Today I want to talk about a material that is the great ally in my kitchen and with which I feel completely calm when preparing my dishes: the cast iron.
And why I like to cook with iron so much? Very simple, it is a material that can be used on any heat source, whether gas, electric, ceramic, induction or even in the oven and directly on fire. So I am sure, that even if I change my current “vitro” by another system, I will be able to continue using my cocottes and pans without any problem.
Another great advantage is that iron is an excellent conductor of heat, so we will need less energy to cook and food will cook better. You do not believe me? I did not think so before using the iron in my kitchen, but two simple actions convinced me quickly to the contrary: fry potatoes and put water to boil.
In the case of potato chips in an enameled cast-iron pan, we obtain more crisp, more golden potatoes and, importantly, the optimal temperature of the frying oil is achieved in less time. In the case of boiling water, I have also noticed that water boils before. In addition, once we remove the cocotte or frying pan from the fire, the food stays warm for a long time, so if the components of our family have different schedules, it will not be necessary to reheat the food.
As an indisputable expert in cast iron utensils, we have a company that since 1925 has been producing with a remarkable success a whole range of cast iron products, where, without a doubt, its star product is cocotte.
The whole manufacturing process is carried out at its factory in France, located in Fresnoy-Le-Grand, where technology and crafts come together and result in products of the highest quality and which, taken care of properly, will last for many years. If you want to see how cocottes and other utensils iron are made, you can visit this link: http://www.gosureviews.com/top-2-cast-iron-skillet-handle-covers-to-protect-your-mitts/.
As I said, the iron cocottes can be used on any heat source, although it is advisable to follow a series of tips for optimal results:
– You must warm them gradually, so do not put them directly cold on a fire at maximum power. On a scale of 1 to 9, I put my hob between 5 and 6 to start cooking.
– They are perfect for long cooking and slow cooking. I do not recommend using the maximum power to cook with them, since iron is an excellent conductor of heat and we run the risk of food sticking and, consequently, burning. For example, to cook vegetables or stews, I put my glass ceramic between 5 and 6.
– You can use them to cook in the oven, even using the lid. Cocottes with steel handle can be put in the oven at any temperature. Those of phenolytic mango (the typical one of black color), can not be put in the oven to more than 190º.
– To remove the food that you cook in your cocotte, always use utensils of wood or silicone, like this spatula or this one or this spoon .
We currently have a wide variety of cocottes that will suit our needs. We have them round in various sizes, low , high and oval , not forgetting the mythical cocotte Doufeu . So, little by little, we can be completing a good battery of cooking that will last in our family for years.
In addition, we can complete it with other products such as the saucepan or my favorite: the fondue , which we will surely talk about in a next entry.
In the case of iron pans, irons and grills , their use is different. I just explained that the cocottes are used for slow and long cooking and the pans, grills and grills on the contrary: for short cooking and high temperatures. At home I use both wood- fired pans and skillet .
In the photo, skillet skillet (left) and skillet with wooden handle (right)
My experience has taught me the following:
– To warm them gradually: just like with the cocottes, I put them on the fire at medium temperature and then I rise until reaching the temperature that I desire. In case of grilling meat, I put my glass ceramic to the 7 and, in rare cases to the 8.
– For cooking on the grill, I use a few drops of olive oil to prevent the meat from sticking.
– The more you use a pan, griddle or grill, the less the food we cook on it will stick.
– Iron pans are ideal for frying. When reaching high temperatures, the food becomes very crisp and golden. This is the only use in which I put the glass ceramic at level 9.
– The skillet can also be used in the oven. If you have induction with turbo function, never use it with your iron utensils. It is not necessary and we run a high risk of spoiling both the food and the enameling of our cast iron pans and pots.
Regarding the cleaning of cocottes and iron pans, consider the following:
– Wait for them to cool completely before cleaning. Abrupt changes in temperature can damage the enamel coating.
– Although they can be cleaned in the dishwasher, I discourage this method because the soaps are usually quite abrasive and can end up abrading the enamel layer. This will not repecurtirá in the use of our utensils, but it will make them less beautiful. In the case of wooden handle pans, never use a dishwasher or you will damage the handle.
– Never use nanas. Forbidden! It is best to use a sponge with a little soap. In case there are food leftovers resist, leave the cocottes to soak for a few minutes with warm water. You’ll see how clean it is. In case you need to “scratch”, always do it with a soft sponge (of the blues, that do not grate). But avoid it as much as possible.
– To clean pans, plates and skillet there is an infallible method in case there are traces left after cooking with them: I put a finger of warm water inside the pan, wait 5 minutes and then clean them with a sponge and a Drop of soap They are impeccable and do not need to scratch with any scouring pad.
– In case you have been unlucky that the food has burned and is very stuck to the cocotte, I recommend that you fill it with water to half, you take a little soap and the hot on medium-low fire. You will see how what has remained “charred” is going away and you can recover the cocotte without problems.
– Finally, once cleaned, I dry my cocottes and pans with a cotton cloth and keep them until their next use.
If you follow these simple tips, you will keep your iron utensils stuck for many years without problems. What’s more, gives us a lifetime warranty on all its range of cast iron, so we will have cocottes and pans always ready to cook and we will have the total tranquility that our investment has been worth.
If you just bought a product , in the blog we give you many ideas to use your cocottes, pans, irons, grills and skillets.
You will see, as you see, that food tastes better using iron. At first I was skeptical with this information … but after more than 3 years cooking with iron, I can assure you that it is true. Do the test and tell me.
Here are some recipes to inspire you in your kitchen:
– The winter cocotte
– Clams stew with broccoli
– Round of stewed chicken in cocotte
– Suquet of monkfish with shrimp, mussels and hazelnut allioli bread
– Cantonese chicken
And I, in my blog Pimientos Verdes I also have a good collection of recipes cooked with iron, do not forget to visit it.
In the photo, Picantones to the Catalan and Risotto of pear, walnuts and gorgonzola .
I hope that all these tips help you to use and keep for a long time your iron utensils cast and those who are thinking of acquiring a cocotte or frying pan for the first time, I encourage you to do so. Do not put the price behind you: it is an investment for a lifetime and you will love to use them.
If you have any doubts, you can leave it in the comments of this post. We will gladly help you in everything you need.