Advantages of a cast iron pan


Cast iron pans and pots have been used around the world for centuries. And there are good reasons for that. If you maintain a cast iron pan properly, it will last a lifetime. That's why you come across pans that are more than a hundred years old. They still look good and can still be used after all these years. Cooking with a cast iron pan has many more advantages.

What is a cast iron pan?

A cast iron pan is almost always made entirely of, you guessed it, cast iron. They are made of a mixture (alloy) of iron, carbon, manganese and silicon. The raw iron is melted down together with coke, a type of coal, and lime. This mixture is then poured into a mold. Hence the name 'cast iron'.

In Asia, especially China, Japan and Korea, there is a long tradition of cooking in cast iron pots. The first time these pots appeared in history was around the year 680 A.D. They were used over an open fire. Something that cast iron pans are resistant to. Famous, for example, are the Dutch Ovens, cast iron cooking pots that were brought to America by Dutch emigrants in the 19th century. Only after the advent of the stove did the cast-iron pan become really popular. They were popular because of the durability of the material.

You can easily recognize a cast iron pan by that material. When you hold a cast iron pan in your hands, you will notice that it is considerably heavier. The material is also a lot rougher compared to a regular aluminum frying pan. It is precisely this material that provides the advantages of a cast iron pan.

Does baking in a cast iron pan have any advantages?

Of course! When you decide to buy a cast iron pan, you will quickly discover the advantages of these extremely strong pans.

A cast iron pan gets better with every use

When you want to buy a new pan, you will find yourself inundated with an absurdly large selection of non-stick pans. Ceramic, enamel, Teflon, they all promise to be the perfect non-stick coating. But, it is and remains a chemical layer that will deteriorate over time.

When you buy a cast iron pan, it does not yet have a non-stick coating. You have to create this layer yourself. By allowing a vegetable oil to adhere to the pan at a high temperature, you ensure the very best non-stick coating.

Regular use and good maintenance (important!) will make the cast iron pan better and better. Ultimately, you have an indestructible pan that can not only get very hot, but also prevents your food from sticking.

Cast iron can retain heat well

One of the best properties of cast iron is its ability to retain heat for a long time. When the cast iron pan is at the right temperature, it remains hot. If you are looking for a good pan for steak and other meat, a cast iron pan is the best choice.

Cast iron pans are durable

Cast iron is so incredibly durable that a hundred-year-old pan can still be used without any problems. We can't say the same about the average non-stick frying pan that shows signs of use after just a few months. A cast iron pan is practically indestructible. It is therefore a purchase that you will enjoy for years to come.

Prevents food from burning

It is sometimes thought that your food will always burn in a cast iron pan. That's really a myth. A normal pan is made of aluminum, which conducts heat very well. If you place this on the fire, the heat will distribute unevenly. These are the so-called 'hotspots' that cause your food to burn

This is not an issue at all with a cast iron pan. Cast iron is a poor conductor of heat, but retains heat well. That's why you first let the pan slowly warm up to temperature. The heat is distributed evenly and you prevent burnt food in a cast iron pan.

Cast iron is suitable for all heat sources

The heat source you use influences the type of pans you can use. Many pans cannot be used on every stove or hob. You can make it easy for yourself with a cast iron pan. A cast iron pan is suitable for all heat sources.

You can use a cast iron pan on an induction or ceramic hob, but also on gas. You can even alternate between gas and induction with this pan. And because the pan can withstand high temperatures so well, you can also simply slide it into the oven with the greatest of ease. You can even cook on the BBQ with a cast iron pan.

Cooking at high temperatures

Cast iron can get extremely hot. Much hotter than a regular pan. That is a major advantage of cast iron pans. Because the hotter the pan, the faster the maillard reaction - that delicious brown crust - will occur. A feature that makes every fanatic chef happy. Cast iron pans are therefore perfect for searing meat or roasting vegetables.

A cast iron pan and sous-vide are a golden combination for the same reason. After the warm water bath, the meat is already perfectly cooked, but a brown crust is missing. You only need the pan to ensure that delicious caramelization. It should be as hot and at the same time as short as possible.

Easy cleaning

A cast iron pan is easy to clean. Simply use a little water and a soft dishwashing sponge. If the pan is very dirty, you can also use a little dishwashing liquid. Make sure you rinse the pan thoroughly afterwards. After cleaning, add a drop of oil to the pan and rub with a paper towel. Your pan will then be completely ready for the next use.

Healthier cooking

Regular non-stick pans have a chemical layer to prevent your food from sticking. The use of these coatings is not entirely without controversy. For example, there has been a lot of fuss about the Teflon coating in pans. That is why other non-stick materials are now used. But no matter how you look at it; it is and remains a chemical layer that cannot withstand high temperatures and will be damaged quickly.

A cast iron pan, on the other hand, is pure and has no laboratory-developed chemical coatings. By lubricating the pan with a little vegetable oil after use, you ensure the very best natural non-stick coating.

You therefore need to use much less oil in a cast iron pan than in an aluminum or sheet steel pan. A small amount of oil is sufficient for even cooking without burning. That's a lot healthier.

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Hi Eric,

Je hebt helemaal gelijk. Ik heb het aangepast!



Hoi Tess,

Er staat een kleine tekstfout in je blog:

‘Wanneer je een gietijzeren pan koopt, dan heeft deze nog EEN anti aanbaklaag.’ Ik neem aan dat je ‘Wanneer je een gietijzeren pan koopt, dan heeft deze nog GEEN anti aanbaklaag.’ bedoelt…

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