Though there have been many changes in cookware over the century, the past five years have shown incredible breakthroughs in technology. Even the Teflon coating is rivaled by some of the new green cookware. However, some people still maintain that iron cookware is the best and it is all they will use. Here are some tips for cooking using cast iron cookware.
Cast iron cookware is virtually everlasting. If it were not for antique value many of the same pots and frying pans produced in the 1700’s would still be used today by their owners, and maybe some of them are still used. The products are made to withstand many abuses which newer cookware cannot compete with. They are hard to break and their finish if correctly maintained will last for centuries. To maintain the cast iron it is suggested that the implement be washed in hot soapy dishwater and then dried immediately, this prevents the iron from rusting. The iron can also be coated with a paper towel with a little cooking oil on it, this coats the metal and inhibits rust.
In the old days, cast iron was used directly over a fire and outside and inside. It was not only the implement of choice but of very few choices. Tin corroded too quickly, iron lasted longer. Iron was used to make many a stew pot, and is still used today for the same purpose. The frying pans were used for deep frying chicken, and lard was the shortening of choice for use in the cast iron pans. Today regular cooking oil, butter or margarine will suffice, though lard is still available.
When using cast iron on the stove-top remember to keep pot holders handy. cast iron heats into the handle as well as in the pan itself and burns are likely if precautions are not used. Also if the pan is removed from the ovens burner remember to place the pan on a trivet so it doesn’t melt the counter or the finish on a table. Cast iron retains heat well after a conventional metal pan will release it.
Use a lid when cooking with cast iron as the grease will splatter and cause a huge mess. Grease fires are no fun and cause many injuries each year. With the heat a cast iron pan retains it will cook without burning the food if used with a lower heat.
Cast iron is old but can still outperform new technologies. For longevity the iron pots and pans will outlast their owners and the owners after them. If the metal is taken care of it will be safe, clean and effective for any cooking task.