If you have an interest in cooking, it is only natural that you’ll be curious about all the different types of cookware. It is important to have sufficient knowledge about cookware and cooking tools so you can make smarter decisions in the kitchen.
Using the right tools will not only grant you with the utmost convenience but it will also reduce your cooking time greatly.
This is why in this article we will discuss everything you need to know about Cast Iron pans.
From how to wash your cast iron pan to why itis turning your food black, all your queries will be answered.
Continue reading this article if you want to know everything about using a cast iron pan and how to make the most of it.
Why is My Cast Iron Pan Turning My Food Black?
If you have found yourself wondering this, then chances are you have not properly seasoned your cast iron pan.
Whenever people cook on a cast iron pan and experience food turning into black residue they must instantly stop. This happens because of the poor seasoning of the pan.
Proper measures must be taken to re-season the pan to avoid this in the future.
How to Re-Season a Cast Iron Pan
Re-seasoning your pan is the solution to your black residue on food problems. It is a fairly simple process.
Initially, you must scrub your cast iron pan to reach its base layer. To scrub your pan properly, make sure you use hot water and scrub its handle and bottom as well.
Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed the pan, you must dry it properly. Use a towel to dry the pan and put it on top of the stove for it to get completely dry. This is an important step to prevent rusting.
Now you must pour in some oil. Use a towel to spread the oil evenly on the surface. This oil will help to make the surface of the cast iron pan nonstick. The oil will fill in the pores of the rough surface and create a smooth surface for cooking.
The last step is to put your oiled cast iron pan in the oven. You can use temperatures as high as 450°F for about an hour. This high temperature will break down the oil and make it bond with the cast iron pan. After this, you should leave your pan to cool down by turning off the oven.
Seasoning your cast iron pan properly will give you a smooth non-stick surface to cook on. Re-seasoning should be done at least twice a year to maintain your cast iron pan. You will never have to worry about food sticking on it or turning it black. This is the ultimate solution to your “food turning black” worries.
Overall, a cast iron pan is definitely a durable and versatile cooking tool to have in your kitchen. As discussed above there are many benefits of using this pan and some disadvantages too. We hope this article has been helpful in giving you a balanced assessment of a cast iron pan.
Why Should You Buy a Cast Iron Pan?
Getting a cast iron pan for your kitchen can prove to be an investment for years. There are many reasons why it is one of the most highly recommended types of cookware. Hopefully, after reading the reasons explained below, you will be motivated to equip your kitchen with a cast iron pan.
A Cast Iron Pan is as Strong as it Gets
A cast-iron pan is sturdy and strong because it is made of iron. It is not a pan that is easily damaged. You can use it for your rough and tough daily use without worrying about damaging it. You can even drop it or use stainless Steel utensils on it because it won’t get scratched easily. It is safe to say cast iron pans are indestructible!
A Cast Iron Pan is a Long Term Investment
These things last for years and can actually withstand any kind of treatment you throw its way. No matter how badly you use a cast iron pan, it does not get ruined easily. This means your cast iron pan is a low-maintenance kitchen equipment that will stay in working condition for years to come. Many families actually pass on cast iron pans to younger generations as they tend to outlive their original owners.
Cast Iron Pans Can Withstand the Heat
Many different cooking pans come with specific cooking conditions and temperatures you can use them on. For example with Teflon coated pans you have to be extra careful. You must not exceed the cooking temperature to higher levels as this will result in the release of toxic fumes.
On the other hand, cast iron pans impose no such restrictions! You can use your cast iron pan to cook at higher temperatures without sweating about it. They are strong and can easily take the heat!
Cast Iron Pans are Multi-Purpose
One of the most appealing qualities of a cast iron pan is that it can be used in many different ways. You can use your cast iron pan to fry things on a stove or even bake in it inside an oven.
Furthermore, you can also use cast iron pans to cook on top of a campfire. Since a cast iron pan is not fragile, its use is not limited to an electric or gas stove. This makes a cast iron pan worth every penny!
Moreover, it is common for city folks to use cast iron pans to grill food on. If you don’t have the luxury of a lush green backyard, you can simply use your cast iron pan instead! You can heat the pan to really high temperatures to give you a perfect medium rare with a golden-brown crust. It will taste just as if you grilled it!
Cast Iron Pans Easily Become Non-stick
Let’s just admit about our guilty pleasure of cooking in a non-stick pan. There is no point in denying the comfort of frying with minimum oil and not worrying about food sticking to the pan. This is why non-stick pans continue to grow in popularity around the world.
What if we told you cast iron pans can also become fairly non-stick? The trick is to season them correctly! You must first apply a thin layer of oil to your cast iron pan and bake it for an hour and a half.
