Choosing the best cast iron pans and cast iron cookware for your needs
If you're a serious home cook or a professional chef, chances are you already know the value of quality cast iron cookware. Built for heavy-duty cooking, cast iron pans are reliable, versatile, non-toxic, non-stick and virtually indestructible with a rustic charm that complements any kitchen decor. Before buying a new cast iron favourite, consider:
Finish. Cast iron pans can come pre-seasoned and ready to use or unseasoned which means you will need to add a thin layer of vegetable oil to the inside of it before cooking to prevent the food from sticking. You can also buy enamelled cookware which does not require seasoning at all.
Type. Cast iron cookware comes in many forms, including skillets, woks, griddles, French ovens and Dutch ovens.
Weight. A cast iron pan needs to be heavy enough to retain heat but light enough so that you can still easily lift it and pour contents.
Size. Consider the amount of food you will be cooking. Cast iron pots and pans are available in various sizes to accommodate cooking for one to many people.
Style. Do you prefer the natural beauty of raw cast iron or the bright pop of an enamelled cast iron pot?
Cooking tips when using a cast iron frypan
If you've just made the switch to cooking with cast iron pans, follow these useful tips and you'll be cooking with them like a pro in no time:
While cast iron has excellent heat retention properties, it doesn't conduct heat as well. Always preheat your cast iron on a low heat for around 5 minutes before using it to ensure even heat distribution.
Get your pan to a high heat before flipping food such as pancakes or fish to keep it from falling apart.
Experiment with different heat sources. Cast iron works great on a hob, in the oven or even over a campfire.
Types of cast iron cookware to choose from
There are 2 main types of cast iron:
Seasoned - Seasoned cast iron has had a layer of oil baked onto it through a process known as polymerisation. It gives it a black patina finish and seals it to prevent corrosion. Seasoning also provides a natural non-stick coating that builds up each time you use oil to cook with your cast iron pan. Pre-seasoned cast iron means that the manufacturer has already seasoned the pan and it's ready to use right out of the box.
Enamelled - Enamelled cast iron is cast iron that has had an enamel glaze applied over the top of it. The enamel removes the need for seasoning and protects the cast iron from rust. Enamelled cast iron cookware is excellent for slow cooking and is resistant to acidic foods which makes it ideal for simmering tomato-based sauces.
Heating source compatibility matters when selecting your cast iron
The great thing about cast iron is that it can be used on all heat sources. Not only can you cook on inductions, ceramic, gas and electric stovetops, it's also oven-safe for baking dishes and can be used on the grill and over a campfire.
Cleaning and care of your cast iron skillet
It's important that you properly care for your cast iron pan and other cookware to ensure its quality and longevity. To clean cast iron, hand wash it after each use with hot water and a scrub brush. You don't need to use soap or detergent. Scrub off any food bits. Rinse it well and dry it thoroughly.
To maintain seasoning, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the inside of it with some paper towel and buff off the excess. This will add to the existing layer and help to seal the cast iron from water and prevent rust and corrosion. It will also help it to retain its natural non-stick properties when cooking. Store it away in a dry place until next time.
Other kitchen utensils to consider when choosing a cast iron pan
Complete your new cast iron cookware with these useful kitchen utensils and gadgets made to make your cooking even more efficient and convenient:
Different cast iron cookware types and shapes
Cast iron can be used to make many types of cookware, from griddles to casserole dishes. Here are a few of the most common ones you'll find:
Woks - A cast iron wok is a great way to saute vegetables for a stirfry. Check out the Victoria Seasoned Cast Iron Wok with 2 handles for easy lifting and a flat bottomed base for steady cooking.
Casseroles - Slow cooking is easy with a Chasseur Round French Oven. Use this dish to cook casseroles, soups, cornbread and more.
Pans and skillets - Cast iron skillets and frypans are perfect for flipping pancakes and crepes, while cast iron grill pans and griddles can also be used to cook eggs, tomatoes and more.
Inductions - Cast iron can be placed directly on induction cooktops. Choose a cast iron pan with a smooth, flat base like the Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet.
Pots - Cast iron pots, like the Victoria Enamelled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, are commonly used to make stews and soups.
Raw - Raw cast iron cookware is either unseasoned or pre-seasoned, has incredible heat retention and can withstand high heat. Its rustic appearance also makes it great for serving food at the dining table.
From Lodge Cast Iron Skillets to Le Creuset Cast Iron Round Casseroles - brands we know and trust
Cast iron is praised for its longevity and is often handed down from generation to generation. Make sure you buy high-quality cast iron cookware to last a lifetime by reputable brands like Le Creuset, Chasseur, Stanley Rogers, Victoria, Lodge, LaCast and Pyrolux.
Buying your cast iron pans online with Kitchen Warehouse
From the best quality cast iron pans, roasters and stainless steel saucepans to air fryers, bakeware, tableware, kitchenware and anything else you need - Kitchen Warehouse is your one-stop-shop for completing the most important room in your home. Shop our extensive categories today and checkout with free delivery over $100 or buy a gift card and spoil someone you love on any special occasion!
What are the benefits of a cast iron pan?
When it comes to cookware, a cast iron pan is one of the most useful and versatile items you can own. They come with a ton of benefits that can make your cooking better and more convenient. Cast iron skillets are non-stick when seasoned, long-lasting, chemical-free and are easy to clean as they don't require soap. They're also budget-friendly, provide even heat distribution on any cooking surface and impart iron into your food which is a fantastic way to boost your daily iron intake!
How do you care for a cast iron pan?
Cleaning cast iron is a bit different to cleaning your other pots and frying pans. After each use, wash cast iron using hot water and a sturdy scrub brush. Avoid soap and detergent. Scrub off any bits of stuck food, then rinse. Dry the pan thoroughly with a cloth. Use some paper towel to apply vegetable oil to the inside of the skillet, buff to remove the excess and store it in a dry place until next time.