Are you concerned about knowing the disadvantages of using cast iron pans in your kitchen? You might have read and seen all the advantages of cast iron, it is also important to note that they have some disadvantages, and in this guide, we’d show you the disadvantages of using cast iron pans.
What The Hell Is a Cast Iron Pan?
Cast iron is one of the most diverse cooking materials on the planet and has been used in cooking applications since the 5th century B.C.—yes, seriously. Cast iron was also used in all types of ancient weaponry, from cannons and artillery to construction materials and kettles. For literally thousands of years, men have used cast iron to help build the world.
Scientifically, cast iron is a superior cooking material because it’s a very dense, porous metal. What that means in the kitchen is that, while it takes some time to heat up, cast iron excels at getting very hot, heating very evenly, and retaining heat indisputably better than any other cooking material.
Today, cast iron is used most commonly in the pan because it’s comparatively inexpensive (versus other types of pain), easy to maintain, and can be used anywhere from the stove to the campfire.
There are plenty of pan companies that specialize in cast iron pans and other pans, pots, and kettles.
They come in different shapes and sizes for different applications, but the best thing about them is that no matter how refined or pinpoint-precise their applications are, a basic pan can cover most of what you’re cooking, whether it be braising the perfect pork shoulder, searing a thick-cut steak, frying up some chicken, baking the best cornbread of your life, or even handling some Sunday morning pancakes and bacon.
Cast iron pan Tips before use:
Now you have bought a cast iron pan so here is the second step on how to use this pan or what are the tips to handle a new pan before cooking. Some of the tips which you should follow are:
- Wash the pan first
The first step is to wash the new pan in warm, soapy water, and dry it immediately with a soft cloth or paper towel. Do not use harsh cleansers or scrubbers because they disturb its coating.
- Season your pan before use
Cast iron pans should be seasoned before using them. Seasoning is a process of building up a fine layer of fat to make the surface nonstick surface. But now many cast iron pans come “pre-seasoned”, with built-in non-stick coating.
- Before use heat your pan gradually
When you heat up your pan on medium heat before use it will work best. Keep in mind that when you heat up your pan too high its setting and coating will damage
- When cooking with acidic foods be aware.
If the cast iron pan is not thoroughly seasoned, acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus and beans can be tough on it. As the acid can damage light seasoning and lead to staining so the metal can damage the taste of food.
- Never let it stay wet
When you are free from cooking and you have to put it away. You should dry it after washing. Because cast iron is actually a spongy surface and prone to rust. if you don’t dry it thoroughly after washing it, it becomes rusty and ruins the taste of food.
- Fry and Sear in it.
The best way to keep your seasoning maintained? Just use your pan a lot! The more you fry, sear, or bake in it, the better that seasoning will become.
- Place it carefully when you put it away
If you are placing your cast iron pan in a cabinet with another pan, place a sheet of paper towel or soft cloth between it and another pan to avoid ruining the finish.
- It should be durable or long-lasting
If your cast iron pan should be long-lasting and durable you should handle it with proper care, then it can last for decades. Many people believe that it becomes strong with age and usage.
Seasoning is the black patina that builds up on your cast iron pan with regular use, a non-stick surface that’s slick enough for eggs to skate across the pan, but tough enough to withstand the blazing heat needed to properly sear a steak. It’s the at-home work you do to turn a cast iron pan into an heirloom, and it’s as important for your cooking as the iron your pan is made from.
How to Naturally Season Cast Iron
We’ve found the best way to build seasoning is also the simplest: cook with your pan as often as you can. Every time you heat oil or fat for an extended period of time in cast iron, you have the opportunity to add a thin, durable patch of seasoning to your pan. These thin layers build on each other like coats of paint on a wall, slowly but surely forming a resilient, ultra-slick surface.
We designed Field Seasoning Oil for exactly this purpose: apply a dab after you use your pan, and next time you heat it up, our blend of organic oils will help build durable non-stock seasoning. Meal after meal, you’ll be adding to your pan’s seasoning and improving its performance.
When it comes to good seasoning that lasts, we can’t stress the importance of thin layers enough. Compare it too thick coats of paint on a windowsill; once air and moisture sneak past the surface and work their way down to the wood beneath, those coats will start to peel off like a giant scab.
In a pan, thick layers of seasoning will scrape off with normal use. Only the thin layers, molecularly bonded to the pan and each other will stand the test of time.
Disadvantages of using a cast iron
- Cast iron pans are poor conductors of heat:
Without getting too nerdy here…a cast iron is good at retaining (keeping) heat, but it isn’t as good as conducting (transmitting) heat. A cast-iron pan will heat unevenly if you’re using a burner that’s significantly smaller than the pan itself. In this case, the section of the pan that sits directly over the burner will get hotter than the edges of the pan (farther from the burner).
- They are heavier
The weight of a cast iron pan is heavier than other materials. You need two hands to handle the cast iron pans because of their weight and size. Also, ensure you have a sink big enough to clean a cast-iron pan comfortably.
- Cast iron pans require seasoning:
In order for your pan to become non-stick, you need to help it build up a layer of seasoning. While many cast iron nowadays is sold “pre-seasoned”, we find that the manufacturer’s seasoning still needs a bit more oomph to get to the “non-stick” level you’d expect. Thankfully, if you know what to do, it’s not hard to build up enough seasoning to start cooking things like eggs on it.
Early on, when you’re still building up a good base of seasoning, the pan will be more susceptible to rusting and interacting with acidic foods (like tomatoes and lemon juice). Acidity can work against the seasoning you’re trying to build up and also potentially impart a metallic taste to your food. But once there’s been a good level of seasoning has been built up, you don’t need to worry so much about acidic foods in the pan. In the meantime, it’s best to avoid it.
Compared to aluminum and stainless steel pan, cast iron is heavy. Camp pots, for instance, can weigh up to 20 pounds, which will surely increase the load you’ll have to bear. But you need to remember that the weight is mainly due to its durability and longevity.
- Cooking limitation
You can’t use all your culinary skills with a cast iron pan. If you want to cook tomato sauce and other acidic foods, you will have to use other types of pain or pot, as an iron will react to acid, turning food color to something darker, or altering the taste slightly.
The last, but no less important, the rule is to always thoroughly dry the cast-iron pan before you store it away. Even the slightest bit of dampness will cause the pan to rust, which is why cast iron rusts more easily in summer than in winter. In fact, it’s smart to place a paper towel into the pan to absorb any excess moisture or humidity.
Here are some facts about using cast iron pans.
- Cast iron is tough. There’s a reason why there are old cast iron pans at yard sales and antique shops. It is very difficult to completely ruin them.
- Once cast iron is hot, it stays hot. So cast iron pans are great for searing meat.
- Cast iron is great for keeping food warm since it holds heat for a considerable length of time. Michigan State University Extension suggests that you check to make sure that the food that you are keeping in your pan or dutch oven doesn’t get below 135 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours.
- Every time you cook in your cast iron pans you are making them better by seasoning them.
- During the cooking process, a small amount of iron is absorbed into the foods.
- Cast iron pans and dutch ovens display your food beautifully. This is especially true when they are used for bread or pies.
After reading through the above guide, the choice is now yours to either get a cast iron pan or not to. Also, note that cast iron pans have lots of benefits, so do not hesitate to get one.