- Food and Cooking
My Cast Iron Kitchen
Sitting in my yard is a cast iron pot that has been in my family for many generations. Once used on my great, great Grandmother's wood stove, it had spent uncounted years tossed aside with the rusted-through bottom and cracked side. It has been home to a family of Hens and Chicks plants in my yard for some time now. And, way back in the dark regions of a cupboard sat a pair of cast iron skillets.
I look back fondly at these discarded pieces of history because my cookware today is 90% comprised of cast iron.
The situation came about when I finally came to the point where my large skillet had gotten to the point of needing to be replaced and the smaller one, along with the dutch oven weren't far behind. It was time to decide on a new set, and the plan was to get some quality cookware that would be around a long, long time. I had been looking through my cupboards and came across those skillets hiding in the cupboard, and time stopped for a moment when I realized these relics just might be the answer staring me in the face.
Hence, my love of cooking with cast iron began.
What I noticed was that my cooking truly tasted better. The roast was never more tender, the bread and rolls baked in the skillet never so well-browned while soft inside, and my muffins done to near perfection.
Some ideas for enjoying your new cookware:
- Check online at www.lodgemfg.com for The Lodge's wealth of information
- Search online for recipes and fellow cast iron cooking enthusiasts
- Check online or at your local library for cookbooks
- Ask your parents if they have any memories of cast iron being used at home
I found that my mom had worn handwritten recipes of potato pancakes, and shortbread and venison steak, all cooked up cast iron style. The tradition goes on . . .
Beautiful cast iron Dutch Oven!
The Best Nonstick Cookware!
The beauty of cooking with cast iron is that once seasoned and you are comfortable with maintaining them, they are the best nonstick cookware you will ever use!
When acquiring new skillets and the such from companies like The Lodge, they are preseasoned and the hard part is already done for you. When you are lucky enough to already own older pieces or find one at a yard sale, you will need to season them yourself the first time.
Once you get started cooking with cast iron, it is very hard to use anything else.
The pieces of cast iron cookware I now own:
- 10" skillet (preowned vintage)
- 8" skillet (preowned vintage)
- 10" round griddle (most used - The Lodge brand from Amazon)
- muffin pan (yard sale vintage)
- cornbread pan (yard sale vintage)
- large, square griddle (preowned - BBQ accessory)
- dutch oven (husband's favorite - The Lodge brand from Amazon)
- Rice pot (yard sale - vintage)
- AND . . . my cast iron doorstops also adorn my home - Cast Iron Doorstops Need Love Too
Am I done collecting pieces? Doubtful . . . I am hooked!
My most used for everything from frying eggs, to sautÃ©ing vegies, to heating up pizza for great crust.
A Couple Things to be Aware of
One thing that will make your cast iron pieces instant garbage is if you take them from cold to hot very quickly . . . they will crack. You definitely want to start the burner or grill on low and work up to your cooking temperature. This only takes a few moments and will save you the heartbreak of your favorite piece making a loud pop, and cracking.
You also don't want to use dish soap on them, as it takes the nonstick out and you'll have to reseason them all over again. Use a plastic scraper and hot water. Spray with a light coating of oil, wipe inside and store. At first it just seems wrong to not use hot water, but as long as you keep them clean, and maintained, all will be well. They've been used in my family for decades and we are still kickin'.
A bonus of using cast iron, is the extra iron added to your diet. We did learn years ago to not set a meal heavy with tomatoes (spaghetti) in the fridge overnight in your cast iron, as the acidity in the tomatoes will cause the meal to taste like metal. Not good.
A definite must-have item for cleaning your cast iron cookware