Cast iron is the most durable cookware material that offers great performance on any stovetop, campfires and grills. You can use a cast iron pot under a broiler or in the oven, and it will never break or crack. There are a few ways to damage this material, so a cast iron cookware set can be passed down to further generations. Even if the material rusts, you can re-season and sand it again. Even though thermal shocks can crack a pan, that’s unlikely.
When you use cast iron to cook food, you can increase the iron content of the final meal, which is good for your health because iron is one of the essential minerals. However, when you use this material to cook something acidic, it can get a metallic taste. A better seasoned pan can handle acidic foods, but you shouldn’t pour your tomato sauce in an uncoated pan.
Cast iron has several weak spots. First, it’s heavier than many other materials and can give you an arm fatigue while you flip foods in a skillet. A larger pan is hard to move, especially when it’s full of food. I wouldn’t recommend using a heavy cast iron skillet on glass cooktop because it can break from the weight. Many modern cast-iron cookware sets are pre-seasoned, but a bit more seasoning almost always makes them better. Seasoning is very easy and even an amateur cook can do it – just add oil to the pan and heat it up. Always season a cast iron pan or it can rust after regular use.
Some cast iron pans feature an enamel coating and don’t require seasoning. However, it can chip or wear, so it’s less long-lasting and durable than traditional cast-iron. Coating iron isn’t suitable for use on campfire or grill; aside from that, it’s a great option.
The main benefits of enameled cast iron cookware sets:
- This coating is really easy to clean. After roasting, braising and stewing, the interior of your enameled cast iron cookware can be cleaned with a wet sponge.
- The material is still more durable than many others on the market. It’s less heavy, too.
- Enameled cast iron pans and skillets never leach. For example, you should avoid using a traditional cast iron pan for foods like chili, tomato sauces and other acidic substances because they can damage the surface and leach iron into the food. This is never a problem with an enameled surface.
- These cookware sets feature heirloom pieces. They are beautiful, durable, long-lasting and strong. Some people past these sets from parent to child and nothing happen.
Buying enameled cast iron sets
Enameled cast iron allows you to cook delicious foods without any hassle, and they are often more expensive than aluminum and nonstick cookware. If you’re not ready to commit to a big set, you can slowly add one piece to your collection until you have everything you need.
If you check prices for enameled cast iron sets, you will see they vary from mid range to high-end such as Le Creuset. However, once you invest in a quality set, you can forget about buying another one. I think it’s a good idea to invest in a small set first to see if you like cooking in it, and then build up your cookware set for home, healthy cooking.
I know some people don’t like using cast iron skillets because they don’t want to clean them afterwards. But don’t avoid the pans and pots because of their cleaning requirements. You will see that cleaning is a breeze once you get used to it. When you season your cast iron pan, you should avoid soap and other acidic products because they can deteriorate the surface. Just make sure your cleaning agent doesn’t wear down the seasoning.
Soap is great for breaking down oil and grease – and this is what you want to have in your cast iron cookware. Instead of soap, just remove any food using a spatula, then take a wet cloth and clean the surface. If your pan is still a mess, add coarse salt and take a rag to remove food pieces. You can also soak a brush in plain water and scrub the surface to break down leftover food.
With cast iron, it’s important to dry everything thoroughly and then add a bit of oil to replenish seasoning. Some people also keep a cloth between cast iron cookware when they’re in the cabinet. The cloth acts as a buffer and preserves the seasoning.
Cast iron cookware sets are non-scratchable, unbreakable and nearly impossible to ruin. You can use them in the oven or on the stovetop. No need to be gentle with this material – you can use any utensils you like.