Cooking with Cast Iron

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October 2017

I could talk about it forever…

Cast iron cookware is a cooking item that is made from cast iron; they are not only used for cooking on the stove, however for preparing foods that require being baked also. Items like cornbread and also biscuits can be baked uniformly in the cookware created from cast iron, along with many other dishes. Many people believe that the best iron cookware is the aged one and that has been “broken in” to deliver a seasoned taste in frying or for sautéing. If you have been trying to search for used iron cookware, start your tradition by creating your seasoned cookware by understanding what to look for in new iron cookware.

Bare cast iron cookware is uncoated and will collect a variety of flavors from the uncovered cast iron material. A more even cooking is prevalent when using this cookware because unlike copper and aluminum, will hold the heat for a long time. Iron is a very dense metal that heats slowly and stays steady throughout the surface.

Doctors have been known to recommend using cast cookware to improve iron deficiencies because of the iron that seeps into the prepared food. The best-cast iron skillets naturally create a nonstick surface that makes cooking pancakes, omelets, and other foods known to stick, easy to remove from the pan. If you have a relatively new iron skillet, it may take some time to build up the natural resistance, but over time you will never have to use an oil spray again.

Enameled cookware is not considered the best cookware because of the ability to chip and wear. The coating also keeps the ware from being reactive to foods for seasoning, but this can be good in some instances. For example, acidic foods like tomatoes can leave strange colors and flavors in a bare iron skillet or partially change the shade. Using enameled pieces can prevent this from occurring.

The best cast cookware is easy to find at any online cooking store or a department store. Cast iron is not available in different grades or qualities. Either it is cast iron, or it is not. The cost is relatively low. Shopping with a well-known manufacturer is usually recommended to ensure that you are buying exactly what is advertised.

The versatility of iron can make a large skillet one of the best cookware pieces found in your kitchen. Not only used for searing steaks or frittatas on the stovetop but easily transferred to the oven to finish cooking without ever changing pans makes cast iron a great multi-tasking tool to have around.

In addition to making great tasting foods, adding vitamins to your meal and forgetting about spray oils, the best-cast iron cookware is almost indestructible. Many pieces have been passed down through generations and are still used in favorite cooking methods today. If a little rust should appear, a simple scrubbing with an abrasive pad should remove the spot. Normal soap and water will keep your cast iron in great shape forever.

 

 

 

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Not convinced yet?

Despite all of the technological advances to the present time, not everything has become better. That has become apparent when it comes to cookware. In the past several decades, much effort has been given to producing new and improved cookware that is both cheaper to produce and attractive for efficiency. It seems that in the process cast iron has been cast aside, perhaps intentionally by marketers, and probably eagerly by us consumers in our quest for the popular, the easier, the stuff “everybody is buying.” The packaging of cookware sets has, indeed, set them up to be popular gifts. But are these newfangled cookwares the ideal gift? Do they keep on giving?
The Comeback
Since the 1970s or so there have arisen concerns about toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process of nonstick coatings, worries about the cumulative effects of heavy metals in humans and non-humans alike, an increase in dangerous or tragic events in kitchens, or – in a less gloomy context – just plain disappointment in the quality of the cookwares and the foods produced in them. Now, health-conscious consumers and the ever-enduring quest for the best, cast iron cookware is finding favor again across the U.S.A. and around the globe.
Unsurpassed Qualities
When the cost-to-value ratio of cast iron cookware is pondered, there is little surprise that it beats all other choices. Most cookware made of other metals or materials may have their own advantages, yet it takes them all to task and beats them fair and square.
Compared with any cookware of reasonable quality, they costs less new. At yard sales and flea markets an old piece, maybe found tucked away in an attic or buried in the garage, will catch the eye of someone in-the-know like a glittering piece of gold. (Like wine and old fiddles, well-kept cast iron seems to get better with age.) Even long-neglected and rusty old skillets can be easily restored – reborn to please its lucky finder!
Cast iron cookware has a centuries-old reputation-literally! Well-kept pieces and multi-piece sets have been handed down generation to generation, ever performing superbly, yielding up that old-fashioned taste, just as in old times. First produced in China around 513 B.C., it was the mainstay of cookery in the Old World since 1100 A.D., coming to the American colonies to continue the traditions, even clamoring on the sides of covered wagons across the continent. Chefs are proud of their heirloom cast iron skillets and campers are adamant about cooking over smoky campfires. It is durable like no other cookware.
Superior in heat conduction and retention properties, cast iron cookware is untouched by all cookwares. It is a source of dietary iron – the higher the acidity (as in applesauce and tomato-based sauces) the higher the iron content is likely to be. Unlike aluminum and copper, iron does not carry the consequences of cumulative heavy metals. Cast iron is a safe bet for people with diabetes and for people who are struggling against high LDL (bad cholesterol) – you can cook without adding oil or fat! Unlike other metal cookware, properly seasoned does not react with other foods.
Should you ever stumble upon a cracked piece of cookware, or if you should happen to crack yours (as can happen by forgetting it in the campfire, or pouring cold water onto it while it is still very hot), there is hope. Cracks can be welded by an expert welder.
Few Disadvantages
It is hard to beat cast iron in the home kitchen, the gourmet restaurant, or at the camp site. Still, a couple of cautions are in order. Persons with iron sensitivity – an inherited metabolic disorder known as hemochromatosis – should avoid cast iron-cooked foods. Can scratch glass and ceramic flat-top stoves. Boiling water is not recommended, nor can cast iron cookware go into the dishwasher (but you can almost clean it quicker with warm, mildly soapy water and a brush or sponge than you could put it into the dishwasher, anyhow!).Thermal shock (for example, cold water on a hot cast iron; from the fire into the snow) can cause it to crack. And, finally, backpacking with cast iron cookware should be left only to the most hardy and determined souls.
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Benefits of Cast Iron

