Cast iron pans are often considered to be the first non-stick cookware. They have the quality of holding and distributing heat even better than stainless steel and aluminum. They are also significantly more oven-friendly. The best thing about cast iron is that it can be used virtually anywhere, except for microwaves, that is; be it a stove, an oven, a grill or even a campfire.
Cast iron definitely has its benefits, but it is important to maintain it and take good care of it to ensure a long life.
In order to keep cast iron in good condition, it needs to be seasoned from time to time. Seasoning is a process that involves smoothing out the pan’s rough surface and filling any metal pores using oil.
The fats in the oil, once exposed to heat, lose their hydrogen molecules to air, leaving behind only carbon. The carbon is responsible for the non-sticking property of cast iron. It also spreads and evens out the surface by filing up any microscopic gaps, resulting in a smooth, even surface. Properly seasoned pans work with little or no oil for cooking.
Most cast iron pans come pre-seasoned. It is essential not to scrub the seasoned surface. However, if you must, the pan may need to be re-seasoned.
- Cleaning and Maintenance
It is essential to properly maintain and clean your pans to ensure them to last a lifetime. If you don’t frequently use your pans, you need to make sure that you keep them clean lest the oils from your previous cooking start spoiling them. Here is a list of five things that you should do to make your pans last longer:
- Do use diluted soap water to wash your pan, but avoid soaking it for long periods
- Do not scrub your pan using steel wool or any other rough scrubbing pads. Also, never put your cast iron pan into the dishwasher
- Do dry the pan by placing it on the burner and causing the water to evaporate
- Do apply a light coat of oil after the pan has dried and heat it again for a few minutes
- Do not put water into the hot pan; this can cause it to warp and/or crack
Caring for your cast iron properly will not only make it last longer, but will also help it retain its properties.
We are not professional chefs, but we really love cooking. Our experience and research has shown us how good cookware can impact the quality of food. Be sure to look through our vast range of quality cast iron cookware to get the most out of your cooking.