On a recent chilly fall day I had a hankering for beef stew, and the process of preparing it re-acquainted me with the old cast iron Dutch oven found years ago by my mother in an antique store, which i had since ignored and allowed to accumulate dust in the basement.
While vigorously scrubbing it with steel wool, I was reminded of the whole reason the thing was banished to the basement in the first place. It’s very difficult to clean, and like all cast iron cookware, it needs proper seasoning before you can use it iron cast cookware. It can’t be put in the dishwasher because the iron will rust, and must always be coated with a layer of fat in order to keep it properly seasoned. Cast iron enthusiasts regularly debate the merits of shortening versus vegetable oil as the perfect seasoning. In fact, the process of properly seasoning cast iron cookware is an art unto itself. Maybe achieving the perfectly seasoned cast iron pans is a rewarding experience, but who has the time?
You may wonder why anyone would go to all that trouble. Cast iron has excellent heat retention properties that make it very energy efficient. You can achieve ideal cooking temperatures on medium and low heat settings, reducing the risk of burning or drying out your food. It is perfect for the long, slow cooking of our favorite comfort foods. When you remove the cast iron pot or pan from the heat source, it retains the heat for a long period of time, so your food will stay hot longer than food prepared in cookware made of other materials. The heavy, thick metal resists warping and lasts forever. These properties are why so many people, undaunted by hand washing and the need to keep it properly seasoned, swear by cast iron cookware.
Fortunately, there is another kind of cast iron cookware that gives the cook all the benefits of cast iron cooking without the drawbacks. Cast iron can be enameled, a process that seals the iron in layers of vitrified enamel. This process has numerous benefits. It eliminates the need to keep the iron properly seasoned. The smooth, glassy finish of the enamel is much easier to clean, and cast iron enamel cookware can be placed in the dishwasher. The smooth finish also allows you to safely use this type of cookware on all types of heat sources including ceramic and induction cook tops. The enamel layer allows you to cook with tomatoes and other acidic ingredients that usually react unfavorably with cast iron. And the enamel can be produced in any number of colors, like fire engine red or lemon yellow, making it a perfect choice for today’s design-conscious kitchen. It’s so attractive that your stew or roast cooked in a cast iron enamel Dutch oven can go right from the oven to the tabletop. This type of cookware heats evenly as it is an excellent conductor of heat. You will not experience hot spots in your cooking. Foods will brown evenly. In this type of cooking, the sides of your pan retain heat as well as the bottom and the lid, to create total even heating. The enameled coating seals the cooking surface and liquid stays in your food. Liquid does not evaporate into the air. Moisture adds a wonderfully tender and flavorful effect to your food. Baking, browning, stewing and roasting, searing and blackening make this cookware perfect for all types of cooking. his type of cookware works well on low heat yet can reach high temperatures for blackening.
These cooking pots and pans have smooth bottoms and can be used on glass top ranges as well as gas, electric, induction or any type of range top! This cookware is great for indoor or outdoor cooking also! This type of cookware may be used on an outside grill on the deck or beside the pool. The enamel coating of this cookware does not make the food taste any different. The moisture and nutrients remain in the foods. Medium to low, as well as high temperatures may be used with this type of cookware. It is very energy efficient.
When you take your food from the oven or stove top to the table, food stays warm on the table longer. The colored enamel finish remains full of luster and looks beautiful on the table. The premium quality enamel coating comes in multiple colors and is the same quality as expensive cast iron enamel cookware at a fraction of the cost.
This cookware may be used in the oven on temperatures as high as 450°F. The cookware is of high quality enamel coating and is easy to clean. This cookware comes in stylish colors and adds beauty as well as function to your kitchen. Trivets are also available with this type of cookware to move from oven to table and not scorch the table finish. This cookware is suitable for all heat sources whether it be electric, halogen, induction, gas, ceramic/glass, smooth top or solid plate.