Cast Iron Pans: The safe Way To Cook

I love cooking in my good old cast iron pots and pans.
Some of them are old, really old we are talking grandma’s mother type old.

They last forever if you treat them right, they are safe to cook in, provides an even heat distribution, the production does not jeopardise the environment, they give off healthy iron and most important they don’t kill canaries!

Non stick pans are not my cup of tea.
The fumes they give off  if you happen to overheat them are toxic, kills small birds…  Dupont makers of Teflon advises customers to remove pet birds while cooking. They argue that the fumes killing birds does not affect people…hmm not convinced.
For me this is a big red blinking light with deafening alarm bells.
For many years miners used canaries to warn them of deadly gases, as far as I’m concerned I’ve been warned.
There is a green brand of non stick called Green Pan which is a greener choice if you can’t resist non stick, otherwise go super green and cook in cast Iron.

Yes, cleaning a non stick pan is easier, but it’s also frightfully easy to scratch the surface and hey presto toxins are escaping.

This is how you clean a cast iron pan: It’s recommended that you only use hot water and a brush, but sometimes I cheat and use a drop of mild detergent. Dry the pan,  pour some oil in and return it to the stove on low heat for a minute or so. Wipe away excess oil.   My pancake pan was from a car boot sale and in dire need of some TLC. This is what you do if your pan needs a lift:

Cast Iron Pan Makeover:

1. Wash with hot water and a brush, only.

2. Pour course salt into the pan and place it on the stove on full blast. Burn the salt, shake the pan now and then ,the salt will draw out the old burnt in fat.

3. Let it cool down and discard of the salt.

4. Pour a lot of oil (I use sunflower oil) into the pan and put it on very low temperature for about  20 min.Let the oil absorb into the pan, fill up with more oil if needed, don’t let it dry out.

5. Remove the oil when done and dry the pan with kitchen towel.

Doing this once or twice a year will keep your pan spick and span.

You remove rust spots with steel wool or if needed a steel brush, and then do the make over clean as above.

Most of my pans are from Skeppshult  you can get them  here and some of them are handed down from my family.


0 thoughts on “Cast Iron Pans: The safe Way To Cook

  1. Non stick pans are one of the things that I KNOW are not good for me, but they work so darn well 🙁 I have tried one of the Green Pans but it wasn’t very good… I definitely think it’s time to get some cast iron pans and chuck the teflon.

  2. Hi Lisa – Because there’s so much misinformation out there about the Teflon® brand, I’m not surprised that you are concerned. I’m a representative of DuPont though, and hope you’ll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    Because birds have extremely sensitive respiratory systems, bird owners must take precautions to protect them. Cooking fumes, smoke and odors that have little or no effect on people can seriously sicken and even kill birds, often quite quickly. Cooking fumes from any type of unattended or overheated cookware, not just non-stick, can damage a bird’s lungs with alarming speed. This is why bird owners should take steps to protect their pets, such as keeping their birds out of the kitchen, never leaving cookware unattended, never allowing pots and pans to overheat, and making sure that their kitchen is properly ventilated at all times.

    It should be noted that butter, fats, and cooking oils will begin to smoke at approximately 400°F (204°C), producing fumes that can irritate eyes, nose, and throat and possibly cause respiratory distress. DuPont non-stick coatings will not begin to deteriorate in appearance or performance until the temperature of the cookware reaches about 500°F

    Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at the Teflon® brand. This article highlights what they found — the bottom line is that you can use Teflon® non-stick without worry.

  3. I just wanted to stop back by this post because I wanted to let you know how much it inspired me. My mom has recently visited from the States and brought with her a family cast iron pan for me to have. I was nervous about using it at first, thinking everything would stick and be awful but remembering your post, I cleaned it and seasoned it well, carefully cooked with it a few times and now it’s the first pan I grab when cooking.

    I have two teflon pans I use A LOT and as a busy mum I often forget and let them get too hot–reality of life, I guess. And for the past couple of years in the evening I have frequently been getting flu-like symptoms, sometimes lasting for two weeks. My husband is a hospital doctor and he can find no reason for the flu and no one else in the house catches it from me. I have looked back over the past 6-12 months and every time I have felt like that I have been doing a lot of cooking with my teflon pans. Possibly a coincidence, possibly not and if not it may well be my fault for not using them according to manufacturers instructions, but clearly I am not a cook who can be trusted to be so vigilant so I am about to throw them out and invest in more cast iron pans. I love them!

    So, thanks for highlighting this! xox

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