Choosing Kitchen Utensils For Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

When choosing kitchen implements for enameled cast iron cookware, it is important to understand the nature of the enamel that makes it different from ordinary cast iron pots and pans. Standard cast iron can be given nonstick properties and rendered easier to clean by seasoning with hot oil or grease. Baking oil into the pan at high temperature forms a bond that reduces the likelihood of rusting and iron getting into the food, and also makes it relatively nonstick and easier to clean.

Enameling is also a way of creating a barrier between the food and the iron base, and enameled cookware is fairly easy to clean and possesses an acceptable degree of nonstick properties, though you should try to avoid burning food onto the bottom or sides of the pan. If you do, however, enamel is fairly resistant to scratching – much more so that straight cast iron, stainless steel or nonstick Teflon surfaces. It can therefore tolerate scouring better than these other surfaces, but is very sensitive to knocks and bangs that can chip the enamel off the base.

Enamel is not baked on paint, as many think it to be, but is silica, or glass, that is mixed with pigments and then melted onto the iron surface. The process creates a bond that, while strong enough for normal handling, can chip if given hard knocks. If you drop enameled cookware onto a hard floor, for example, it is liable to chip, but not if you stir the contents with a metal spoon.

Nevertheless, although you can use stainless steel and other metal kitchen implements with enameled cast iron cookware, you are advised not to, and to try to use wood, plastic or silicone. Silicone is a form of plastic that has been cured and cross-linked to render it heat resistant, a property that ordinary plastic kitchen implements lack.

Wood is best for any type of cookware, but most people have a set of wooden spoons in their kitchen arsenal, and perhaps a wooden spatula, but very little else. You can get a wider range online, but the ladles and slotted spoons tend to be very small in comparison to their metal or plastic alternatives.

Plastic is excellent in respect of protecting your cookware, but it can be soft and can get even softer when hot. Not only that, but forget to take it off the pot when cooking and you will have given a new meaning to plastic food! The same is true of a plastic spatula or fish slice: these kitchen tools rarely last long without showing signs of a few burns. Which takes us to silicone kitchen tools.

Silicone kitchen implements are heat-rated, and some are rated as high as 900 degrees, so they will not soften or melt in the same way as normal plastic. There is also a good range of silicone implements, such as turkey lifters, fish slices, spatulas and cooking spoons, but still not as many as are available in stainless steel.

The problem with stainless steel is not that it scratches enamel, because it doesn’t as long as you are not trying hard to do so, but that if you hit the pan with a heavy stainless implement it might chip. Nevertheless, it is possible to use stainless kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware as long as you are careful, and make sure that you don’t knock or drop any implements onto the pan.

Taking an overall view, when choosing kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware you are likely best advised to use wood or silicone where you can, particularly for stirring spoons and the like, and stainless steel where you must. That is a reasonable compromise, but if you prefer to have a battery of tools hanging from racks on your kitchen wall, then stainless steel looks great but be very careful when using them.



Source by Rosemarie Gerdich

Choosing Kitchen Utensils For Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

When choosing kitchen implements for enameled cast iron cookware, it is important to understand the nature of the enamel that makes it different from ordinary cast iron pots and pans. Standard cast iron can be given nonstick properties and rendered easier to clean by seasoning with hot oil or grease. Baking oil into the pan at high temperature forms a bond that reduces the likelihood of rusting and iron getting into the food, and also makes it relatively nonstick and easier to clean.

Enameling is also a way of creating a barrier between the food and the iron base, and enameled cookware is fairly easy to clean and possesses an acceptable degree of nonstick properties, though you should try to avoid burning food onto the bottom or sides of the pan. If you do, however, enamel is fairly resistant to scratching – much more so that straight cast iron, stainless steel or nonstick Teflon surfaces. It can therefore tolerate scouring better than these other surfaces, but is very sensitive to knocks and bangs that can chip the enamel off the base.

