Don’t cook with cast iron cookware until you’ve read this

by Stephen Kember

You won’t go wrong cooking with cast iron ; its one of the very best materials for cooking . So why is this?

1. By comparative standards they are not expensive and when measured over their lifetime they are incredibly cheap;if well cared for they will outlive your kids kids;

2. is a superb cooking medium to with outdoors. With its ideal heat conduction as well as heat retention and its lack of hot spots its an outside cooks dream tool;

3. Nearly all types of food can be cooked in, or on, cast iron cookware; its perfect as a multi- purpose utensil;

4. It is really very healthy to cook with cast iron because you can cook fat free! This arises because properly seasoned cast iron cookware is ‘stick-free’ and so requires no oil when cooking. [Note: Seasoning is done by filling the cracks small cavities in the pan with grease in a very hot oven. The grease gets baked in and gives an almost perfectly smooth surface on which to cook;

5. When cooking with cast iron food slides easily and freely in the pan.

6. You can use your cast iron pans & skillets freely be it in the oven or on the grill, indoors or out so it can be used for grilling and for baking.

7. The pan is seemingly bomb proof, very tough under most conditionsand doesn’t warp; and

8. Cast iron is really easy to clean.

At The Cooking Store we recommend that every outdoor chef should own a set of cast iron pans and at least one skillet. Without a doubt they’re well worth the money; especially as you’ll be passing them on to your kids as an inheritance.

Now some simple guidelines on how to best use your cast iron cookware.

1. If you find that food sticks when cooking with cast iron cookware the cookware hasn’t been seasoned properly. Therefor you need to re-season it; this will stop the food sticking.

2. What size of skillet is best to buy? How long is a piece of string? Most customers in our store go for the 10″ skillet; go for a larger version, albeit heavier, if you’re often cooking for larger groups.

3. Don’t use your cast iron cookware simply to boil water.

4. Cast iron cookware performs great as Dutch Oven, an ancient form of cooking. This works so well because of the even spread heat, devoid of hot spots that can be attained within the pan.

5. Cast iron cookware is hugely versatile; for example, you can brown meat on the stove in your dutch oven then add your liquids and whatever else and put the pot straight into the oven to stew.

6. Always preheat your cookware before cooking. The temperature is okay when drips of water sizzle in the pan; its too hot if the water turns to steam and too cold if the water does nothing!

7. Avoid ever pouring cold water into hot cast iron cookware as it may shatter.

8. Cast iron stove ware handles get really hot so keep a good pair of oven gloves handy;

9. If you want to maintain nice and clean cast iron stove ware make sure that it remains properly seasoned.

10. To clean your cast iron cookware:

* when cooled use normal washing up liquid, rinse with water & dry with paper towels;

* don’t listen to those that say just wipe it out; this is not hygienic;

* avoid using the dishwasher to clean your cast-iron cookware;

* when washed place your cast iron cookware back onto the stove to completely dry it out. Then before its cooled lightly oil it using vegetable oil; then leave it on the stove for a few minutes before removing it and wiping away any excess oil;

* after drying your cookware never store it with its lid on. This will avoid rusting due to the build up of moisture. It can also help if you put a paper towel inside to absorb moisture; and

* if you do get rust appearing, scour with steel wool then wash and re-season.

Thats it, no more, no less, heed our guidelines and you will enjoy perfect cookware over a lifetime.

Enjoy your outdoor cooking.

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