You should bake it on around 250 degrees in the oven and it will be good to go! All you have to do after this is simply wait for it to cool down. This way your cast iron pan will become non-stick and super easy to use!
Cast Iron Pans are Affordable
Another good part about buying a cast iron pan is that they are quite affordable. You can easily buy brand new cast iron pans for anything under $40. If you are paying more than this then you should definitely reconsider.
Furthermore, cast iron pans are easily available for much cheaper at yard sales. Most people try to sell off their pans in perfect condition simply because they don’t know how to season it to make it non-stick. So if you’re thinking about buying a cast iron pan, keep on the lookout for yard sales in your area!
Many people tend to consider cast iron pans as low quality because they are not priced with premium. This isn’t fair because they only cost lower because it costs lower to manufacture them.
You Can Cook Many Different Dishes in Cast Iron Pans
A cast-iron pan is one cookware you can cook almost anything in. From baking biscuits to the cooking gravy, you can do it all! You can use it to grill steaks or fry donuts in it. You can make perfectly crispy brown French toast in it or simply cook chicken chunks for a salad.
So a cast iron pan is highly versatile in its use. This makes a cast iron pan a very frequently-used cooking tool. It is a kitchen tool that is worth spending your hard-earned money on.
Cast Iron Pans Are Easy To Clean
Another advantage of using a cast iron pan to cook your food is the ease of cleaning it. You don’t have to spend hours trying to get it squeaky clean. In fact, it is a common practice not to scrub your cast iron pan rigorously or even wash it with soap. This is scrubbing or using soap can result in ruining the seasoning of the pan.
Instead, most people just rinse their cast iron pans with warm water and a soft sponge. This helps to keep the seasoning intact and also avoid rusting. It also saves you the time and effort of washing a pan thoroughly.
In case food gets stuck on your cast iron pan, never scrub it harshly. It is advised to simply put the pan on the stove with some water in it. Little bits of food start to come off as the water starts to boil.
High Volumetric Heat Capacity
Last but not least, a cast iron pan offers high volumetric heat capacity which is a highly valuable trait for cookware. This means your cast iron pan will heat up and easily stay hot for a longer period of time. It will also start to radiate heat waves from its surface quicker. This is a quality every cook is concerned with.
It is a nightmare to spend so much time heating a pan only to discover it is still not hot enough to sear your meat. To avoid such problems is exactly why you need a cast iron pan in your life.
The Drawbacks You Need to Watch Out For
We have highlighted reasons to buy a cast iron pan above, now it’s time tell you some of the downsides. Although the good outweighs the bad, cast iron pans do have certain aspects to watch out for.
Hopefully, after reading this section, you will get a true picture of the situation. So then you will be able to make the right decision at your home.
Cast Iron Pans Tend to be Heavy
The heavyweight of the pan can be one major disadvantage of buying a cast iron pan. Many cooks struggle to cook in a cast iron pan simply because they are unable to lift and stir fry in it using one hand.
This is why it is a wise idea to make sure you lift a cast-iron pan before buying it. This will give you an idea of its weight and help you decide if it’s a suitable weight for you to comfortably lift while cooking.
Cast Iron Pans Take Longer to Heat Up
Another downside of using a cast iron pan is that it takes longer to heat up. Firstly Iron has lower heat conductivity than Aluminum.
Secondly, cast iron pans are usually heavier than other pans so the greater volume requires more heat to heat up. This is the reason why you may notice a delay in the initial heating process of a cast iron pan.
However, once the pan is heated it won’t disappoint you! Cast Iron pans are excellent at staying hot and maintaining hot temperatures. This is why they are the first choice of pans for searing meat steaks.
Beware of the Hot Handle of a Cast Iron Pan
As mentioned earlier, cast iron pans are good at staying hot. This means once they are on the stove, they will continue to get hotter with time. Along with the pan, the handle also gets very hot. So you need to be extra careful about not touching the handle with bare hands.
To fix this problem, there are many handle holders that will come to your rescue. The silicon version of a handle holder is quite popular. You can also use a thick cloth to lift the pan if you don’t have a handle holder yet.
Seasoning a Cast Iron Pan is Tricky Business
It is absolutely essential to season your cast iron pan properly before trying to cook in it. Otherwise, it will just be a mess with food constantly sticking to it. As a result, the food at its surface will end up burning and the top layer of food will remain raw. Seasoning a cast iron pan will also prevent it from rusting.
So seasoning is a crucial part of keeping a cast iron pan. People who do not properly season their pans often end up giving them away because they do not get to experience the proper value of the pan.
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