Cast iron has been a staple in many kitchens for years.  This form of cookware offers so much flexibility–from cooking over an open flame to starting something on top of the stove and then finishing it in the oven.  When you are ready to purchase cast iron, there are some guidelines to keep in mind to ensure you buy one of the best cast iron cookware sets available.

Contents All Cast Iron Cookware Sets Should Have

Cast Iron Cookware SetsWhat you hope to cook with the set will help to determine what contents you should look for. Look at the pieces included in each set and evaluate their use in your cooking life.  Cast iron is a cookware investment, and it makes sense to ensure that you’ll be using the pieces in the set that you purchase. This Le Creuset 9-Piece Cookware Set offers a nice variety of pieces that can come in handy on an everyday basis.

The French oven is a cast iron classic.  It can go straight from the fridge or freezer to the stove top, oven or broiler.  This means that you can prepare the food the day before your event and easily get it cooking.  After you eat, you can put the leftovers back in the fridge for storage. Be sure that the knobs on this piece are ovenproof to a high enough temperature for what you’ll be preparing.

Sauce pans are another piece you’ll probably want to include in your cast iron set.  Cast iron retains heat keeping your sauces and sides perfectly warm while you finish preparing the rest of your meal.

Skillets are a great addition as well. In this, you’ll be able to sear, saute, tenderize, fry and deglaze all in a single pan.  Cast iron skillets are ideal for cooking the perfect steak and are also excellent choices for getting a good sear on fish and chicken.  Be sure that the size of skillet in the set meets your needs.

Quality of the Best Cast Iron Cookware

If properly taken care of, cast iron can last for many years.  It’s possible that your children will be able to cook from the same treasured cookware as you.  To help you pass on your cast iron cookware set, it is imperative that you purchase high quality.

Best Cast Iron Cookware

Odors and stains are often problems with cast iron.  A porcelain enamel coating can help to get rid of these issues.  The porcelain is impermeable, helping the cast iron to remain intact and odor free.

Lids are another factor to keep in mind.  No matter what collection of pots and pans you desire, you should ensure that the lids are both heavy and tight-fitting. This will help to ensure that moisture and flavors are sealed in and your food will basically baste itself.  This helps produce more delicious tasting food.

The conduction of heat is also important.  You want cookware that cooks evenly and promotes faster cooking times.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with pockets of heat and could easily burn portions of your food.

Some cast iron cookware will not retain the heat as well, which means the cast iron will cool down more quickly.  This could have a negative impact on your serving ability.

Care Required For Cast Iron Cookware Sets

In order to make your cast iron last, it’s important to know the specifications on taking care of it properly.  Different manufacturers recommend different care, so be sure to read up on what your particular manufacturer recommends.

Seasoning is going to be required in some cast iron that is not finished with porcelain.  This requires using lard or a proper oil and heating to produce a non-stick surface. You’ll have to decide if this is something that you care to do, or if you prefer to find a set that doesn’t need seasoning.  The best cast iron cookware sets come ready to use and won’t need to be seasoned with proper use.

Best Cast Iron Cookware

Lid Can Also Be Used As A Skillet

Cast iron cookware without a porcelain coating should be watched carefully for rust.  It shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher, and can take time to clean properly. If speed of cleanup is an important factor, you’ll want to look for a cast iron set that is dishwasher safe.

If your cast iron is not dishwasher safe, do not put it in the dishwasher!  This can create a rust problem that will be nearly impossible to rectify.  Instead, use a scraper and scrape out all of the food and rinse with hot water while the pan is still warm.  Then towel dry and get out as much of the water as possible to avoid rust.

Using these guidelines, and keeping your cooking needs in mind, you’ll have the knowledge to purchase one of the best cast iron cookware sets.  Then take care of your set properly, and enjoy the even cooking of the best pots and pans, cast iron, for many years to come.

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