Benefits of Cooking With Cast Iron
For both novice and expert chefs, the sense of satisfaction that comes from cooking with well-seasoned cast iron cookware is one of the more gratifying experiences. Cast iron pans are durable, versatile, and easy to care for. Cooking with cast iron can benefit you in many ways. While cooking with cast iron is nothing new, it is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Crateful Catering an event catering company in Los Angeles tells us why.
Indispensable Cast Iron
The kitchen is the heart of every home, and few pieces of equipment are more indispensable than a well-seasoned cast iron pan or pot, which will last for generations if properly cared for. The benefits of cooking with cast iron go far beyond the lifetime value of this cookware; seasoned cast iron has many benefits that can’t be ignored.
While some cooks might be reluctant to give up modern stainless steel pans, the resurgence of interest in cast iron cookware is due largely to its versatility and superior cooking performance. Although it requires some initial effort to learn about the proper techniques required for this type of cookware, once mastered a cast iron pot or pan is a treasure for any kitchen.
Expert Weighs In
Jessica Conti a master chef from Los Angeles tells us, “Cooking with cast iron is the only way to truly experience the full flavor of your food. Period.” He adds, “The benefits of cooking with cast iron are equally useful in the preparation of almost every type of meal. The versatility of cast iron is nearly limitless, as it can be used either on top of the stove or in the oven. Unlike expensive non-stick cookware that requires special utensils to avoid scratching the surface, cast iron only gets better with age, and once properly seasoned requires nothing more than a light coating of oil for cleaning.”
One important benefit of cooking with cast iron cookware is its heat retention capabilities. In a comparison between baking a loaf of bread in a seasoned cast iron pot versus that same loaf baked in a stainless steel pan. The cast iron pot retains more heat and is sure to bake the perfect loaf every time.
Another benefit of cooking with cast iron is the versatility of this cookware. A cast iron skillet can be used to saute, fry, or scrambled eggs, and is an impressive replacement for the non-stick Teflon pan. The high heat retention capabilities of cast iron allow it to be used for searing meat at extremely high temperatures as well as slow cooking your favorite stew over a low flame.
Easy To Clean
One of the most pleasurable benefits of cooking with cast iron is its ease of cleaning. Many cooks find it a chore to keep their stainless steel cookware clean, and often skimp on certain types of foods that may cause discoloration or odors from previous use with certain foods. A quick scrub with a little water and soap is all that is required for cast iron cookware, and over time the pan becomes only more seasoned.
The benefits of cooking with cast iron have to do with health. A well-seasoned cast iron pan is stick-resistant and requires practically no oil or fat to prevent sticking, which is a benefit for those trying to avoid excess dietary fats. Because a properly seasoned cast iron pan has such high heat retention capabilities, it can be used to prepare healthier foods. For example, the slow cooking of a stew in a cast iron pot allows for excess fat to cook out of meats and vegetables, resulting in flavorful dishes that are far healthier than those cooked in non-stick skillets or other types of cookware.
Cooking with cast iron does require some initial effort on behalf of the novice cook. Cast iron requires a certain degree of preheating to reach its full potential and must be seasoned before use. However, these benefits are easily outweighed by the benefits of cooking with this type of cookware.
In summary, the benefits of cooking with cast iron include lifelong durability, versatility, simplicity, and healthfulness. A properly seasoned cast iron pot or pan is stick-resistant and requires fewer additives to retain flavor; it can be used to prepare almost any dish on the stovetop or oven; it retains heat well and is far more affordable than non-stick cookware, and its benefits to health include reduced fat and no added chemicals.