Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple Survival Gear - Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware has been in use for thousands of years and was once considered as valuable as gold. It is the “old timer’s” equivalent of modern “non-stick” cookware. Having a set of cast iron cookware can be an excellent addition to your preparedness items.

Advantages of Cast Iron Cookware

1.) Cast iron cookware is extremely durable and actually improves with age.

2.) Cast iron cookware helps add the essential nutrient, iron, to your diet.

3.) Cast iron cookware is an excellent heat conductor.

4.) Cast iron cookware heats evenly and quickly and will retain its heat for a very long period of time.

5.) Cast iron cookware can be placed directly on a fire or glowing coals. This makes it ideal for camping or outdoor activities.

6.) Cast iron cookware is relatively inexpensive when compared to stainless steel or other types of cookware.

7.) Cast iron cookware can last a lifetime with minimal or no damage and is often passed down from one generation to the next.

8.) Cast iron cookware can be used for a variety of purposes, such as browning, frying, stewing and even for baking.

9.) Cast iron cookware actually becomes essentially a “non-stick” surface when properly seasoned. This makes it very easy and simple to clean.

10.) Cast iron cookware is now made of iron alloys that give it additional strength that was not found in prior years.

Disadvantages of Cast Iron Cookware

1.) Weight is one of its main disadvantages. Cast iron cookware is quite heavy.

2.) Cast iron cookware requires maintenance to maintain the seasoning and to prevent rusting.

3.) Cast iron cookware will react to the acids in foods. This is normally not much of a problem if the cookware is properly seasoned.

4.) Cast iron cookware should not be used to store food. Food with any acid content at all that is stored in cast iron cookware will absorb the seasoned layer and may even acquire a metallic taste.

5.) Cast iron cookware must be stored properly to prevent rust. This is usually done by keeping the lids off. In unusually high humidity, moisture can build up and cause rust to form on your cookware. This will require cleaning and re-seasoning.

For the excellent value that cast iron provides, along with its durability, cast iron cookware is well worth the time and effort it takes to maintain it properly. You will be able to cook and prepare great meals with it.

Got Dutch Oven?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

Just a quick note,yrs ago when I got married,my mother donated her old cookware to us. It's called "guardian", similar to cast iron in look's,but made of aluminum, very thick and heavy. I've tried to find a few of the one's I'm missing at the flea market and such,but apparently,at least by the price's they want,it must be a collectable. The best part about it is that it won't rust,easy to clean,and need's no seasoning to use. I still need to clean up my latest score,a nice big pot/frying pan deal.The frying pan clip's on the pot to make a dutch oven/lid,or can be used separate.

HermitJim said...

You just have to LOVE that cast iron cookwear! I think that every cooking member of my family has some!

In fact, I scored a new fry pan this last's that for a great gift!

Good post!

Anonymous said...

RE: Hermit
Give up your seasoning tips!

Home on the Range said...

I cook almost everything now in my cast iron. It makes a difference in how the food cooks and tastes in my opinion.

I kick myself for not buying some about 15 years sooner.

riverwalker said...

To: Dean

There are other types of cookware that are close to cast iron cookware but in the end the only really currently available stuff that won't cost you an arm & a leg is the cast iron variety. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: HermitJim

You don't happen to have a cast iron coffee pot also? LOL

Cast iron cookware is pretty close to being an "instant" family heirloom! Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: Dean

It's probably a family secret. So unless he's got a talking dog, we're probably not going to find out.


riverwalker said...

To: Brigid

Ahhhh! Now I know the secret to all those goodies you're cooking up all the time that you have on your site. I promise not to tell anyone! Your secret is safe (for about two seconds!) HaHa! Thanks.


Anonymous said...

One of the warnings I give in regards to cast iron ware. Is that a lot of it is now made in china. and it is not the same quality or does not meet the standards that we used to be accustomed to. So go to your flea markets or place a want ad in the classifieds as well as the 'thrifty nickel' type magazines around your area if you have one.

riverwalker said...

To: GreemvilleRoad

Excellent tip! The quality is an important factor. Watch out for the inferior products that are out there. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Great post Riverwalker. When I was asked what I wanted to remember my maternal Grandmother by, I asked for her Wagner deep dish cast iron skillet and Dutch oven. Many a family meal was cooked in those implements, as Mom was one of 12 kids. Much of that time was cooked outdoors, as her family were migrant farmworkers in the 30's, 40's and 50's.

Even now, when I host a meal at our place, my Aunts and Uncles instantly recognize that skillet, and get a bit misty eyed. If taken care of, they will last a very very long time.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

Maybe there's a bit more to "the good ol' days" our parents and grandparents talk about. I think "family traditions" are a VERY good thing. Thanks.


Mayberry said...

And in a pinch, they make a fine defense weapon! WHANNGGGGG!!! Ha ha! Just don't tick off the ol' lady......

Riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

Better be careful! Don't want to give her any ideas!HAHA!

Besides, evryone knows how hard headed you are and wouldn't want to ruin a piece of perfectly good cast iron! Yuck! Yuck!


scoutinlife said...

I have a few cast iron pcs my self using them often the old style has a lot to say about durability and try to cook over a fire with anything else is waiting for something to melt or warp.

riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

You're right about cooking over an open fire. There isn't a better way! Thanks.


ErinAndBrad said...

Hehehehe - I love my iron cookware and we use it everyday! Great oost Riverwalker!
God Bless and Prep On

riverwalker said...

To: ernie

I'm saving up to get a whole new set. maybe I can pick up a side job and then I'll have enough cash to get it! That stuff is great. At my wedding they cooked stew in big old cast iron pots, 35 years later my god-daughter got married and they cooked stew for her wedding in the same that's reliable! Thanks.


Anonymous said...

this guardian stuff I have has a ,I assume,a milk pitcher,could be used for coffee in a pinch I assume! Also has a huge pan,like a dutch oven sorta,18 x 12 by 4 inches deep. No lid's for them tho,I assume they were glass,as the pitcher has a glass top. I use tinfoil,or any other lid that fit's.

riverwalker said...

To: Dean

That works!


BTW, Got the peppers! Thanks.

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