Properties of Cast Iron

The most important properties of cast iron are its heat retention and heat distribution. It is also extremely durable. Properly cared for, cast iron will last for generations. Considered by professional chefs to be precision cooking tools, quality cast iron utensils enable precise control of cooking temperatures. Its heat retention qualities allow for even cooking temperatures without hot spots.

Cast iron cookware isn't pure iron. Other materials, such as carbon and phosphorus, are mixed with the iron to produce proper hardness and durability. Iron with impurities included in it can heat unevenly and crack. Evidence of poor metal mixes include discoloration of the cast iron, striations or smooth bright spots of "white metal".

Cast iron is currently used for utensils that include skillets, roasters and Dutch ovens, broilers, griddles and some specialty items, such as muffin and corn bread pans. These utensils are excellent for browning, frying, stewing and baking foods.

Manufacturing

Cast iron cookware is produced in a sand-cast process. Quality cast iron requires sand molds made under high pressure so that their shapes can be precisely controlled. In addition to careful attention to the metal used in cast iron, the manufacturer must also control the components of the sand, which include clay, and water. Patterns are pressed into the sand and the molten iron is poured in to the resulting cavity. As the iron cools to its solid state and becomes a cooking utensil, the sand mold is broken apart. The sand is cleaned off the utensil. It is then smoothed and packed for shipment.

Use and Care

Natural cast iron utensils should be seasoned before using. After washing the utensil with warm water, dry with a towel and apply a thin coat of vegetable oil and place in a 350F oven for about an hour and let cool. Over time, the utensil will darken to a black patina, a lasting, nonstick finish. Some cast iron is available now in the market that has a true seasoned finish installed at the factory. Buyers should recognize that what some manufacturers claim as a preseasoning is nothing more than wax coating designed to keep the product from rusting before sale. At least once manufacturer has perfected a preseasoning that results in a "ready to cook" surface similar to that done by the consumer.

Natural cast iron utensils should never be stored with the cover on, as this might cause "sweating" and consequent rust damage. Store these utensils in a dry place.

Cast iron utensils with porcelain enamel interiors do not need seasoning. Hot sudsy water and thorough rinsing will keep them clean and shining.
 
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Properties of Cast Iron

Properties of Case IronThe most important properties of cast iron are its heat retention and heat distribution. It is also extremely durable. Properly cared for, cast iron will last for generations. Considered by professional chefs to be precision cooking tools, quality cast iron utensils enable precise control of cooking temperatures. Its heat retention qualities allow for even cooking temperatures without hot spots.

Cast iron cookware isn't pure iron. Other materials, such as carbon and phosphorus, are mixed with the iron to produce proper hardness and durability. Iron with impurities included in it can heat unevenly and crack. Evidence of poor metal mixes include discoloration of the cast iron, striations or smooth bright spots of "white metal".

Cast iron is currently used for utensils that include skillets, roasters and Dutch ovens, broilers, griddles and some specialty items, such as muffin and corn bread pans. These utensils are excellent for browning, frying, stewing and baking foods.

Manufacturing

Cast iron cookware is produced in a sand-cast process. Quality cast iron requires sand molds made under high pressure so that their shapes can be precisely controlled. In addition to careful attention to the metal used in cast iron, the manufacturer must also control the components of the sand, which include clay, and water. Patterns are pressed into the sand and the molten iron is poured in to the resulting cavity. As the iron cools to its solid state and becomes a cooking utensil, the sand mold is broken apart. The sand is cleaned off the utensil. It is then smoothed and packed for shipment.

Use and Care

Natural cast iron utensils should be seasoned before using. After washing the utensil with warm water, dry with a towel and apply a thin coat of vegetable oil and place in a 350F oven for about an hour and let cool. Over time, the utensil will darken to a black patina, a lasting, nonstick finish. Some cast iron is available now in the market that has a true seasoned finish installed at the factory. Buyers should recognize that what some manufacturers claim as a preseasoning is nothing more than wax coating designed to keep the product from rusting before sale. At least once manufacturer has perfected a preseasoning that results in a "ready to cook" surface similar to that done by the consumer.

Natural cast iron utensils should never be stored with the cover on, as this might cause "sweating" and consequent rust damage. Store these utensils in a dry place.

Cast iron utensils with porcelain enamel interiors do not need seasoning. Hot sudsy water and thorough rinsing will keep them clean and shining.

 

 

 
 
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