Cookware made of Cast iron is highly regarded as possibly the best type of cookware that has numerous positive properties it possesses. Cast iron gives excellent heat retention and also diffusion properties that just cannot be rivaled by modern varieties of cookware.

Cast iron cookware is formed when molten iron is poured directly into a mold that is shaped like the kind of desired cookware. Once the iron cools and is ready for usage, the seasoning process must take place.

Today, cast iron cookery comes in various sizes and shapes, from skillets or the frying pans to saucepans, casseroles, and a whole assortment of dishes and pots for merely about any culinary use possible.

Below are reasons why it is beneficial to cook in cast iron cookware:

Excellent heat retention.

The essence of the iron tells that the heat is preserved within the material for a longer period. This ensures that your pan is greatly energy efficient, as after it’s hot, just a low to medium setting is needed to maintain peak operation. You can even choose to remove the cookware from the heating source and either let the food cooking on its own retained energy or you could have the pot placed on the table where heat retention of the cookware can keep the food warmer for sometimes.

Ideal heat induction.

Just like the heat preservation, the cast iron offers excellent heat induction. This makes your food gets heated uniformly or have even heat distribution and consistently, without hot spots. You have perfect and expected results always.

Versatility.

Cooking using cast iron cookware, gives you options of cooking with varied heat sources, like gas, electric plates (solid or even radiant), under grill, induction, on the hob or simply in the oven. And, of course, it’s mainly suited for wide range cookers.most cast iron can items can endure temperatures of around 190degree celsius (375-degrees Fahrenheit)

additionally, you can efficiently use one frying pan or the skillet for like any cooking duty; roast or fry a chicken, bake a cake, fry potatoes, stir-fry vegetables, sear a fillet and more.

Durability

Cast iron cookwares are durable and built to last for so many years, generation after another. Well maintained cast iron cooking item will never crack or even peel and their features remain compatible with their life. They are so solid and strong. Indeed, quality of cast iron items improves with time.

Non-stick surface.

enameled cast iron item can be used without having to season it.

They are easy to clean or hygienic.

cast iron cookware that is enameled is impervious to odors or flavors; this makes them.best for holding marinating foods stuff or for storing raw or cooked food in the freezers or fridges.

Easy to maintain.

The pans are a cinch to clean, either by hand or in a dishwasher.

Cast iron cookware maintains a pitch black metal surface at all times. Since it is prone to rust, seasoning is essential. Remember that seasoning takes some time before your pan develops the shiny, black surface. Grease your cast iron inside and outside before storing them, so they always look nice and ready for use anytime.

This traditional cookware offers a good value for the money because it can last for many years. You can pass on your favorite pieces to your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They will cherish your black, shiny skillet, just like how you did when your mother passed her cast iron to you.

 

 

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Bacon!

Who doesn’t love bacon?!?! I’m not even kidding, just the smell of cooking bacon makes me hungry.  For some reason though I haven’t quite found the trick to making perfect bacon every time.  I tried a regular skillet, using a cookie sheet in the oven, the microwave…the list goes on.  While I’m still working on technique I can say that the best way I have found to make delicious bacon is in my cast iron skillet.  Check out this video to find out how!

 

 




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