How to Buy, Use and Care for Cast Iron Cookware a Product Review
The modern cook is faced with a wide array of possible materials to choose from in the selection of even the most basic cookware. For many a good quality set of cast iron cookware represents the top of the league, such investments are however on the expensive side and as such owners should do all they can to protect their outlay.
The Benefits of Cast Iron Cookware
One of the most important benefits of cast iron cookware is that if treated with a little respect a single investment will potentially last a life time and beyond. Whilst other materials such as earthenware may crack over time and cheaper pots and pans see handles coming loose single piece cast iron cookware tends to stand up to repeated use for a much longer period of time.
Cast iron also aids the cooking process, in the first case heat distribution tends to be much more even than in other metals or materials. Such an even heat distribution sees that food is cooked evenly without leaving dark spots or under cooked areas. In addition cast iron also retains heat to a far greater degree than other materials, as such this will save on bills in the long run as once heated up less energy is needed to maintain a given temperature.
Finally there is the aesthetic value of cast iron, few kitchen items like pressure cookers are as attractive as a brightly enameled piece of cast iron cookware. Designs tend to air on the traditional country kitchen side although recent years have seen more contemporary products entering the market.
The drawbacks of cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron does however have its drawbacks, whilst a good set of cookware will give a life time of service if cared for items will deteriorate rapidly if not treated with care. In the first instance cast iron is notoriously brittle, whilst stainless steal is likely to forgive its owner if dropped a cast iron piece taking the same knock may indeed simply shatter. In addition most modern cast iron is enamel coated, such coatings allow for ease of cleaning and provide a none stick surface when cooking. The downside however is that it can also be chipped which will detract from the function and aesthetics of the item.
A more obvious drawback of cast iron comes from the material its self, cast iron cooking tools are extremely heavy and thus can generate significant amounts of extra physical work in the kitchen. In addition many pieces have handles which are cast as part of a single piece, as such oven gloves many need to be used handling pans and other implements which could normally be done with bare hands.