Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Cooking Wares

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Cast Iron Cooking Wares at The Chef Shops

Cast-iron cookware is valued for its heat retention properties, and can be produced and formed with a relatively low level of technology. Seasoning is used to protect bare cast iron from rust and to create a non-stick surface. Types of bare cast-iron cookware include panini presses, waffle irons, crepe makers, dutch ovens, frying pans, deep fryers, tetsubin, woks, potjies, karahi, flattop grills and griddles.
Bare cast-iron vessels have been used for cooking for over two thousand years.[1][unreliable source?] Cast-iron cauldrons and cooking pots were valued as kitchen items for their durability and their ability to retain heat, thus improving the quality of cooking meals. In Europe, before the introduction of the kitchen stove in the middle of the 19th century, meals were cooked in the hearth or fireplace, and cooking pots and pans were designed for use in the hearth. This meant that all cooking vessels had to be designed to be suspended on, or in, a fireplace. Cast-iron pots were made with handles to allow them to be hung over a fire, or with legs so that they could stand up in the fireplace. In addition to Dutch ovens, which were developed with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, a commonly used cast-iron cooking pan called a spider had a handle and three legs used to stand up in the coals and ashes of the fire. Cooking pots and pans with legless, flat bottoms were designed when cooking stoves became popular; this period of the late 19th century saw the introduction of the flat cast-iron skillet.

Cast-iron cookware was especially popular among homemakers and housekeepers during the first half of the 20th century. Most American households had at least one cast-iron cooking pan, and brands such as Griswold and Wagner Ware were especially popular. Although those companies folded in the late 1950s and the brands are now owned by the American Culinary Corporation, Wagner and Griswold cast-iron pots and pans from this era continue to see daily use in the present day; they are also highly sought after by antique collectors and dealers. The Lodge Manufacturing company is currently the only major manufacturer of cast-iron cookware in the United States, as most other cookware suppliers use pots and pans made in Asia or Europe.[citation needed]

The 20th century also saw the introduction and popularization of enamel-coated cast-iron cookware.

Cast iron fell out of favor in the 1960s and 1970s, as teflon-coated aluminum non-stick cookware was introduced and quickly became the item of choice in many kitchens. Today, a large selection of cookware can be purchased from kitchen suppliers, of which cast iron comprises only a small fraction. However, the durability and reliability of cast iron as a cooking tool has ensured its survival, and cast-iron cookware is still recommended by most cooks and chefs as an essential part of any kitchen.

Cast Iron Cooking Wares at The Chef Shops