Difference between Iron Cookware and Cast Iron Cookware

Does it even matter which utensil are we cooking on? Well, yes, it does! Most people do not realise that cookware plays a vital role in keeping one healthy. It would be beneficial if you did not give importance to what you are eating, but also how and in which utensil is being cooked. 

Why is choosing safe cookware important?  

Efficient cookware distributes the heat equally throughout the utensil, which enables the food to be well cooked. However, eating partially cooked food leads to various diseases and ill health. 

If you do not use proper cookware, the dish you are cooking might lose half of its nutritional benefits due to the malfunctioning of the cookware. 

So, it is evident from there that the composing material of the cooking utensil may have a desirable or undesirable influence on the food being cooked. Hence these are a few of the numerous reasons you should be cautious enough while choosing the cookware. 

Now the question arises, which cookware can be considered the safest? 

Cast iron and iron cookware are considered the safest cookware due to their heat-retaining capabilities, which help them to distribute the heat equally. Let us explore more about this two cookware: 

Cast iron cookware

Cast iron is composed of smelting iron ore with scrap iron mixture and find its association with grey iron. Cast iron contains traces of carbon, manganese, silicon, Sulphur as well as phosphorus. Cast iron is hard and non-malleable. 

The most significant benefit of using cast iron cookware is that it is proven to release iron into your food. This is not a myth at all! This quality of cast iron makes it advisable to be used in families as women, vegetarian family members and children who often suffer from iron deficiency. Apart from adding iron to your food, the other advantage of cast iron cookware is that it isn’t cumbersome, hence can be shifted from place to place. Furthermore, it is tough and durable in nature as well as easy to maintain. It is also believed that coking in cast iron makes the food tastier and healthier. 

Iron cookware

The main difference between iron cookware and cast iron cookware is that it is composed of smelting iron with metal alloys. In contrast, the former is composed only of iron and contains no alloys. Iron cookware is crafted of pure iron, which makes it very long-lasting. Due to its raw nature imparts a rustic flavour to the food, which significantly enhances the taste. Iron cookware is malleable and will bend but not get fractured, unlike cast iron cookware. 

Now the question arises, which among these two should be used? To help you choose, we have made a quick comparison. So, the main differences between iron cookware and cast iron cookware are given here.

Cooking time

Cast iron cookware such as cast-iron Kadai is favourable if you plan to cook something that takes a long time to prepare. This is because cast iron gets heated up slowly but does not burn the food. Instead, the food is cooked steadily. On the other hand, iron cookware, such as an iron Kadai, gets heated up very fast and may burn the food.  

Benefits to Anaemic people

It is known that pure iron cookware will impart more iron into the food being cooked than cast iron cookware. If you use an iron tawa for cooking, it will impart more quantities of iron in your food than the iron quantities that a cast iron tawa will impart in your food. This iron content enhancement in food is very beneficial for anaemic people who suffer from iron deficiency. This is mainly seen in women, children and vegetarians. 


Iron utensils are more durable than cast iron utensils. The main reason behind this fact is, iron utensils are malleable, whereas cast iron utensils lack malleability. 


Iron utensils such as iron pans are heavier when compared to cast iron utensils such as cast iron pans. This makes iron utensils difficult to be shifted and carried from one place to another. However, cast iron utensils are easy to use and carry due to their comparatively lighter weight. Weight would  however depend on what type of cookware is choosen and compared. 

Sustainability on high flame

Cast iron cookware is more sustainable on high flames than iron cookware because iron cookware tends to expand on high heat conditions. On the other hand, cast iron cookware does not expand in high heat conditions.  

Non-stick texture

Cast iron cookware is naturally non-stick in nature. They get better after every natural seasoning. So, when cooking on cast iron cookware such as a cast-iron tadka pan, you will require way less oil than you would have to use if you are cooking on an iron tadka pan. On the other hand, iron cookware gets heated up very quickly, and it might burn the food. So to prevent that from occurring, you are compelled to use more oil to prevent the food from burning. But, as we all know, oil enhances the taste of the food considerably. 

Easy Maintenance

Though cast iron cookware and iron cookware require a good amount of maintenance, cleaning iron cookware after cooking is more troublesome. Iron cookware such as the iron grill and Dutch oven burn more efficiently, leaving the black stain after cooking. Cleaning this becomes very laborious. Cast iron cookware is comparatively easier to maintain. 

