Cast Iron Cookware
Making food in cast iron cookware is healthy and satisfying. When you use a cast iron pot or pan, your food takes on a very particular home-cooked taste and you'll even get an extra boost of iron in your food!Another plus of cast iron cooking is that the heavy metal vessel will absorb and hold heat much better than most other cookware, creating an evenly heated cooking surface that won't leave your dish undercooked in some places and overcooked in others.
The Standard Skillet
If you have any cast iron cookware in your kitchen, this is probably what you've got. The versatile skillet can be used for making almost anything:
- Even bread!
The Griddle Pan
A cast iron griddle is great for making anything that needs to spread out a little. Think pancakes, bacon, or burgers. Beef cooks up particularly well in a cast iron vessel, because the fat from the meat helps to season the pan and will readily absorb the hearty taste of the coating.
The Fajita Pan
This fajita pan can be used for all sorts of things, but you've probably seen it in Mexican restaurants. Fajitas are cooked up in these pans, and then the entire pan is brought to the table so that the diner gets to experience the "sizzle" of meat as it still cooks right in front of them. Definitely a dramatic meal!
In Asia, cast iron tea pots are used to steep tea for drinking. The iron pot keeps the water hot, and they make a great addition to your table setting.
If you are lucky enough to have an old cast iron pan in your family, rejoice! These old workhorses never die, and even old rusty pans can be salvaged with a little steel wool, vegetable oil, and elbow grease. One of the neatest things about an old cast iron pan is that someone else might have been using the very same pan a hundred years ago - maybe your grandparents!
The Dutch Oven
Cast iron Dutch ovens make great camping dishes. You can cook or reheat anything in them, and they'll take the heat of direct coals without any complaint. They are usually either set directly in the fire or hung over the flame from a tripod. Another way to cook in a Dutch oven is to invert the lid and place hot coals in the indentation, which will cook your food from the top down.
Cast Iron Love
Any way you slice it, cast iron cookware is built to last. These pots and pans make amazingly versatile additions to your kitchen, and since they tend to rub a little iron off onto your food, you'll enjoy a few extra health benefits as well.