6 Remarkable Benefits of Using Cast Iron

 

   A kitchen staple, the cast iron skillet is an indelible part of culinary history. I don't feel as though a kitchen is complete without one. The versatility of cast iron is pretty much unmatched regarding pots and pans composed of other ores. Oddly enough, even with the numerous advancements in every sector of technology, the benefits of cast iron still rule the cookware realm! 

So, why should you consider giving up your non-stick pans for a massive chunk of metal? We'll start with 6 remarkable benefits of cooking with cast iron! 

#1 No Harmful Chemicals 
The majority of non-stick cookware use man-made chemicals known as fluorotelomers that  
give them a hard and nearly friction-free surface. While this is all fine and dandy for keeping your food from sticking to your cookware, there are loads of health concerns revolving around the use of these chemicals. At higher cooking temperatures, they release  
chemicals into the air, and into your food, called perfluorinated compounds (PFC.) This effect is also amplified when your non-stick surface is scratched. The truly wonderful thing about using cast iron cookware; they contain zero harmful chemicals – only iron. 

Speaking of iron. 

 

 

#2 Get your daily 'Fe' 
Iron, known as 'Fe' on the periodic table, is essential to daily nutrition. One of the best health benefits of cooking cast iron – besides not leaking harmful chemicals into your food – is that your meal is spiked with a healthy dose of iron! 

Iron is a mineral that is absolutely crucial to your health and plays a huge role in your red blood cells' ability to transport oxygen throughout your body and helps to create energy from the food that you eat. Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutrient deficiency in the world, affecting over 2 billion people a year, and the symptoms can be that of fatigue and lack of focus. 

#3 Non-Stick 
Cast Iron is super cool as it develops a natural non-stick surface through a process called seasoning. Seasoning is when you bake a thin layer of oil on the skillet until it bonds with the iron and forms what is called a polymerized layer. 

#4 Cast iron retains heat 
While iron isn't the greatest conductor of heat, it does have a higher heat capacity than most other cookware. Basically, this means that it can store more heat without dissipating as quickly as other cookware. This gives cast iron the ability to sear food like no other. Also, because it takes longer to warm up and cool down, you should never have unexpected heat spikes that burn your food. 

#5 Durability 
Cast iron is incredibly durable and takes a huge amount of effort to ruin completely. Honestly, the only practical way you can destroy it is by drenching it in cold water while the pan is still very hot. In which case, it would crack. 

Beyond that, the only thing you ever have to worry about is maintaining your seasoning. You can also use a variety of utensils – including metal – without fear of completely ruining your pan. Cast iron can also be used over an open flame. Making it a great choice for camping, or those who want to be prepared for any disaster. 

#6 Easy to clean 
So, hear me out. Cast iron does require a little more effort to maintain than other cookware but they are exceptionally easy to clean! Because of the polymerized layer of oil, food releases quite easily from cast iron, and typically, all you ever need to do is wipe them down with a paper towel while still warm. And if that doesn't do the trick, adding a pinch of coarse salt as an abrasive prior to scrubbing will. Plus, they self-sanitize at high heat. Cast iron can put up with some pretty hot temperatures compared to other cookware as they don't show signs of weakening until above 700°.

All in all, cast iron seems like the solid choice whether it be in the kitchen or on the campsite.

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