Cast iron pans: how to best use them (even for making bread)

How to use cast iron cookware

The cast iron pots they hold and radiate heat perfectly and this makes them suitable for longer cooking times. Since it is an iron alloy, cast iron pots can be used on all heat sources: gas, oven, induction but also direct flame and barbecue.

They are also suitable for different cooking techniques, from the quickest ones, such as grilling meat, to the longer ones involving roasts and stews. Due to their excellent heat conduction, they allow for a perfect Maillard reaction.

Cast iron pans are also perfect for baking bread. The dough is in fact placed inside and then cooked in the oven, with its lid. In this way, a sort of oven in the oven will be obtained, capable of giving the loaf a perfect crust and an extremely soft crumb.

How to wash cast iron pans

Already knowing that this type of pan was used by grandmothers should suggest that they are not that delicate. Just imagine their behavior to understand how to use cast iron pans correctly.

Firstly, since they are iron pans, they are subject to the formation of rust. That’s why they don’t go never immersed in water e they should not be washed in the dishwasher. To clean cast iron pans you can use a non-abrasive sponge and water. They must then be dried perfectly and greased with oil, inside and out, after each use. In this way, over time, cast iron pans will become more and more non-stick.

In case of encrusted dirt or bad smells it is possible to pour a couple of spoons of bicarbonate and a glass of water, bring everything to a boil and then scrub with a sponge. This will help remove dirt and scale.

Types of cast iron cookware

Nowadays you can find different types of cast iron pots and pans. The simpler ones have a rustic lookI’m from dark colour and they have one porous surface. They require a little more attention in terms of maintenance but are almost indestructible.

The enamelled cast iron pots instead they are a relatively recent invention. In appearance they are shiny and of different colors (depending on the brand) and, unlike the previous ones, they are more non-stick. Also they can go in dishwasher and are not subject to rust formation. On the other hand, you need to pay attention to the material used as enamel and opt only for the most reliable brands.

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