Imparting iron in food

Cooking in iron cookware or cast iron cookware, both impart iron in food. But the quality of iron released in food from iron cookware is more due to its pure nature. Cast iron contains alloys, so the quantity of iron released in food is slightly lower. Not only Anaemic people, but iron-rich food is beneficial for everyone because iron plays an integral role in blood cell formation. Iron is essential to keep you healthy and also helps build a robust immune system. Hence, a good intake of iron every day is highly desirable for healthy living.  

Rusting Issue

Iron cookware suffers from this problem of rust. Due to its pure nature, rust might get affected, which will leave the utensil damaged and useless. Therefore, one must take special care while using iron cookware to protect it from rust. Cast iron cookware, on the other hand, do not have this problem of rusting. Furthermore, since its composition alloys, it does not contain pure iron, which eliminates the problem of rusting, giving cast iron cookware an upper edge over iron cookware in this field.  

Increase inefficiently with age

Cast iron increase in efficiency along with their age. The older the cast iron utensil, the better it performs as the smooth surface allows the oil to seep more evenly, facilitating cooking. Iron cookware, on the other hand, needs to be replaced after a certain period. This is because iron cookware cannot be stored without being used for long, like cast iron cookware. After all, it might get affected by rust. 

Eco friendly

Cast iron cookware can be considered more eco friendly than iron cookware. This is because once heated, and the temperature is evenly circulated in the cast iron utensil. Therefore, there is no need for high flames. But in the case of iron cookware, high flames are needed. The food also remains hot for a longer time in cast iron cookware which saves fuel as we don’t need to heat the food repeatedly. 

Less oil consumption

Cast iron cookware consumes less oil while cooking because they have a natural non-stick texture. Their heat-retaining capacities also help equally distribute the heat at the bottom of the utensil, which helps in healthy cooking with very little oil. But this is not the case with iron cookware because iron utensils require a relatively good quantity of oil while cooking. 

Easy cleaning

Cast iron cookware is simpler to clean than iron cookware. You can use ordinary soaps to remove the stains from the utensils after cooking. But iron cookware cannot be cleaned using any regular soap. The most effective agents for cleaning iron cookware are ash and raw tamarind. Cleaning iron cookware is very laborious. 

Perfect heat distribution in the utensil

The heat distribution is better in the case of cast iron cookware because cast iron utensils can spread the heat evenly compared to iron cookware. This is the reason why cast iron skillet is often preferred over iron skillets. 

A versatile source of heat

Induction or open flame can be used for cast iron cookware. This gives it an edge over iron cookware. However, there are various instances where it is difficult to arrange for an open flame, and if Induction might be available, cast iron cookware can be used. But this is not the case with iron cookware because open flames are the only source of heat in the case of iron cookware. 


Cast iron cookware and iron cookware both are budget-friendly. But, to be precise, 

cast iron utensils are a little cheaper than iron utensils. So an iron Kadai price might be a bit more than a cast-iron Kadai price. But the difference in prices is not very prominent.  Yet again, price depends on the type of products, its weight and make.

Outer Décor

The look of the utensil is essential because it compliments the overall look of your kitchen. If you are willing to go for a traditional look for your kitchen, then iron utensils will vibe more with the traditional look. On the other hand, if a classy and modern look is your choice for your kitchen, cast iron utensils should be your go-to option. 

Cast iron and iron cookware are coming back gradually in our households. For quite some time, using iron utensils had lost its significance as people were more inclined toward using metals that were attractive to look at but imparted poor nutritional benefits in the food. We can use the best ingredients in our dish but won’t get the desired results if the cookware isn’t appropriate. Cast iron and iron cookware are the best cookware that should be included in a household. 

So we can say that, though cast iron and iron cookware are very similar in various aspects, there are certain areas where each has the edge over the other. For example, cast iron utensils have the advantage of not getting affected by rust, but they are not malleable either, making them prone to fracture. Another point may be that cast iron utensils require less oil for cooking than iron utensils, but the taste of food cooked in iron utensils is just out of the world! Moreover, food cooked in iron utensils is healthier and has more iron content than food cooked in cast iron cookware.  

These are the fundamental differences that cast iron cookware has in comparison to iron cookware. Both cast-iron cookware and iron cookware are excellent in terms of cookware materials. Both are safe and have immense health benefits. Now, it depends on the requirement of your kitchenware products, what you require in your household, as both are equally good.  

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  • Reshma

    Very helpful information..thank u

  • David

    Very much helpful and wonderfully made easy tk understand and choose

  • Srividya

    Very grateful for this elaborate and thorough description. Made job easier to choose.

  • Rajendra Rao

    we use them and their benefits

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