Introduction:Cast iron cookware is a hot item on most homekeepers' wish lists for Christmas this year. Lodge Manufacturing founded in 1896, is the only manufacturer of cast iron cookware still "cooking" in the U.S., although foreign manufacturers are heavy competitors. So - why a return to cast iron cookware?
Cast iron is the oldest and most versatile of all cookware. Because cast iron cookware doesn't have "hot spots" and it retains the heat longer than other kinds of cookware, you can cook almost anything in it.
Cast iron has always been the cookware of choice for campers. (Close your eyes and smell the delicious aromas of bacon and eggs over a campfire!)
And take it from me you haven't tasted cornbread until you try a batch that was cooked in an old cast iron skillet!
To make cast iron, molten metal is poured into individual sand molds. After casting cookware, it must be seasoned to keep the iron from corroding. Back in grannie's day, grease or lard was used to form a protective layer on the iron. Then they put the iron pots and/or pans into a hot oven overnight where the grease polmererized "(grease hardened to make a permanent slick surface).
For about 10 years now, Lodge has completed the seasoning process at the factory. The "new" cast iron cookware is pre-seasoned in vegetable oil, but still nonstick.
Compared to fancy, name brand pots and pans, new cast iron is inexpensive. You can find it easily where cookware is sold. Not so the antique skillets and pots!
In past eras, cast iron cooking utensils were mainly stocked at hardware stores, but new cast iron cookware is easy to locate wherever cookware is sold.
Cast iron is virtually indestructible! With a little attention, your skillets, Dutch oven, pots and pans will last practically forever.
If you've never had the cast iron experience, you'll need to preheat the cookware. Put on burner or in oven and sprinkle water in the pan after a few minutes. Drops of water should sizzle and hop around in the skillet. If it evaporates immediately, your cooking pot is overheated. Overheating will cause your food to burn. Cool it off and try again. If the water just lies about in bottom of pan, it's not ready. Heat a little longer.
While it is difficult to ruin this cookware, if you pour cold water into it, the sudden temperature change could cause cast iron to break. So, don't pour, just sprinkle.
Maintenance couldn't be easier. Never put in dishwasher. Just wash pots and pans in very hot water. Don't use soap please. It is important to dry cast iron carefully to prevent rust.
When you make something like cornbread, that doesn't leave a residue, you can just take a paper towel and wipe the iron skillet out good. No need to wash.
The old cast iron cookware had to be re-seasoned after each use. With the "new" cast iron cookware it is no longer necessary.
There is only one caveat - folks this cookware is heavy!
Another h5 and tweet
I love your list and I love cast iron. I was looking at some and maybe I am a little cheap but they seemed rather a bit more pricey than some other forms of cookware, but I will try other places as well. But you're right on Cast iron, particularly the non-stick part. Even the so-called non-sticks, do stick! thanks for sharing. H5
A very timely list for a gift that keeps on giving all year. I like my cast iron and take it camping when I go outdoors as well.
select one here...