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Cast Iron Cookware - Frequently Asked Questions | Zishta.com

Cast Iron Cookware - Frequently Asked Questions | Zishta.com
1) What are the different forms of Iron Cookware available in the market? 

Predominantly Cast Iron and Pure Iron (Or Mild Steel as it’s called) are two alloy variations of Iron that is used predominantly in making cookware. Cast Iron is one of the oldest cookware after clay being used by different communities across the world. The difference between the two types of alloy is the way they are made. 

 

2) Is Cast Iron Cookware Safe to use? 

Cast Iron cookware are safe as they do not have any chemical coating (Teflon or other non-stick). They are natural cookware and improves iron absorption in our system. There are concerns of over iron absorption due to long term use of cast iron which does not apply for short duration cooking that is predominantly done in Indian style of cooking. More over more than 50% of women in India suffer from Anaemia and hence the risk associated with the same is unfounded. 

3) Are Cast Iron Cookware Healthy to use? 

Cast Iron Cookware are safe and healthy and can be used on daily basis in your traditional or modern kitchen. Cast Iron enables better Iron absorption and reduces incidence of Anaemia. Also, these cookware are heavy cookware and retails a lot of heat, thereby it cooks food uniformly with minimal nutrition loss. Also you can keep the food warm for longer duration there by reducing the need to reheat food (When nutrition loss is highest). 

4) What can be cooked in Cast Iron Cookware? 

There are no restrictions as such when it comes to cooking in cast iron. The challenge is with extremely acidic elements like tamarind or lime which leaches too much of iron taste into the food which can alter the taste a little bit. Otherwise if you are ok with the taste, it's safe to cook anything and everything in cast iron. Use of tomatoes, Lime and tamarind (Extremely acidic elements) can be restricted on new Cast Iron Cookware but with months of regular use, we have noticed that the leaching capability of Cast Iron is limited and they become more versatile. 

5) Will Cast Iron Break If dropped? 

One of the limitation of Cast iron is the fact that they can break if dropped from a considerable height. If maintained well, they last for generations.

6) What is the best way to clean Cast Iron Skillet and other cast iron             cookware? 

You can use regular cleaning liquid soap, powder to clean cast iron cookware and once cleaned immediately wipe them clean of water particles to prevent rusting. Always apply some cooking oil (Whatever you use regularly at home) and store so it protects the seasoning and prevents rusting.

7) What is the purpose of seasoning in cast iron cookware? 

The purpose of seasoning is to get the cast iron cookware as close to a non-stick as possible. The seasoning helps to remove any excess surface carbon which is natural and comes during the making process of the cookware and the oil forms a thin coating on the surface to prevent rusting and protect the food from sticking too much. 

8) How to season cast iron skillet/cookware? 

Seasoning is critical depending on the type of cast iron cookware you purchase. Most of the machine made ones are pre-baked with mineral oil in ovens and are ready to use. Some brands which sell traditionally handmade ones will have excess carbon on the surface. This needs to be seasoned till the surface carbon does not come off easily when you wipe them. This can be done easily by scrubbing the surface of the cast iron cookware with salt and oil mixture, wash well and then heat it up in gas with 2 -3 spoons of oil, cut an onion and fry it in the cookware in low flame for 7-10 mins. This will remove any excess carbon and get the cookware ready for use.

9) I find some loose black particles in my cast iron cookware. Is it safe? 

Congratulations! You have got one of the traditionally handmade ones. The loose particle are carbon particles and are safe. You can remove them using the seasoning process we have shared and that will get your cookware ready for use! 

10) Will Cast Iron Skillet Rust? 

All Iron and Cast Iron cookware rust as it is the natural property of iron to rust when in contact with water. We always recommend that you apply some cooking oil and store so the oil protects the iron from rusting. 

11) Can we reuse cast iron cookware once its rusted? 

No need to worry. The rust is only surface rusting and can be easily removed following the procedure we share. Once the rust is removed, the cookware is ready and safe to use for your daily cooking. 

12) How to remove rust from Cast Iron Cookware? 

There are many ways you can follow to remove the rust and re-season the cast iron cookware. One such method is shared in the video here. You can use salt and oil mixture to scrub and remove the rust. Wash the cookware really well, heat it in gas still it becomes really hot and then apply some cooking oil. This the tried and tested method to re-season a rusted cast iron cookware.

13) Can we make cast iron cookware as good as non-stick?

This is perfectly possible. All you have to do is heat up the cookware till its really hot and apply a few drops of castor oil and allow it to cool down. Repeat this process 2-3 times and the cookware will have a thin coating of castor oil. This will fill up the pores and create a natural non-stick coating. This will wear off with use but you can always repeat the process. Castor oil or Flax seed oil can be used for this purpose as they are viscous oil and they are best to form a thin filament like coating on cast Iron. They really make the cookware as good as non-stick! 

14) Cast Iron cookware flaking - how to handle it? 

Sometimes with repeated cooking and application of oil, flaking happens which is the old oil that is used season or protect the cookware from rusting cakes on top of the older oil. This is nothing to worry. You can use steel wire scrubs to clean the flake and re-season the cookware. This can be done once in a few months. This challenge predominantly happens in flat bottom cookware like skillet and pans.  

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