Ever use cast iron cookware? It may take slightly more time but it is not as tedious or labor intensive as some perceive it to be.
You see for whats its worth cast iron gets a bad reputation for being way too high maintenance for daily use. For some peculiar reason the whole seasoning process is viewed as a recurring daily task. This is not the case as most who use cast iron understand the resilience of this material. It is the main reason I enjoy cooking with seasoned cast iron because of its reliability.
When pre-heated and cooked properly most foods will resist sticking to the cast iron. As for seasoning this is up to personal preference and individual use. I only season when I see rust or large spots of bare grey cast iron (which is not that often certainly not a daily or weekly occurrence).
We are going to go over how to use cast iron cookware and cover how it is easier then most think. To start things off we will go over the intricacies of seasoning. Next we begin to discuss the easy going utilization of cast iron cookware. Then we transition towards standard maintenance and how each individual can have a different standard of maintenance. Finally with everything covered on how to use cast iron cookware we end with how the difficulty level is not that high.
How to Properly Clean
A rather trivial task at best but one any cook is familiar with unless you are a bad cook and have yet to ever set foot in a kitchen.
Depending on a couple of variables cleaning can be quick or require some time and a bit of elbow grease on your end. Variables such as what you are cooking, the frequency of how often you cook, and whether you clean directly after or wait until you eat then clean.
Properly cleaning your cast iron cookware can make all the difference in cutting down time if you want to learn how to clean your cast iron cookware check out our post on how to here. Though the trade off of time is emphasized this can effortlessly be prevented by properly cleaning on time not 8 hours afterwards and wonder why is the food always sticking.
Utilization of Cast Iron Cookware
I have witnessed it myself when I had the same question and was looking up how to use cast iron cookware. People demonstrating how cast iron is not truly non-stick and nitpicking little issues that do not really reflect the utilization of cast iron cookware under proper conditions.
Remember for starters its your kitchen so preference is a key. Personally I love using cast iron because it is reliable and long-lasting to the point where the skillet can outlive me. The versatility in the material is also an option but not necessary either.
Other people like to sand down their cast iron cookware in order to give it a smooth surface before use. Any cast iron cookware manufactured today comes with a textured surface but nothing product breaking.
How you use your cast iron cookware is up to your own preference. For some going extreme high maintenance for aesthetic purposes is must. For others seasoning is a unnecessary task and therefore never season.
This is all fine because the resilience of the material allows for this wide range of utilization. Personally I am in between only seasoning as needed as I could care less about aesthetics this is a tool after all but it can be used as decor piece if you are into that.
Standard Maintenance Will Vary
Ah standards the minimal requirement needed to satisfy your expectations. Since cast iron is very adaptable standard maintenance will vary per individual.
When I was on the fence of getting cast iron cookware for the kitchen I first did some research. Searching how to use cast iron cookware I kept coming across a mixed level of information which can be overwhelming when simply trying to decide whether these type of products make a good addition to your kitchen.
Most of the information was based from a preferential opinion so I was conflicted at first at how high maintenance cast iron really was. As I said some people are really high maintenance while others operate with bare minimal maintenance. This is all fine and dandy until as reader or viewer you ask yourself do I really have to do that?
After more direct research from the manufacturers such as Lodge I begin to discover that cast iron is surprisingly very easy to use and maintain on a daily basis. On youtube I came across the channel AZ Life Cooking which helped to further my understanding of how easy it is to cook with cast iron. As he states in his video he follows the information that Lodge released on their product page to help anyone interested. Here is Lodge’s official use and care though it is not a secured link (meaning no https just http). Here is the same video from the AZ Life Cooking YouTube Channel.
Seeing the results in both videos was enough information for me to make a decision as they both demonstrate how to use cast iron cookware and some helpful information about maintenance. After using my cookware for three months I am more then happy with my purchase. To think I would have never gone through with this had I listened to everyone else’s version of standard maintenance.
Granted it does take an hour to bake a layer of seasoning onto any cast iron cookware but this is not a daily occurrence especially when you consider what you are going to be cooking. Having a smooth surface is not a requirement either as nice as polished cast iron looks.
I use Lodge’s 8 inch skillet on a daily basis and have yet to season this skillet. Eggs sticking to the skillet is problem I yet to encounter since I pre-heat properly. Note you can use a laser thermometer to read the temperature or carefully hover your hand over your tool to get a feel for the heat. You see when you cook on cast iron usually what you cook will self-release if good practices were followed (do not start cooking on a cold surface as this will prevent any self-release physics from happening).
Difficulty Level not That High
Honestly I cannot accent enough that the using cast iron is not that difficult. Though I do stress the fact that the only con to cast iron is the time it takes this is to make sure people understand exactly what kind of pros and cons there are to these products. Aside from that the bulk cast iron has when compared to other material used for cookware is very noticeable when you transition from one to the other.
The pros undoubtedly outweigh the cons. Currently I am worry free of ever having to purchase a select variant of skillets or dutch ovens. Undoubtedly a worthwhile investment for my kitchen these are reliable and persistent tools. The learning curve is minimal if you transition from cooking with one material to cast iron.
Really the only aspect that changes is the non-stick property. How this is achieved using cast iron differs from other material like Teflon which comes with a layer of non-stick paint but also comes with a limited lifespan dependent on the non-stick paint.
While some people will make it seem like the difficulty level is over 9000 it is not these tools are no Son Goku.
If you have any relevant comments or questions about using cast iron cookware feel free to drop it below. Have a wonderful day and thanks for visiting.