Cast iron cookware has been popular since the early 19th century. Currently, there are bare cast iron and enameled cast iron cookware sold in the market. Both have different types.
Cookwares are made of different materials. It’s a matter of personal choice what people buy. Some are fond of aluminum cooking items because it is easy to handle with its lightweight characteristics. Others are used to working with steel kitchen items. They trust the durability and effectiveness of steel materials in their cooking.
For discussion, one of the more common and popular material is iron. Iron has many innate characteristics that make it a dependable element in producing several cooking items. It is loved for its non-toxic qualities. It has become popular because of its excellent diffusion and amazing heat retention properties. Moreover, it can be molded very easily.
Iron is a very heavy material, and this makes iron products like cookwares very durable and long lasting. Most professional cooks and other cook enthusiasts prefer this material for their cookware.
For years, vessels made out of bare cast iron have been favored for cooking purposes. It is an all-time favorite, particularly for frying and searing because of its ability to maintain and withstand high temperatures. Its superb retention and heat diffusion characteristics make it the best choice for braised dishes or long-cooking stews.
In addition to this, since cast iron skillets have a tendency to develop exceedingly “non-stick” surfaces, they are perfect for egg dishes such as scrambled eggs, pineapple and cornbread upside-down cakes.
Bare cast iron cookware comes in frying pans, dutch ovens, tetsubin, deep fryers, potjies, woks, griddles and flattop grills.
Since cast iron cookware can leach a little amount of iron onto the food, people with iron deficiencies can even benefit from this. It is advisable for anemic people but unwise for those with diagnosed excessive iron issues. For enameled cast iron cookware however, it already has some coating, and leaching is no longer an issue.
When cleaning, it is advisable not to use a dishwasher or scourer. It can damage or remove the seasoning of bare cast iron pots and pans. You only need to wipe them after every use or utilize a stiff brush with some hot water. If greasy, use mild soap and water.
Conventional cast iron are mostly produced in the US, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, and UK.
Countries that manufacture un-enameled and enameled cast iron cookware include Korea, India, China and Japan. Famous brands are Grisworld, Lodge, Wagner, John Wright and All-Clad.
The enameled types of cast iron feature a somewhat vitreous enamel glaze. This type was also very popular from the late 19th up to the mid 20th centuries, after which, it was replaced by “modern metal alloys”. However, it remains very popular to Dutch ovens.
This enamel coating is placed over the cast iron to prevent rusts from attacking. It works in the same way as stainless steels preventing coppers from rusting. It is easy to clean. The pigments used in the enameling process produce vibrant colors. Although this is more expensive compared to bare cast iron, it is safer to use.
Famous manufacturers are Le Chasseur, Le Creuset, Lodge, Descoware, Staub, John Wright, Martha Stewart, Daniel Boulud Kitchen, Rachel Ray Cookware and Mario Batali.