What is so special about cast iron cookware?
Cast iron cookware is special due to the following:
- It heats evenly. Because cast iron is a heavy, dense material, it heats up slowly and evenly, allowing you to brown and sear meat and vegetables much more easily than with standard kitchen pans. Additionally, cast iron retains its heat very well, so your hot skill will remain hot without you needing to constantly adjust the heat.
- It’s extremely durable. Unlike standard pots and pans, cast iron is just a piece of metal that’s been molded into the shape of a pan. There are no additional coatings or chemicals that can wear away or chip off. It’s also a very rugged metal, so it’s very unlikely to break or crack. Because of their durability, cast iron cookware is often passed down through generations.
- It’s versatile. Cast iron cookware can be used on the stove, the oven, or even over hot coals. Cast iron can be used to sear, saute, boil, braise, baste, broil, steam, bake, and everything in between.
- It’s naturally non-stick. Due to a build of seasoning caused by the natural polymerization of vegetable fats that happens while cooking, a non-stick surface forms on the surface of cast iron. As long as the cast iron is cared for, the non-stick surface gets better with every use.
- It gets better the more you use it. Because of the seasoning discussed above, the layer of polymerized fats gets (microscopically) thicker every time you use it, which causes your cookware to become better and more non-stick the more you use it.
- It’s healthy. Cooking with cast iron has multiple health benefits, including the fact that it releases small amounts of iron into your food. Many people suffer from iron deficiencies, and regular cooking with cast iron can help mitigate those deficits.
- It’s cheap. A good cast iron pan is relatively inexpensive compared to cookware made of other materials. This is due to its simplicity as a molded piece of raw metal.
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