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The 15 best cast-iron pans under $50 – LA Times |

The 15 best cast-iron pans under $50 – LA Times

A cast-iron pan is one of the only cooking instruments that actually adds nutritional benefit to a dish. When you cook, these pans release small amounts of iron into the food which can be really helpful in combating iron deficiencies, especially if you cook with a lot of high acidity.

For The 15 Best Cast-Iron Pans Under $50, click here.

They have been the tool of choice for chefs for decades, due to their durability and excellent heat retention­ – not to mention that nice sear you get when grilling a rib-eye. Cast iron, also known as “casting metal” has been found to date all the way back to China in the fourth century B.C, although before it was used as a cooking material its primary use was to make weapons. We saw the introduction of the cast-iron pan as we know it today, in the late nineteenth century, but prior to that the “spider pot” was its predecessor – “the spider” being that ancient cast-iron, cauldron-like pot, designed with three legs and a handle for use in a hearth or fireplace, often used for slow-cooking stews. Interestingly enough, besides adding a handle and eliminating the legs, not much about the original idea behind the pot has changed.

The process for making cast-iron cookware is essentially melting blocks of iron and steel together in a factory. Then, in order to raise the carbon levels, chemicals are added to the mix and the molten metal is poured into a clay mold. When the pan is cool, the mold is broken and the cookware is released. The pan is then smoothed and sometimes seasoned before it’s ready to be sold.

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