relatively low cost
When well seasoned it becomes black and markedly
reacts to food
very porous, must be seasoned
do not use with acidic foods
A little rust is no reason to pass up a bargain or
throw away the pan. Just sand down to the bare metal
, but since the seasoning coat absorbs flavors and
odors, these pans are best reserved for a single category,
such as fish or eggs.
A new pan should be hand washed with hot soapy water,
rinse thoroughly and towel dry. Then season right away.
Clean after cooking while the pan is still hot, wipe
with a paper towel or cloth. Or use hot water and a
stiff nylon brush. Do not use soap (detergent) or the
dishwasher as they will break down the pan's seasoning.
Then towel dry. If you're not going to reuse the pan
for a prolonged period of time, give it a light coating
of oil before storing.
Never store food in the cast iron pan as the acid
in the food will breakdown the seasoning and take on
a metallic flavor.
see how to properly season
cast iron cookware.
Cast iron cooking utensils have been with us for
thousands of years, going back to ancient China. In
Europe during the Middle Ages, cast iron utensils were
considered so valuable that they were listed along with
gold, jewels, and other riches of royalty. An iron foundry,
where utensils and other cast iron products were manufactured,
was one of the first industries organized in North America.
These utensils are excellent for browning, frying,
stewing and baking foods. Today's cast iron utensils
are made of iron alloys that give additional strength
to the utensil.
To make such a utensil, molten iron is poured into
a mold and allowed to harden. The result is a very porous
material that requires treatment (seasoning) prior to
regular use, to seal the pores and keep foodstuffs from
becoming embedded in the iron.
Although cast iron takes a while to heat, the advantage
is that, once heated, it will remain very hot for a
long period of time; as such, foods that require high
heat are best cooked in cast iron. Iron being a reactive
metal, it has disadvantages in that acidic foods should
not be cooked in it for any length of time.
Iron has magnetic properties which allow for its
use on induction cooktops. Added benefits from cooking
with cast iron are a good workout for you (they're heavy),
a light workout for your wallet (they're very inexpensive),
and a slightly increased bodily intake of an essential
Most North Americans don't get enough iron in their
diet. If you cook a couple meals a day on iron pans,
the small amount that is absorbed into the body by the
food represents only about 20% of the recommended daily
Store your cast iron cookware with the lids off,
especially in humid weather, because if covered, moisture
can build up and cause rust. Should rust appear, the
pan should be re-seasoned.