Where To Buy Cast Iron Cookware _TOP_
With our seasoned cast iron bakeware collection, it's easy to make homemade baked goods and casseroles that rival your favorite bakery and restaurants. Check out our bakeware items as well as colorful baking accessories!
where to buy cast iron cookware
Antique stores are my third pick, depending on the antique store you may notice a variance in price. However, even the more pricey antique stores are still likely to sell their cast iron cookware at less than new prices (at least less than buying brand new modern smooth cast iron).
Cast iron: It seems you either love it or you hate it in the kitchen. Since forever, cooks have chosen the metal for its hardiness and ability to retain heat. Though cast iron cookware has been around for thousands of years (its first known use can be traced to the Chinese Han Dynasty, around 220 A.D., according to Webstaurant Store) it remains a fickle beast for so many of us.
You're bound to get a workout when you cook with a cast-iron skillet. These bad boys are capital-H Heavy, clocking in at up to 12 pounds for the larger 15-inch skillets (via Prudent Reviews). While this works to the pan's advantage in other ways, its weight may be a con for some.
The thermal properties of cast iron are fickle. According to Curated Cook, despite the skillet's thickness, it's heat conductivity pales in comparison to similar pans made from aluminum and copper. So if you're used to cooking with those metals, cast iron will seemingly take ages to thoroughly heat up (there's a lot of very dense material to get hot, and it's resistant to get there) which is necessary to prevent hot spots on your cooking surface.
If you come home with a 15-inch cast iron skillet and your stove's burners are barely the size of your palm, that could be a problem. Small burners will have a difficult time achieving an even heat on the cast iron. Because iron is a poor heat conductor, the heat from the burner will not spread quickly to the edges of the pan (via Century Life). The center of the skillet will get hotter and hotter as the outer edges stay just warm or even begin to lose heat.
Nobody loves simmering Nana's chili recipe on the stove all afternoon more than we do, but this is not the job for your cast-iron pan. America's Test Kitchen notes that this is because acidic ingredients cooked in cast iron for an extended amount of time can loosen metal molecules, causing them to be released into your food. Last we checked, essence of iron is not the best seasoning for your favorite spaghetti sauce. America's Test Kitchen taste-tested tomato sauce after it had simmered in a well-seasoned skillet, and a metallic taste was noticeable after just 30 minutes.
This isn't law, however. Contrary to a popular cast-iron pan myth, acidic foods can be cooked in a well-seasoned skillet for a short amount of time with no dire consequence to your food or your pan. But if you're planning on preparing a long-simmering sauce or stew, consider using other cookware.
What is cast-iron seasoning, anyway? Science of Cooking explains that through the process of polymerization, a coat of carbonized oil and fat bakes onto the pan's surface. This black patina is a telltale of a skillet that's been well used and loved for a long time. Have you ever heard someone complain that using cast iron is a nightmare when it comes to cooking delicate, clingy foods like eggs or fish? It's likely that person wasn't using a well-seasoned pan; the seasoning creates a nonstick cooking surface while preventing rust.
Ah, vintage. Who doesn't love a classic? Most everyone swears by the older version of something being better than the new, from cars to music to clothes. In the culinary world, cast iron skillets take center stage in this argument.
Obviously heirloom cast iron isn't an option for everyone; not every great-grandmother has passed down her beloved skillet. But if you're determined to add a vintage pan to your repertoire, you can do so by hunting through thrift stores, marketplaces, and yard sales. Hey, it was somebody's grandma's, right?
It's no wonder that glass stovetops are popular alternatives to open electric burners: They're much more visually pleasing and easier to clean. But if you plan on cooking with a cast-iron skillet, you may be in for a rude awakening. Iron is heavy, rough, and abrasive, and glass is susceptible to scratches, chips, or cracks from exactly those sorts of things. If you are concerned about handling something bulky and heavy due to arm injury or weakness and have a glass stove, be careful of the drop risk that comes with cast iron.
Also keep in mind that compared to your standard gas stove, glass stoves are relatively slow to spread heat due to poor heat conduction (via Hunker). Considering how long it takes to get a cast-iron skillet to the proper temperature, you may been in for a long night of cooking.
