Continuing with the topic of campfire/outdoor cooking it is time to talk about our favorite cookware. For us, Cast iron cookware is perfect for campfire cooking! Resistant, Durable, Practical are three words that come to mind whenever we talk about this type of cookware. But do not think that this cookware is for outdoor cooking only. You can use it every day in your home kitchen. We like it so much that we believe that every person should own at least one. Once you try cast iron cookware you will not want anything else!
There are lots of brands to choose like Le Creuset which produces amazing dutch ovens or even great braiser. Lodge Cast Iron is another great brand that produces incredibly durable cast iron skillet. In other words, there is a great diversity of cast iron cookware. Ranging from brands with expensive prices to the most affordable ones. So no excuses for not cooking with cast iron cookware!
Cast iron cookware has been used for a really long time, for more than 2,000 years, in fact. Some historical evidence indicates that this cookware has been used in China as early as 3rd century BC.
With so many years of use, the cast iron already proves to be safe to human health. In contrast, many modern cookwares have failed in this regard. For instance, aluminum is now considered unsafe for cooking on account of the metal reacting with food and getting absorbed in large amounts. The presence of aluminum deposits in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients has made people wary of using them.
Non-stick pans cannot be used on high heat; they get scratched easily, and it is unsafe to use pans with damaged Teflon coating. And ceramically coated earthenware is dangerous since it leaches lead into food, especially after the protective glaze wears away. Lead is toxic even at very low levels, causing nervous system damage.
So the ancestral technique of cast iron cookware continues to be the most beneficial for the health of the human being!
If you want to buy a piece of cookware that will last you a lifetime, cast iron cookware is the right choice for you. A Dutch Oven is a great example of how extremely durable this type of cookware can be. There are stories of families who have had the same pots for several generations.
You might think that this type of cookware is very expensive. And if you want to choose a Duch Oven from Le Creuset you will have to pay a lot to get one. But if you choose some lesser-known brands you will pay less and still end up with a good result. With this, we do not mean that you shouldn’t choose expensive brands like Le Creuset, we are just telling you that you have a cheaper alternative.
Old or cheaper cast iron cookware as the tendency to rust if left unused, but with the right use it will last you a lifetime without any trace of rust. But fortunately, some brands give an enamel finish to this type of cookware, preventing them from rusting.
Baking, Frying, Braising, Grilling if we start to enumerate the number of uses that the cast iron cookware has, we would never end it and we would have a subject for another new article.
Sure, stainless steel can cook most things! But there’s one thing that it can have. The flavor from a pre-seasoned cast iron! With excellent heat retention, it warms quickly and stays hot for as long as you need. Just with a cast iron skillet, you can handle delicate meats, like fish, or a good sear on a steak. And if you feel adventurous you can still make incredible cakes!
Heat retention is key when we are talking about evenly cooked food. You can ask any great chef what his the secret to success, that the answer will be consistency. And with cast iron cookware is exactly what you will get. A material with high heat emissivity (nearly ten times that of stainless steel) which cooks not only the food that is in contact but also the one around it.
In other words, while only food that comes in direct contact with a heated stainless steel pan gets cooked, a heated cast iron pan can cook several inches of food above its surface. Now you know the secret behind the perfect evenly roasted chicken in cast iron cookware!
Similar to the previous point, heat retention is very important when it comes to the perfect crust on meat, especially steaks. To obtain great results it is necessary to have a material that can resist high temperatures as well as have a good capacity for heat retention. And cast iron has exactly these two characteristics!
As we already say, Dutch ovens are very popular among chefs. You still can searing your food over high heat and pop the pot into the oven to braise short ribs or brisket. In addition to a great sear, it browns food beautifully, providing a golden color that is often hard to get when using other specialty cookware.