We all know that commercial kitchens take a beating, especially when it’s busy. Delicate cooking tools beware, things can get hectic! That’s why we at ZESCO love using cast iron cookware in rough environments. Cast iron cookware is one of the most durable types of kitchen equipment that can withstand several generations of use if taken care of properly.
Why Cast Iron
If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen…and that includes your cookware. Cast iron cookware can stand high heat while most stainless steel isn’t supposed to go over 450/500 degrees in an oven. Since you can get a cast iron skillet really, really hot, you can even use it as a grill and cook a steak in it, which can transfer beautifully to the table while it’s still sizzling. In addition, cast iron cookware evenly distributes heat so that your food is equally and consistently cooked.
Cast Iron cookware is so versatile that you can cook practically anything in it. From steaks to sides to sauces, it’s hard to find a dish you can’t make in cast iron. Bake, fry, roast…a cast iron pan can do it all. Beware: acidic foods do not do well in cast iron cookware since they react with the metal, causing a metallic taste in your food.
Not only can you cook almost anything in it, but it safely transitions from the oven to the stovetop and vice versa. This helps cut down on the amount of cookware you need to use while making a dish.
Season Your Cast Iron
If you correctly season your cast iron cookware, you’ll find that it will be your best nonstick tool in the kitchen. Wipe your cast iron cookware down with a thin layer of oil and bake it in the oven for 90 minutes at 350 degrees. Take it out and let it cool off, then do a quick wipe down. Voila, you’re done!
As you continue to cook using your cast iron pans and skillets, the oil you use will continue to strengthen the pan’s seasoning. Unlike other nonstick cookware, your cast iron skillet gets better with age instead of deteriorating over time.
Caring for Your Cast Iron Cookware
The first rule of cast iron cookware is to skip the soap. One of the perks of cast iron cookware is that the seasoning builds up over time. If you use soap, you break down the layers of seasoning and hard work you’ve put into caring for your cookware.
Wash the skillet/pan using hot water and a sponge or brush (stay away from steel wool). If you have stubborn stuck-on food, try scrubbing the pan with coarse kosher salt and water. Dry your pan off with a towel and place it on your range at low heat to ensure any traces of water are dried up. You can even add another layer of seasoning to your pan after it’s dry if you’d like.
Buying Cast Iron
ZESCO carries several types of cast iron pans, skillets and pots for your commercial kitchen, many of which can go from the kitchen to the table seamlessly. American Metalcraft makes a 15.6 oz. cast iron serving skillet that is great for everything from breakfast scrambles to late night fajitas. They also make a 3.4 oz. individual version for smaller portions.
For soups, stews and hearty meals, try a cast iron round pot, which comes with a matching lid to keep each serving piping hot. Or opt for the oval shaped cast iron pot with a matching cover to serve side dishes like macaroni and cheese or cornbread.
You can shop ZESCO’s selection of kitchen-to-table cast iron cookware here, including wooden under-liners and Teflon handle holders. If you have any questions about what type of cast iron cookware is best for your kitchen, contact our customer service representatives and we can help!