You may be surprised to learn that cast-iron skillets are often less expensive than other cookware. For example, you can currently get a 12-inch skillet from Lodge, a leading American cast iron cookware manufacturer, for around $34. Though a hardy and affordable kitchen utility that we can all appreciate, these pans are mass-produced, which means they're relatively heavy and feature a rough cooking surface.
Rule number two of owning a cast iron pan (behind seasoning) is being mindful of how you're cleaning it. Many people still assume that dish soap should never, ever come into contact with cast iron. Fortunately, that belief has dwindled as people realize that modern soaps are much gentler than they used to be, but there are still a few things you need to do when cleaning a cast-iron skillet.
If you take care of your cast iron pan, you will likely be putting it in your will. Quality cast-iron skillet are designed with longevity in mind. There are even solutions for removing or stopping rust if the situation arises. Southern Cast Iron recommends scrubbing the rust off with steel wool after the pan has soaked in water and vinegar to further prolong the life of your pan. Make sure to only put your cast iron away when it's been fully cleaned and dried, and give it a home in a cool, dry place.
Enameled cast iron cookware is a useful addition to any home cook's kitchen arsenal due to its versatility and durability. It can be used for just about anything, from making soups and stews on the stovetop to baking bread and braising meat in the oven for hours, according to Wirecutter. Enameled cast iron is the best choice for heat maintenance, due to its ability to maintain a consistent temperature over a long period of time. The smooth finish of the enamel ensures that food won't stick.
Cast iron cookware has been used for centuries to heat and prepare food. Cast iron can handle incredibly high temperatures and can be used over an open flame or in a hearth. This style of cookware is much-loved by chefs worldwide and has become a consistent presence in home kitchens as well. Bare cast iron, however, does have some drawbacks. It's notoriously tricky to care for, it can rust, and users have to maintain the seasoning that builds up on the surface.
Simply put, enameled cast iron is cast iron that has been coated with a layer of enamel, according to Uno Casa. This coating protects the cast iron core from rusting over time when exposed to moisture. It may also be referred it as porcelain enamel or porcelain cast iron. The enamel coating can be infused with pigments that create a colorful exterior, making these pieces available in a rainbow of colors that look eye-catching on a stovetop or kitchen shelf. While, in many ways, the enamel protects the cast iron, it's also vulnerable to chipping and can potentially crack if dropped.
One of the most popular styles of cookware made from enameled cast iron is the Dutch oven. Dutch ovens are shaped like large pots and can be used for various cooking applications. You'll also see enameled cast iron used for skillets, bakeware, stovetop kettles, casserole dishes, and more.
These two styles of cookware are both popular and do share some similarities, but have different advantages and disadvantages, according to The Washington Post. Both types of cookware can handle extremely high heat and are therefore safe to use both on the stovetop and in the oven. However, enameled cast iron heats up a bit more slowly than traditional cast iron, according to David Green, who works for the University of Virginia's School of Engineering & Applied Science as an associate professor of materials science, chemical, and mechanical engineering. It does, however, distribute heat more evenly and maintain heat more consistently. This makes enameled cast iron perfect for slow-cooking and braising at lower temperatures.
One advantage of bare cast iron is the price. Pieces without an enamel coating tend to be far more affordable, though it's still possible to find enameled cast iron pieces for a reasonable price if you stay away from the big names in the industry like Le Creuset.
Most enameled cast iron Dutch ovens have pale interiors that make it easy to monitor the food you're cooking as well as the color of sauces. While some models offer dark interiors, they're not typically recommended because cooks lose the ability to clearly see the color of the pot's contents. Look for a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid that still allows for some steam to escape while cooking.
When it comes to cooking with enameled cast iron cookware, the possibilities are practically endless, according to Home Cook World. You can use your enameled cast iron to sear meat, just like with bare cast iron. You'll quickly perfect the char on steaks, pork chops, chicken breasts, and fish fillets. You can also braise your meat using this kitchen tool. Begin on the stovetop to sear your meat and then transfer directly to the oven to slow roast or braise it.
Dutch ovens are perfect for making soups, stews, and chili because they retain heat, allowing users to cook at a low temperature for an extended period of time. The fact that enameled cast iron is both oven-safe and maintains a consistent temperature makes it a great tool for baking bread, which may help cut down on how many pans and gadgets clutter your cupboards and counter space. 041b061a72