Advantages & Disadvantages of Cast Iron Cookware
Newcomers to cooking with cast iron might be a little intimidated at first by the material's finicky reputation. And you'll indeed need to care for your cast iron pan differently than your other cookware. However, these methods are certainly not difficult. Before you know it, you’ll be a cooking pro with your cast iron cookware!
What is Cast Iron Cookware?
The term 'cast iron' refers to a type of iron that's been alloyed with 1-2% carbon. The addition of carbon has the drawback of making the cast iron more brittle, but this is usually not a concern for home cooks. The most common types of cast iron cookware are pans and Dutch ovens, but it's also popular for waffle irons, griddles, panini presses, and even Chinese woks.
Some varieties of cast iron have been treated with a layer of enamel. The enamel not only protects the iron from rusting but can improve the aesthetics of the pot. Cast iron is usually a deep black, and usually the heaviest piece of cookware in your kitchen.
Can I use an outdoor pizza oven indoors?
We do not recommend using pizza ovens indoors. Wood, charcoal, and pellet fuels emit fumes such as carbon monoxide, which is very harmful when inhaled and can be fatal. So, it is best to use it outside where it can be properly ventilated.
BBQ Accessories by Grill Brands
Ask any experienced home chef, and they'll gladly regale you with the myriad benefits of cast iron cooking. Among these benefits are:
Once you have given the pan a good seasoning, you won't have to wash it more beyond wiping it out.
Cost is usually no more expensive than other types of pots or pans and can be expected to last.
Nothing beats the flavor of perfectly seared steak or caramelized onions provided by cast iron.
With proper seasoning, cast iron becomes just as non-stick as the synthetic variety pans.
Things to Consider About Cast Iron
However, cast iron comes with a few things to consider before and after purchase. Before you confirm your purchase, make sure you know about:
Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware
The first thing to know is that cast iron must maintain a proper season to gain all the listed advantages. To season your cast iron, simply spread a thin layer of vegetable oil across the cooking surface and slowly heat it to bind the oil with the iron.
Susceptibility to Rust
The main reason to maintain your cast iron cookware's seasoning is to defend against rust. Apart from maintaining the seasoning, the best way to prevent rust is by not letting your cast iron pan stay wet. After rinsing it off dry it with a towel thoroughly.
Not Friendly to Acidic Foods
Take care when cooking things like tomato sauces or highly acidic foods, to clean the cast iron right away. The acid causes some iron to leach into the food, even with thorough seasoning. This frequently gives the food a darker color.
Take Care When Washing with Soap
Do note that because the seasoning is oil-based, you should not use harsh detergents to clean your cast iron, lest they strip away the seasoning. Most cooks use a salt scrub to clean their cast iron, though mild dish soap is also acceptable.
Best Cat Iron Accessories
If you're sold on the benefits of cast iron, don't forget to buy a few accessories to go with your new purchase! Here are some of the best products we offer that will help you get the most out of using cast iron for outdoor cooking and grilling.
Cast Iron Cleaning Kit
- Comes with environmentally-friendly grill cleaner and scrub brush
- Keeps your cast iron BBQ grill looking clean and polished
- Extend the lifespan of your cast iron grill
Cast Iron Grate
- Provides all the advantages of cast iron cooking combined with the benefits of BBQ grilling
- Easily removable for cleaning
- Fits a variety of BBQ grills
Cast Iron Griddle
- Ideal for cooking smaller foods or delicate side dishes
- Reversible; can cook on either side
- Provides one flat side and one wavy side for patented Napoleon sear marks
- Removes easily for cleaning
Cast Iron Meat Press
- Perfect for evenly cooking hamburgers, steaks, and filets
- Helps render fat from meat
- Prevents meat like bacon or sausage from curling
- Doubles as a panini sandwich press