Thursday, October 22, 2015

Using Cast Iron Cookware

Lodge 5-Piece
Cast Iron Cookware Set

Cooking with Cast Iron Cookware

For as long as I can remember, using cast iron cookware has been a family tradition. In fact, the cast iron skillet was the favorite cooking tool in my mom's and dad's kitchen, my grandmother's kitchens, my kitchen, and now in my son's and daughter's kitchens.

We all prefer to use cast iron cookware, such as the Lodge L5HS3 Lodge Logic Cast Iron 5-Piece Cookware Set above left.

Cast Iron Skillet

There is nothing quite like fresh cornbread or biscuits cooked in a cast iron skillet.

In fact, cornbread just doesn't taste right if it's not cooking in cast iron. And if you have a desire for fried chicken, there is nothing better for cooking it.

Whether we were at home or camping out, cast iron cookware was there. Camping out, the skillet was used for every meal, while the Dutch oven with bail was used for baking beneath coals or making soup above a roaring fire. If properly seasoned, foods do not stick in a cast iron pan, and they are easy to clean up.

Did You Know?
Cast iron cookware's first known use was about 513 B.C.
in China, where the cookware was created by pouring
molten iron into a sand mold.

Cast iron works great for cooking outdoors!
Lynn Greyling

Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron

Cooking with cast iron has several benefits. First, it is an excellent heat conductor, and cooks evenly. Each time you cook in it, some of the iron is precipitated into your food, helping to provide the iron your body needs.

The pans are easy to clean. However, if properly seasoned, most foods will wipe out with a moist paper towel. If you must use soap, use mild soap, and heat the pan gently on the stovetop to dry it completely.

Hobo Stew Instructions

Camp Chef 12-Quart
Dutch Oven with Lid
We used to make Hobo Stew in a cast iron pot for extended family camping trips. Each family brought a pound of meat, preferably beef or pork (though sometimes tuna fish or chicken would be snuck into the pot), a can of any vegetable for each member of the family, plus one can of tomatoes or tomato sauce per family.

It doesn't really sound appetizing, but once the meat was cooked and all cans opened and added to the pot, it turned out delicious. We never went hungry, and no one ever turned it down. With a bit of cornbread, it was a divine campfire stew.

Today, I am more likely to cook cornbread in my skillet than anything else. I seldom cook biscuits, and I am trying to get away from fried foods for my family. The cast iron skillet will always be a part of my kitchen, though.

Things Not To Do With Your Cast Iron:

There are some things that you should never do with your cast iron pans.
  • Never leave cast iron in the dishwater, because this can cause it to rust.
  • Never, never place it in the dishwasher.
  • Do not leave it empty on the stovetop for long at a high heat--this can cause the bottom to warp.
  • Never put cold water into hot cast iron. The metal can crack or warp.


Five Tips for Easy Cast Iron Cooking

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