Enamel is not baked on paint, as many think it to be, but is silica, or glass, that is mixed with pigments and then melted onto the iron surface. The process creates a bond that, while strong enough for normal handling, can chip if given hard knocks. If you drop enameled cookware onto a hard floor, for example, it is liable to chip, but not if you stir the contents with a metal spoon.

Nevertheless, although you can use stainless steel and other metal kitchen implements with enameled cast iron cookware, you are advised not to, and to try to use wood, plastic or silicone. Silicone is a form of plastic that has been cured and cross-linked to render it heat resistant, a property that ordinary plastic kitchen implements lack.

Wood is best for any type of cookware, but most people have a set of wooden spoons in their kitchen arsenal, and perhaps a wooden spatula, but very little else. You can get a wider range online, but the ladles and slotted spoons tend to be very small in comparison to their metal or plastic alternatives.

Plastic is excellent in respect of protecting your cookware, but it can be soft and can get even softer when hot. Not only that, but forget to take it off the pot when cooking and you will have given a new meaning to plastic food! The same is true of a plastic spatula or fish slice: these kitchen tools rarely last long without showing signs of a few burns. Which takes us to silicone kitchen tools.

Silicone kitchen implements are heat-rated, and some are rated as high as 900 degrees, so they will not soften or melt in the same way as normal plastic. There is also a good range of silicone implements, such as turkey lifters, fish slices, spatulas and cooking spoons, but still not as many as are available in stainless steel.

The problem with stainless steel is not that it scratches enamel, because it doesn’t as long as you are not trying hard to do so, but that if you hit the pan with a heavy stainless implement it might chip. Nevertheless, it is possible to use stainless kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware as long as you are careful, and make sure that you don’t knock or drop any implements onto the pan.

Taking an overall view, when choosing kitchen utensils for enameled cast iron cookware you are likely best advised to use wood or silicone where you can, particularly for stirring spoons and the like, and stainless steel where you must. That is a reasonable compromise, but if you prefer to have a battery of tools hanging from racks on your kitchen wall, then stainless steel looks great but be very careful when using them.



Source by Rosemarie Gerdich

Cast Iron Skillets: Round Vs Squared

If you are a serious camper and love to cook delicious meals by the campsite, then you know the importance of having a good cast iron skillet. But did you know that the shape of the skillet can make a difference, not just in how well it heats, but also how much you can cook at one time.

If you are a great campsite cook, but only have round skillets in your arsenal of cookware, then maybe it is time you consider adding a square skillet to your collection of cast iron cookware for the campsite. When it comes to cooking food outdoors on a skillet, a square one is the way to go.

Because of the squared corners on a square skillet, you are able to hold and cook more food than you could in a round skillet. One good example of why square is better than a round skillet is when you are cooking bacon. Sure, you can cook bacon in any shape skillet, but a square skillet is going to be your best option. With a round skillet, you have to worry about how you are going to fit those long pieces of bacon into the short sides of a round skillet. But, when you are using square cast iron cookware, you are able to fit just as many pieces of bacon on the sides of the skillet as you are in the middle. Square skillets are not just perfect for bacon. You can also use them to cook chicken breasts, fish fillets or for the real outdoors person, the fresh catch of the day.

Sure, you can use a square cast iron cookware inside, but a round skillet usually works best. The main reason is because today’s stoves all have round burners instead of square burners. Since stove burners are round, what happens is that a square skillet will not heat as evenly as a round cast iron skillet. Because the corners of a square skillet stick out past the burner, the corners of a square skillet will not be as evenly heated as the middle the skillet, which could result in food sticking or food not cooking to the appropriate temperature. This is why square cast iron cookware is best used for cooking over a campfire. The heat of the fire is not confined to a specific shape, meaning a square skillet will heat more evenly over the campfire than over a round burner.

Cast iron skillets can be used pretty much anywhere you go. Whether you choose to stay at home and cook over the stove or head out to your favorite campsite, you will be able to create some delicious meals with your cast iron cookware. The only tough decision you will have to make is deciding if you want to leave your round skillet at home and bring your new square skillet. Or, on the other hand, why not just bring both.



Source by James Zolinski