Cast Iron Cooking

Cast iron cookware has been used in cooking for many hundreds of years now. It is as popular and far more popular than other materials for cookware for several reasons. One of them is the fact that it can retain heat for a long time, which is excellent, because if you use it, you don’t have to heat up food, which is proven to be unhealthy. Another great feature of cast iron is the fact that it can stand really high temperatures without emitting anything harmful, unlike some other materials.

Cast iron cooking vessels have a really long history. They have been used literally for hundreds of years, and the fact that they’re still here, and very popular means that they really are high quality. The stove, as we know it today, was introduced sometime in the nineteenth century, and before that time, all the food was either prepared on hearths (a brick or a stone fireplace used for cooking and heating) or in regular fireplaces, and cast iron was ideal for that.

Having a Dutch oven doesn’t mean having just another cooking vessel in your kitchen. Having a Dutch oven means having something with history and many stories to tell. Even though they are simply made and the cast iron is a material which handles many things well, maintaining it is a bit complicated. Make sure you never put a cast iron Dutch oven in a dishwasher, because you are very likely to ruin it. Unlike with aluminum and enameled Dutch ovens, you won have to use wooden or silicone utensils with it, but normal metal ones.

If you want to get a Dutch oven, but don’t think you’ll have time to take proper care of it, inquire a bit more about maybe getting a little modified Dutch oven. Bare cast iron Dutch ovens can stand to be put on coals and can be on high temperatures for a long time, but if you decide to just wash them with dish soap or scrub them with a wire, you will destroy it, and then you just spent lots of money for nothing. Enameled Dutch ovens, even though some don’t recommend them, can be washed and maintained regularly just like all other dishes you have.

Maintenance of Dutch ovens is just a part of ritual of cooking for many people. With Dutch ovens it seems that everything takes time. Food is slowly processed and cooked in them, while the steam in them wraps around the juicy pieces of meat and vegetables. When the food is done, it should be eaten slowly and with enjoyment. Then, it is time to clean the Dutch oven, and this also has a few steps. Pour a few inches of water in it, let it sit on a burner, then let it cool. Gently scrub the food off the walls, and dry the oven with a hand towel. After that let the oven sit near fire so it completely dry.

Some say that many people needlessly worry about maintaining their Dutch ovens and that they are making big deal unnecessarily. They claim that a mild type of dish soap wont harm the material, and that gentle scrubbing with an abrasive which is non metallic will be nicely tolerated. True fans of Dutch ovens may easily oppose to these methods, but it is recommended to be well informed before deciding to clean and use them.

Karl is an architect by training and an avid chef. He takes interest in all things luxurious and travels the world in search of them. His latest travels to the American heartland brought him in contact with the precious dutch oven.

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