Although cast iron cookware was invented centuries ago, its becoming popular again, even over modern pieces. Many family’s have at-least one cast iron skillet thats been handed down through generations with story’s to go with it. “Mee Maw made her corn bread in this so take care of it!” “ Dont use soap when you clean this or it will get ruint!”
The first known use of cast iron cookware was during the Han Dynasty in China, around 220 A.D. Casting techniques became widespread in Europe by the 16th century, and since then, this versatile equipment has been a staple in households all over the world. In 1707, Abraham Darby patented the sand casting method, which is similar to the way we make cast iron today. Because of Darby’s contribution, the 18th and 19th centuries saw a boom in cast iron cookware.
Some people may think that ancient styles of cookware wouldn’t hold up next to modern aluminum or stainless steel pieces, but cast iron has been experiencing a resurgence in restaurants and homes for awhile now. A major reason why cast iron cookware is making a comeback is because of health concerns involving other types of cookware. For example, some non-stick coated pans are now known to emit toxic fumes when they are heated past a certain temperature. Cast iron poses none of these risks, and can be heated to extremely high temperatures without negative effects. Many people would rather invest in cookware that will last, instead of spending money on something they’ll need to replace within a few years. Cast iron cookware can be used for hundreds of years, so as long as you treat it right, it should last you a great deal longer than other cookware might. One of the reasons that cast iron cookware is experiencing a boom in popularity is because it is extremely durable. So much, in fact, that cast iron pieces can be restored, even when they’re completely rusted over.
Although cast iron is very durable, you still have to take certain precautions to keep it clean and rust free. Here is how to properly care for your pieces.
Keep it Dry: Cast iron cookware will require attention immediately after you’re done using it. You can wash it with a little bit of soap and water, but you’ll have to leave it sitting on a hot burner for a few minutes after you towel dry it. Any amount of water left in the pan can cause a rust spot.
Reseason Frequently: Seasoning is the process that creates a non-stick layer on your cookware. Be sure to reseason your cast iron often, especially when you first buy or restore it. The more times you use your cookware, the better the layer of seasoning will work.
Coat with Oil After Every Wash: Before you put your cast iron skillet or pot away, be sure to wipe it down with a light coating of oil to protect the seasoning.
What can you cook in a cast iron skillet? Corn bread ( once you bake it this way you will never go back), fried chicken, Dutch baby pancakes, pan pizza, frittatas, crepes, brownies, cobbler, shepherds pie, mac and cheese, smash burgers, and my favorite………………….Pittsburgh style steak.