Cast iron cookware are very popular among hobby cooks but also with pro chefs in restaurants. On the one hand they are very practical and on the other hand they look nice visually. In this post I will tell you everything about cooking in cast iron, be it a pan, pot or skillet.
Uncoated or Enamelled?
There are two main types of cookware made of cast iron. The first variant is the uncoated cookware, which you may have met in Grandma’s kitchen. Since they often rust they must be re-lubricated (seasoned) at regular intervals. Washing detergents don’t play well with cast iron either. The so-called patina (an oily layer) can be cultivated on the uncoated surface and it delivers a very special taste.
The enamelled variant on the other hand can be cleaned without problems in the usual way. Unlike the uncoated variant, this doesn1t need the special care of oiling it. Before you jump on a quick conclusion, a patina can also form on enamelled cast iron. For this purpose however, the pots and pans should not be cleaned as intensively as for example those made of stainless steel.
The Advantages of Cast Iron Cookware
If you have ever cooked in cast iron, you will know that it stores heat exceptionally well. That’s great when you are cooking something that needs a long time to be ready. A cast iron cookware also conducts the heat at a much better rate than its non cast iron counterparts.
Although the heat consumption takes a little more time than with the stainless steel pans and pots, it is also stored and held longer. In a cast-iron pot a similar effect can be achieved as in an oven with superheat when you only heat the lid. For this reason you can also bake cakes or bread in a cast iron pot.
What Oil Should You Use?
Cast iron pots and pans can withstand much heat. You can use only oils which can also be brought to such high temperatures. Sunflower oil is great for this. If you use oils that withstand only medium temperatures they start to steam or smoke at higher temperatures, so they can no longer be used.
Disadvantages of Cast Iron Cookware
A small disadvantage of cast iron cookware is certainly the relatively high weight. Especially if the pot or pan is stowed slightly higher in the shelf, it is noticeable that it weighs significantly more than the stainless steel version. Cast iron pots are particularly sensitive to strong temperature fluctuations. They can withstand high heat, but if cold water is poured into a hot pot, there is a risk that it will burst. Make sure the pot has cooled down completely after use and start cleaning after that.