacts with foods such as tomatoes and other acidic foods
  • May damage glass cooktops because rough finishes may scratch the cooktop

Best Brands:

If you were not lucky enough to have inherited a cast iron pan, you can still buy it at affordable prices. Lodge now makes pre-seasoned cast iron skillets.

Where to buy:

Cookware.com

 

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Enamel cast iron:

Enamel cast iron is “the Cadillac” of this humble kitchen tool and every cook should have at least an enamel cast iron dutch oven.
The enamel covering in cast iron cookware is glass, not paint, and it is applied by a special lamination process.  A good cast iron enamel pot or pan  will not chip or fade.

What we like:

  • Durable
  • Beautiful
  • Can go from stovetop or oven to table
  • Non-reactive finish
  • Iron is an excellent heat conductor
  • Excellent for searing or frying
  • Use it on the stovetop or in the oven
  • Good for induction cooktops
  • Will not damage glass cooktops

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy
  • Cheap brands will chip easily
  • Cheap brands will rust at the edges

Best brands:

The best enamel cast iron by far is Le Creuset. It will not dent and the enameling process is so perfect that it will rarely chip. No wonder it comes with 101-year warranty against defects.  Read more about Le Creuset French Oven here.

Where to buy:

Cookware.com

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