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Cast iron cookware: Your grandparents’ best kept secret

In a world where flashy kitchen appliances are all the rage (we’re looking at you air fryers…), there is something wholesome about using good, traditional, cookware. Our Registered Dietitian, Katrina Dixon looks at the benefits of cast iron cookware.

Before the days of cheap, mass-produced pots and pans from large retail stores, there was sturdy and durable cookware that could stand the test of time. While cheap cookware has its place in today’s society, there’s nothing quite like the built-to-last, traditional cookware your grandparents and great-grandparents used and swore by.

Cast iron cookware has been a much-loved, global kitchen item for centuries, and when we say centuries we’re not kidding. The history books tell us the first known use of cast iron cookware (namely woks and pans) was around 220 A.D in China, which means Teflon, or non-stick cookware was bet to the punch by a few thousand years.

Although cast iron cookware has been around ‘forever’ essentially, it’s re-surged in popularity recently. So, what’s the deal with cast iron cookware, particularly pans? The truth is there’s plenty to love about them:

  • They are au naturel and are made in the time-honored way of melting iron and steel together. When cared for properly cast-iron pans won't shed bits into your burger patty or steak, unlike old Teflon pans.
  • It will outlive you unlike the $10 pan you got at a 60% off sale. Cast iron cookware is built to last; it’s durable, hardy and can be passed down generations. You could say it’s an environmentally conscious investment.
  • They get better with age – age is just a number when it comes to cast iron cookware. The older and more seasoned they become (this refers to the oil build up especially on pans and woks), the richer and more flavoursome your food will taste. To learn more about care and seasoning click here.
  • They are multi-purpose and can handle a wide range of heats on the barbeque, stovetop, or in the oven. This means the pan creations are endless – think a savoury mince pie, quiche, and casserole to sweet apple crumble and cinnamon scrolls. You name it, you can probably cook it in one of these babies.
  • There are cooking benefits especially when using a pan, such as even heat distribution and good heat retention - great for those who love getting seconds. Once you’ve finished your meal, they are easy to clean and just require some warm water, a bit of elbow grease, followed by a pat down and light season (see link above).

If you’re feeling inspired to dig out your cast iron pan from the bottom of the cupboard, or to buy your first ever one, we’ve got the perfect recipes for you try. Just click on one of these delicious recipes below or visit our recipes page which has these and our others from our friends at the Iron Clad Pan Company. To learn about whether cast iron cookware can affect your iron levels click here.

My Favourite Cast Iron Cooked Recipes

Posted by Katrina Dixon

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