Posts Tagged ‘cast iron-pan’

Nonstick Pans & Pets

Friday, October 17th, 2008

One of our readers recently sent in this reminder on the dangers of nonstick cookware:

As a pet owner, one thing that bothers me is people using nonstick pans (such as tefal pans) when they have pet birds. Without proper ventilation, these pans can actually harm or kill birds, as the fumes they let off whilst heating are very toxic. To make sure my birds will be okay, I prefer to use a heavy cast iron pan – they may be expensive to buy at first, but an investment in a Le Creuset pan will soon pay off – they do last forever.

High Quality Cast Iron Cookware

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Cast iron cookware is not just for your grandmother anymore. Cookware manufacturers have researched and developed cast iron cookware for decades and have improved a lot on what cast iron used to be fifty years ago.
Cast iron cookware is still great for comfort foods, but there’s much more than that to it.

Let’s look at the “new and improved” cast iron cookware first:

Enameled Cast Iron Cookware has a porcelain enamel coating covering the surface. As with all coatings this makes cleaning a lot easier since the coating is much less sticky than the old school cast iron cookware. In terms of health that’s also an added benefit, because you will be able to cook and fry with much less oil. You don’t need to go through a whole seasoning or conditioning process with enameled cast iron cookware neither – it’s ready to use right out of the box. And one of the main drawbacks of cast iron cookware in my opinion (that it absorbs the taste of the foods that it has cooked previously and thus might alter the taste of the foods that you will cook next time) is non-existend with enameled cast iron cookware – no taste absorption!

Now let’s do it the old school way: I still love a good piece of tradition cast iron cookware. It’s kind of like with jeans or high quality Japanese lacquerware – the older it gets and the more you use it, the better it gets!
First when you get a traditional cast iron pan, skillet, casserole or griddle then you have to season it (another word used for seasoning is curing). You’ll have to rub some grease or shortening into the cast iron and bake the whole thing in the oven. Cast iron has lots of pores and these pores fill up with oils. With time a natural non-stick surface develops and you will be able to cook without any oil whatsoever! It’s kind of built-in oil. (But don’t worry – it doesn’t taste like old, greasy oil! The pores are so tiny that only the pure oil can get in there).