When you choose the cookware, probably the first thing you turn your attention to is a material the items are made of. There is a wide choice of variants and each of them has its own pros and cons but still you cannot deny the particular advantages of cast iron. It is an alloy of iron and carbon the latter is in a larger proportion. So, you get the material that differs from the others in this industry in fundamental ways. Why do people prefer the cast-iron cookware? There are some convincing reasons.
Taking into account the outstanding properties of cast iron we should agree that this is not an easy material concerning use and maintenance. If you have never bought it before, make sure that you understand those peculiarities. In order not to burn the foods, find out the special rules and follow them. There are the cooking techniques which are possible with this kind of vessels and provide you with the perfect result – delicious meal prepared professionally. That is why there are a lot of fans of the cast iron regardless of its rather high price. Do you want to know why?
Let’s start with the beginning and mention one so called trouble point. As far as the bare cast iron is not protected with any coating, it can rust. This drawback is easily removed by proper cleaning, drying and seasoning. Though, most pans are marketed pre-seasoned, and that facilitate the start for you – you do not have to do it yourself as required. Or you can prefer the enameled cast-iron vessels and forget about the above fears.
At the same time, you can be sure that cast iron is very tough and durable. You can find hundred-year-old vessels made of this alloy and be surprised with its perfect appearance and performance. It is almost impossible to ruin such a pan. Taking care of the cast iron cookware, you make it serve you longer. Now a few words about storage. You can hang it up, leave on a shelf alone or nest some items in each other. You will never damage the surface whatever you choose.
If you count on the best steaks and the delicious frying potatoes made in a cast iron skillet, you should know that these dishes need to be prepared over the high heat with even distribution of the temperature. While cast iron is not perfect in even heating because its thermal conductivity is not high. It means that the place over the heat will be hot while the surroundings remain relatively cold. But the cast iron is able to accumulate heat and keep it for a long period and this capability is perfect for searing meat.
In order to take the advantages of this material, you should heat a pan up in a hot oven during twenty minutes approximately waiting until it gets warm completely. And here you will notice another perfect property of the cast iron – it expels the heat around that is why the foods are cooked not only due to contact with the heated surface but in hot environment. The best conditions for roasting chicken for example!
Though, this material is not regarded as non-stick, it can become non-stick enough if it is seasoned and well heated beforehand. Remember, when you clean your frying pan, the water and soap do not remove the seasoning as far as the layer of polymerized oil absorbs properly. You can even scrub it if there is a need in this. But still re-seasoning is required from time to time. It is allowed to apply the metal utensils.
By the way you can cook almost any food in a well-seasoned cast iron pan. It will not come in contact but still sometimes the interaction of the bare cast iron with acidic ingredients in food is possible. Just do not cook tomato sauce in these pans or do it very quickly. Anyway there is no serious harm in this possible slight reactivity as far as the material does not contain any chemicals.