Types of Cast Iron Cookware


Cast iron cookware comes in many types, shapes, and sizes.  Here I show you some of the most common, and a few uncommon options in cast iron cookware.

Skillet.  Also known as a frying pan, a skillet has a handle, a wide cooking surface, and low sides.  It’s ideal for sautéing.  Searing, pan frying, broiling and some baking.



Grill Pan.  This is a skillet with raised ridges inside the pan that add the look of grill marks to cooked food.  The benefit to a grill pan is that whatever you put in it isn’t going to cook in its own fat or moisture.  The drawback is that this pan will need to be re-seasoned more often than a flat bottom pan, since sauces and fats pool in the grooves, requiring additional cleaning that often takes off the seasoning.



Dutch Oven.  A large, deep pot with a tight fitting lid, a Dutch oven is sometimes called a cocotte or casserole dish.  It can be round, oval, or heart-shaped, and some are made with legs for outdoor use.  Dutch oven sizes are typically measured in quarts.  Dutch ovens come in original cast iron and enameled cast iron.  You can cook acidic foods and boil water in enameled cast iron, which are not recommended in seasoned cast iron.



Stovetop Accessories.  Many stoves offer the option of a cast iron grill or griddle, custom build to fit over an oval shaped burner in the center of the stove top.  These, too need to be seasoned and treated the same as any other piece of cast iron cookware.



Griddle.  This is a rectangular flat surface, with grilling ridges on one side.  It is designed to rest over two or more burners and is perfect for making multiple pancakes or fried eggs.  The grill side is ideal for steaks, burgers and whole vegetables.



Outdoor Pots.  All well seasoned cast iron can be used outdoors, but some pots are designed specifically for grills, hearths, and campfires.  They come in sized up to 40 gallons and typically have legs or a handle for hanging.  Enameled cast iron should be avoided.



Specialty Pans.  There are a few novelty cast iron pans on the market.  The classics are the aebleskiver pan(for creating the round, Danish popover-style doughnut) and the corn stick mold, but you can also find pans divided into wedges for corn bread, or in the shape of a cactus, and there’s one Midwestern artist making pans in the shape of all 50 states.

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