Somewhat unusual for a style that has existed for more than 100 years, the cast iron cookware has again reached epic proportions in the last 10 years. The manufacturer of cookware manufacturers recorded an increase in sales of more than 225 percent over the decade. More than ten percent of cookware sales today are cast iron – a significant increase over just 10 years. What brings international cooks and home cooking enthusiasts back to a cookware that is almost the same today as it was when it was originally invented?
In short: endurance.
Pots, pans, waffle irons, muffin molds, loaf pans and more are now just as good as the day they were made 100 years ago. There is hardly a product that has been made by man and has such a reputation.
The first signs of metal casting date back to China in the fourth century BC. The engineers in the ancient world quickly realized that the metal could be used to make weapons, and for centuries this was the main purpose.
Improving production efficiency also improved the production of castings of all kinds. In the 1800s, the possibility of iron forging was widespread.
Iron products were not on their way to America until 1619, but we did not use the process to make cookware.
The current incarnation of the material used to make permanent iron cooking products is an alloy of iron, carbon and silicon that is heated until it melts.
Once it becomes a liquid, it is poured into a mold or pan or pan and allowed to cool. Products made using this process are solid and heavy.
They usually consist of a single metal block and are not assembled with bolts, rivets or adhesive. This type of metalware has no seams.
Iron cookware is still going strong despite recent and more “advanced” products that have come onto the market in the meantime.
With a good scratch from a metal spatula, Teflon pans can lose a large part of their non-stick pledge. And this chemical coating then goes where?
In the food that the chef prepares, and in the stomach of all the people who eat it.
Cast skillets, ovens and other products can last for more than a century and can easily be revitalized when purchased at a second hand store or flea market.
Considerations when buying
Casting products are available in all shapes and sizes and can be bought both new and used.
Weight is a key factor in buying a satisfactory casting, and although it is not always the case, the heavier items hold more heat and provide a more authentic cooking style.
Advances in metal casting have led to lighter options that offer almost the same experience, but the weight of cast iron giants has changed significantly in the last century.
Many people have to adapt to the heaviness when cooking with the older cooking, as they can not be considered as petite, as is the case with newer products.
HANDLES AND BUTTONS
Although the quality of the pot or pan is important for cooking the food, maneuvering the appliance is equally important if the food is actually to be eaten.
Cast items must have handles or buttons that are easy to use and do not burn the cook easily.
Check the design of the items you have purchased and make sure that any place where the cook should lay his hand when cooking, either a heat-resistant lid or a pot holder over it.
When buying iron pots or pans, make sure you have parts that are small enough to hold them lightly, or that have handles on both sides.
The double handles make it easier for the cook to balance the pot when heated or transported, and the handles reduce the likelihood that the pot becomes too heavy for a single wrist, instinctively placing a hot hand on the hot hand of the metal .
The prices of cast iron products range from something much cheaper than a new set of modern pots and pans to much more expensive unit cost. The price depends on the brand, but cheaper does not always mean less effective.
For example, Lodge, the last fortress of American iron casting machines, makes very cheap pans. The lodge style of “naked” cookware has a large following with collectors hanging on thousands of pieces at the same time.
BARE VS. ENAMEL
Cast articles are available in two different finishes: bright and enamelled.
Naked pans are just that. They are the unchanging iron frying pans, pans, or ovens that come without any cover to naturally make them non-sticky.
Bare Iron products are more reactive in comparison to other products and need to be “seasoned” to then develop a patina to become truly non-sticky.
Naked items usually have a much lower price than enamelled products, and the overall cost savings over the years can be enormous, as this is a product that you can possibly use for the rest of your life.
DISADVANTAGES OF IRON
Burners that are not big enough can make it difficult to heat the pans. The durability of the heat of castings is based on the thickness of the material and not on its reputation as a stellar conductor of heat.
In fact, iron is one of the less efficient heat conductors in cookware. The difference, however, is that a cast, a pan or a frying pan stays hot for a long time after heating.
Thinner metals or other, better conductors lose their heat much faster. So heating an iron pan with a smaller burner will only produce spots at the right temperature, and the heat will cool as it moves outward from the center or “hot spot”.
A burner of the right size for the item needs to be used, and slow heating is an absolute must. Otherwise, the same hot spots will appear as seen on the smaller burner.
Occasionally, you can only heat the product appropriately by placing it in the oven until it is preheated.
Cast iron can not necessarily be used in all assortment types. It can certainly be put in the oven, but many manufacturers of glass surfaces advise against cooking with cast iron on the stove.
Check with the manufacturer of your oven before attempting to cook on your glass cooker. In many cases, they advise against using poured pots and pans on a glass plate, as this can scratch the surface.
Although the functionality of the oven is not really damaged, this type of damage can be unsightly.
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