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Cast Iron Cookware Review 2022

Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan

For many generations, cast iron cookware has been the workhorse of the kitchen. Way before aluminium was even discovered our ancestors cooked in either cast iron or some kind of earthenware.

There are two types of cast iron cookware. One is bare cast iron the other is enamel coated.

Features of Cast Iron Cookware

  • Durable, will last for generations
  • Superior heat retention and even cooking
  • Stove top or oven

Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan:

This is the stuff that many cooks have inherited from their mothers and grandmothers. It is still sold new or found at garage sales and flea markets. These pieces never die.

Cast iron frying pans are great  for searing steaks and chops (deglazing with wine is not recommended since iron is reactive and may change the flavour)
Dutch ovens are great for stews and braising meat and low flame cooking in general.

Before it can be used, bare cast iron needs to be seasoned. To clean, it should be washed by hand in cold water only (no soap) using a metal scouring pad.  Because it rusts easily, it must be dried thoroughly before storing.

What we like:

  • Cast Iron is an excellent heat conductor
  • Excellent for searing or frying
  • Use it on the stovetop or in the oven
  • Good for induction cooktops
  • Will last for generations

What we don’t like:

  • Not dishwasher safe (in fact forget the dishwasher)
  • Must be seasoned well  the food will stick
  • Will rust if not cared for properly
  • Reacts with foods such as tomatoes and other acidic foods
  • May damage glass cooktops because rough finishes may scratch the cooktop

Best Brands:

If you were not lucky enough to have inherited a cast-iron pan, you can still buy it at affordable prices. Lodge now makes pre-seasoned cast iron skillets.

Enameled Cast Iron Review:

Enamel cast iron is “the Cadillac” of this humble kitchen tool and every cook should have at least an enamel cast iron dutch oven.
The enamel covering in cast iron cookware is glass, not paint, and it is applied by a special lamination process.  A good cast iron enamel pot or pan will not chip or fade.

What we like:

  • Durable
  • Beautiful
  • Can go from stovetop or oven to table
  • Non-reactive finish
  • Iron is an excellent heat conductor
  • Excellent for searing or frying
  • Use it on the stovetop or in the oven
  • Good for induction cooktops
  • Will not damage glass cooktops

What we don’t like:

  • Heavy
  • Cheap brands will chip easily
  • Cheap brands will rust at the edges

Best brands for Enamel Cast Iron:

The best enamel cast iron by far is Le Creuset. It will not dent and the enamelling process is so perfect that it will rarely chip. No wonder it comes with a 101-year warranty against defects.  Read more about Le Creuset French Oven here…

Ask any experienced cook and he or she will tell you that their favourite dutch oven is their Le Creuset enamel cast iron French oven. If there is only one Le Creuset piece you could own and only one, that should be a Le Creuset French oven also called “la cocotte” (that’s how the French call it)

Take a look at a Le Creuset pot. The colours are deep and vibrant, the interior of the pot is a cream-coloured enamel and the outside boasts bright and shiny colours, that look great even in the photos.  Imagine how they will look on your table or pot rack.

But looks are not good enough. Le Creuset’s enamel finish hardly ever chips, scratches or fades. Foods, when cooked normally, rarely stick or burn. These pots are hand-finished; French artisans employ a 12 step finishing process mostly done by hand to ensure that there are no flaws or imperfections in the final product.

The dutch ovens or cocottes are perfect for foods that need long and slow cooking such as soups, stews, and braised meats.

Because of their perfect heat retention, a low gentle simmer is easy to achieve.

Use your Le Creuset pots for French cassoulet ( a stew made from duck or mutton and beans), beef stew, chilli, a family dinner pot roast or even a good cioppino or bouillabaisse.

It is the finest cookware made in France since 1925.

Features

  • Ideal for slow cooking or stewing
  • Beautiful enough to go from oven to table
  • Enamel coating will not absorb odors or flavors
  • Easy to clean
  • Tight lids retains moisture and flavor

Other Recommendations:

  • Le Creuset is known for their fun colors. Don’t settle for the first color you see and have fun brightening up your kitchen
  • If you don’t know what size to choose, ee find the most useful sizes to be 6 to 8 quarts

Specifications:

  • Made in France
  • Enamel on cast iron
  • Cleaning and Care: Dishwasher safe, but handwashing is recommended