Category: Education & Info

What to Cook First in New Cast Iron

Another common question among cast iron users is what should I cook first in new cast iron? While there isn’t necessarily one right answer, we’ll give you some tips to point you in the right direction. First, we’ll need to address using cooking oil in your cast iron skillet.

Cooking Oil for Cast Iron

We’ve received a number of questions about using cooking oil in cast iron and how this relates to cast iron seasoning. While cast iron skillets are renowned for their natural non-stick properties, a brand new cast iron skillet, even a machined-smooth one like a Stargazer skillet, will not be completely non-stick right out of the box (depending what you’re cooking of course; some foods stick more than others). For proper use of your cast iron skillet, you’ll want to to make sure to use sufficient cooking oil for the food you’re making. It’s a good idea to use a little extra oil for your first few cooks with a brand new (or newly seasoned) skillet.

What Is Cast Iron Seasoning?

We get a lot of questions about cast iron seasoning and maintenance, so we thought it would be a good idea to get a discussion going on the blog. In this post, we’ll take a look at the overall concept of seasoning and define and clarify some terminology. Specific questions about the different types of seasoning oils and the seasoning process will be addressed in later posts.

Defining Seasoning

In the simplest terms, cast iron seasoning is a layer of fat or oil that is baked onto the iron to protect it and aid in its non-stick properties. The bare iron is coated with oil both inside and out, and when heated, the oil goes through a chemical change called polymerization, transforming the liquid oil into a hard shell. After polymerization, this layer of seasoning is surprisingly durable.

What Is the Ideal Weight for a Cast Iron Skillet?

There are a lot of theories and preferences about the ideal weight for a cast iron skillet. Our CEO and Product Designer Peter Huntley is going to walk through his thoughts on the subject and explain why the best skillet isn’t necessarily the lightest.

One of the things we all love about vintage cast iron cookware is the lighter weight. It’s easier to maneuver on the stove, easier to lift and easier to pour from. Given that most people’s first complaint about cast iron is that it’s too heavy, it seems like the goal should be to make a skillet as light as possible. But it’s just not that simple.

Putting aside the composition of the material for now–we can discuss that in another post–the weight of a cast iron skillet comes down to two factors: the thickness of the material and the design of the handle. It’s really just those two things.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Cookware

As a producer of cast iron cookware, we get a lot of questions about why cast iron is different than other cookware options out there, so we wanted to put together a guide for anyone looking to learn more about the pros and cons of different types of cookware.

The Five Common Cookware Metals

There are five different metals that are used to make pretty much all the cookware on the market. They are:

  1. Aluminum
  2. Copper
  3. Stainless steel
  4. Cast iron
  5. Carbon steel

cookware materials

We’ll go through them one by one, show some examples, and talk about the pros and cons of each.