What are the disadvantages of cast iron cookware?
The disadvantages of cast iron cookware include the following:
- It’s heavy. Cast iron is extremely dense and heavy, which makes it a bit cumbersome to use and maneuver. Because of this, cast iron cookware often has support handles on the sides to make moving and supporting it easier.
- It’s prone to rust. Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon, and like all iron masses, cast iron will rust if left in the presence of water and oxygen for an extended period of time. Additionally, cast iron, by design, hasn’t been galvanized (coated in zinc) or plated with nickel or chrome. The raw iron is therefore exposed to water and oxygen, which can combine with iron to form rust.
To ensure your cookware doesn’t rust, it’s best to dry it thoroughly immediately after cleaning and place it on low heat in the oven or on the stove for a few minutes so that all water is evaporated from the pores and crevices.
- It requires maintenance. While most concerns about maintaining cast iron are overblown, there is some degree of maintenance required with regard to the seasoning. In order to make cast iron cookware non-stick and protect it from rust, cast iron cookware must be seasoned and that seasoning needs to be maintained. Otherwise, the protective layer of seasoning could wear away leaving the iron exposed to stuck-on food, and water and air, which can cause rust.
- It’s brittle. Because of its high carbon content (2~3%), cast iron is very hard and brittle. If dropped or hit hard, it can easily crack or break. While its durability is often touted, and cast iron cookware can, and often does, last for generations, care needs to be taken when handling.
The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages