All About Cast Iron Cookware: Your Brief, But Complete Guide
There's a reason why your parents and even your grandparents have used cast iron cookware for decades. But why are cast iron pans so effective at cooking food? Why does one pan last forever? If you ask yourself these questions, you're not the only one. Here, we offer a complete guide into cast iron cookware.
How Are Cast Iron Pans Made?
To make cast iron pans, one pours an alloy of molten iron into a sand mould. Then, the iron cools before breaking away from the sand. This process not only ensures the pan will stay durable but will also maintain its shape. In addition, the iron material is great at withstanding heat and can be used on the stove, in the oven, and is even perfect for grilling!
Cleaning a Cast Iron
There are many myths about cleaning a cast iron. Since iron can rust easily, it's best you use a clean sponge and water. Only use soap if you absolutely need to. However, some cast iron enthusiasts use kosher salt instead of soap. If your pan is very dirty, you can boil water in the pan and scrape it with a wooden spoon to clean off the tough bits.
DO NOT let the pan soak in water and absolutely DO NOT clean a cast iron pan in the dishwasher. This will cause the pan to rust.
Seasoning the Pan
When cooking with a cast iron, you probably heard that you must season it after each use. But what does this mean? Seasoning the pan is a fancy term that means oil is baked into the pan. Cast iron pans are non-stick cookware and seasoning keeps its non-stick surface. Seasoning also protects the iron from rusting.
Most cast iron pans are pre-seasoned. Does that still mean you need to season one? A little extra protection won't hurt, so we recommend seasoning your pan after each use.
How do you season your pan? There are a few methods:
Rub a small amount of oil on the inside and outside, wipe away the excess with a paper towel
Stovetop method: turn the burner on high heat, place a little bit of oil in the pan, and heat it up
Oven method: rub oil into the cast iron, place it upside down in the middle rack at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake for an hour
Use the method that's most convenient for you.
What to Look for in a Cast Iron Pan
Since cast iron cookware is made of iron, they're heavier than your traditional pan. However, the pan shouldn't be too heavy to where you can't lift one. Cast irons maintain heat amazingly. However, that also means the pot gets hot to the touch. Always choose a cast iron with a handle for easier and safer lifting.
You'll also want to look at the shape of the cast iron. Most cast iron pans are round with high sides. However, there are now more cast iron varieties than ever. For example, if you don't want a cast iron with high sides, choose one with sloped sides instead.
Are You Looking for Cast Iron Cookware?
If you're looking for cast iron cookware, you're in the right place. We sell a variety of different cast iron pans, including Dosa Tawa and Kadai. We also sell a variety of other pans. Take a look at our Cast Iron section today.