What is a Cast Iron cookware and why using them?
The first known use of cast iron cookware was during the Han Dynasty in China, around 220 A.D. Casting techniques became widespread in Europe by the 16th century, and since then, this versatile equipment has been a favourite product in households all over the world. Cast Iron cookware is produced by smelting iron-carbon alloys that have a sufficient carbon content. The melted mixture was poured into a mould made of sand. Once it is cooled the cookware can be detached from the sand mould. After several detailed smoothing processes, the product is ready to be seasoned or enamelled.
For a humble item, the cast-iron pan occupies an exalted place in many American homes. The glossy black skillets are easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and versatile tools in our kitchens, but they are more than mere workhorses.
They get their heft from the metal from which they are cast, but also from the freight of memories: of the people we inherited them from, the meals we made in them and the lessons we learned from them.
Like us, cast-iron pans might be resilient, but they flourish with care. They get better with time and seasoning. And they don’t just hold our favourite foods: fried chicken for picnics, pancakes on lazy weekends, and stews on cold days. They hold our history.
By seasoning cast iron you are applying a layer of carbonized oil on top of your cookware. a hard protective coating that's formed by heating incredibly thin layers of oil on your cast iron. this process makes your product rustproof and Non-Stick. in another approach one can powder coated the cookware with a special solvent and then bake the coated object inside an oven that is capable of reaching 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cast Iron Cookware last forever and unlike thinner pans, like aluminum, the heat level doesn't fluctuate in cast iron. This makes the cast iron an ideal choice for foods that need high heat. Meats that need a hard sear but shouldn't be scorched, like steak, or roasts that should be browned before braising, perform beautifully in a cast iron. And since you use less oil, avoid harmful chemicals and have a little extra iron in your diet it makes this cookware pioneer in its field.
Iron is a crucial mineral that plays a role in DNA replication and constitutes an essential component of heme within hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein responsible for distributing oxygen throughout the body. Individuals with iron deficiency tend to have a lower ability to utilize oxygen effectively. Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, exercise intolerance and pallor.
Consideration of the type of cookware during food preparation is an essential factor that would allow for a more precise measurement of dietary iron levels. Several studies have demonstrated that cooking in iron-containing cookware results in the release of iron into foods. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 90% of foods cooked in iron utensils had significantly higher iron contents compared to when they were tested in non-iron utensils. A systematic review from the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics confirmed that using cast-iron cookware during food preparation could serve as a promising intervention for reducing iron deficiency. In a study retrieved from the Journal of Food Science, acidic foods or foods containing organic acids exhibited significantly higher iron levels, from 1.7 mg to 26.8 mg of iron per 100 g, because of cooking in iron-containing cookware. Lastly, a pilot study suggested that using iron-containing utensils to prepare iron-rich foods could alleviate the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia in vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.
Cast-iron cooking could be considered an innovative and durable approach to the prevention of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia. Though the consumption of iron-rich foods such as leafy greens, meats and beans remains crucial, cooking with cast-iron cookware has been shown to enhance hemoglobin levels.