Cook With Cast Iron Like a Pro
Once you start cooking with a cast iron pan, you won’t want to cook with anything else. Cast iron only gets better with age and is designed to last a lifetime (literally!). It is naturally non-stick, heats up evenly and is a breeze to clean. This versatile pan can be used to cook a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes, from succulent salmon fillets to a comforting apple pie. If you’ve never tried cooking with cast iron, now is the time to start.
Why are Cast Iron Pans So Good?
If you are new to the world of cast iron cookware, you might need a little convincing. There are so many advantages to cast iron that we probably haven’t listed them all… but it’s a start. Below is a little taste of what you are missing out on and why you need to get your hands on one ASAP.
- Cast iron pans only get better with age. They are designed to last a long time, able to be passed down through the generations.
- Cast iron pans stay hot for a longer period of time and heats evenly. This allows you to keep food warm if not eaten straight away. It also makes it perfect for searing meat at a high temperature.
- Every time you cook, this pan fortifies your food with iron. This is great for your health, especially if you are pregnant, menstruating or battling with low iron.
- Cleaning and maintaining these pans is straightforward and easy. Simply rinse, dry and oil.
- Cast iron pans are naturally non-stick and free from chemicals. This also means you can reduce the amount of oil content used, helping to create healthier meals.
Not Sure What Cast Iron Pan to Buy?
At Homeware Online, we LOVE Ironclad pans. Purchasing an Ironclad pan is a great experience from start to finish. Each pan is 100% NZ made and hand-poured to order, made with the love and care you would expect from a local company. When you purchase an Ironclad pan, you will receive a cardboard box filled with goodies. This box includes a bottle of Marlborough Grape Seed Seasoning Oil, a cotton storage bag and printed care instructions. Ironclad has also included a hand-signed Three Generation Guarantee, as they are confident that your pan will serve you at least 100 years! Pretty impressive right? The cherry on top is that each purchase allows you free access to the Ironclad Family Recipe Vault online. The Ironclad recipe vault is essentially an exclusive social platform where you can document and share your favourite family recipes. This is a great way to keep your family recipes intact for generations to come. With everything you need in the box, you can get straight to seasoning your brand new pan!
Seasoning Your Cast Iron Pan Isn’t as Hard as You Think...
Some cast iron pans will come already seasoned. However, if you order an unseasoned pan, you will need to season the pan yourself. If you have every wondered what this entails, read on! Note: all our instructions below are based off Ironclad’s guidelines. When you purchase an Ironclad pan, you will receive a detailed version of these instructions inside the box.
1. The first step is to scrub your pan using steel wool, gentle dish soap and hot water.
2. Rinse your pan wild cold water and dry it thoroughly.
3. Preheat oven to 100C and then place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes.
4. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to rub a tablespoon of grapeseed oil over the warm skillet. Do this on the inside, outside and the bottom. This thin coat of oil will give it a dull, matte finish.
5. Preheat oven to 180C. Place pan upside down in centre of your oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and wipe off excess oil.
6. Increase the oven temperature to 220C. Place pan upside down in the centre of your oven and bake for an hour.
7. Turn off the oven and let your pan cool whilst in the oven.
You will only ever have to do this once so take the time and care to do it correctly. The more you use it, the darker your pan will appear. Eventually, it will turn a beautifully dark copper shade.
Expert Tips for Cooking with Your New Cast Iron Pan
Now that you’ve seasoned your pan and are ready to start cooking, there are a few things you should take into account. As you’ve only just freshly seasoned your pan, it won’t have achieved its full non-stick capabilities just yet. Food might stick to the pan a little, so don’t be afraid to go heavy handed with the oil and fats at the beginning of your cast iron cooking journey. Start slow and keep your heat to low or medium whilst you are starting out. This allows the layers of seasoning to develop and become extremely effective and non-stick over time. Top Ironclad tip: begin by cooking caramelised onions or fried chicken in your pan and avoid acidic or long simmered foods. In the early stages, your goal is to develop the layers of seasoning, not eat away at it. Foods like tomatoes, wine, citrus and vinegar are best to be avoided until your seasoning has become fully non-stick. Once you’ve broken your pan in, a bit of acid won’t hurt.
How to Clean Your Cast Iron Pan (It’s Easy!)
Once you’ve whipped up a tasty meal in your new pan, it is time to clean up! Cast iron pans last an extraordinarily long time when taken care of. They are also exceptionally easy to clean, requiring not one drop of soap! In fact, there are only three simple steps required.
1. Rinse with hot water when skillet is still a little warm. If you find there are some scraps of food hanging on for dear life, you can use a cloth or soft brush.
2. Dry completely.
3. Add a teaspoon of grapeseed oil to the surface of the pan using a paper towel or dry cloth.
Shop our top cast iron picks below: