Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cast Iron and other cookware and how to care for it

I have collected cast iron cookware since I have been married and use it for nearly all my cooking. I just got a new set of stainless steel cookware so I can throw away all the nonstick stuff I have left, which aren't very many I hate using the stuff but have a few things I still have been using them for.

Here is a link to caring for cast iron that you should go to if you have any questions about cast iron care:

Cast iron cookware will last you a lifetime if properly cared for, stainless steel cookware will also last you a lifetime if properly cared for. Another thing I collect is glass ovenware, which is much more fragile but is also a healthy alternative.

Non stick and aluminum cookware is thought to have poisonous aspects, such as the nonstick surfaces flaking off and the aluminum leaching into your food, both which have been considered contributing to health problems, including alzheimers.

Here are a few photos of my cast iron cookware collection. Many of them are antique but some of them that were gifts or picked up at garage sale are more recent cheaper replicas, but still work well.

Here I have 4 cast iron saucepans, 2 lids, a large pot with a bail and 6 cast iron fry pans hanging from the rack. On the rack is an antique corn muffin pan and a new press, and also a collection of old rolling pins.(14 cast iron pieces)
Here I have my favorite cast iron pans that I use daily, the two larger skillets, as well as a crepe pan and an abelskeiver pan. A set of very cheap cast iron utensils on a cast iron rack. 5 cast iron trivets as well as a tin soldier pan, a bear muffin pan and a reversible bear/gingerbread house pan that I picked up this summer at a flea market (the molds are not old either).Out of the picture is also a very small fry pan (17 pieces)
And these are my griddles. I have a  6 burner stove with cast iron grates on the top and the long griddle fits nicely in the center over a long that. (2 pieces) I also have 3 or 4 pieces in the cabinets that I didn't have room to hang on the island. So about 35 pieces right now all together in my cast iron cookware collection. Used to also have a cast iron wood burning cookstove but had to part with that...and yes I miss it.

I'm always on the look out for a new piece to add to my collection, but I really don't NEED any more. I have done a fairly good job about limiting the things I DO collect any more, down to only books, good cookware and some dishes, and of course outside plants and trees. Used to have tons of collections but now I have just a few of my favorite pieces and the collections are gone..thank God they were very difficult to care for.

Here is a photo of my hanging pot rack. I just bought the stainless steel cookware and haven't even tried it out yet, still also have 6 pieces left of my old cookkware hanging up there, but will be tossing most of that as soon as I can bring myself to doing it. All the rest of my cookware collections and glass bakeware are in pull out cabinets (finally) as being partially disabled it is so difficult for me to reach them in regular lower cabinets. The island came with pull out cabinets and I put some wire pull out bins in some other cabinets too.

I'm new to the stainless steel so I'm not really too sure on how to care for them, but I do know that they aren't considered dishwasher safe and you cannot use bleach on them. I am allergic to metals, so I'm hoping that switching from the nonstick to the stainless in my non cast iron cookware, that maybe that will be an additional boon to healthy living for me. Also I won't be eating flaking nonstick surfaces either. It will be a learning experience but I will be looking forward to it. Would appreciate any tips on caring for the stainless from any that have good tips for me..thanks.


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  3. I like your post very much. And the photos are just adorable – I wish I had so many pots and pans in my kitchen, too… and they are in the ideal state! You’re a great cooker, I believe!

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  5. Don't waste your money on these pans. they work for a few weeks, but after that you'll be using more and more oil to keep food from sticking. Eventually even the oil won't help. One of the worst kitchen utensils I ever bought. 

  6. Hi There,
    My name is Beth Massari. You have a very nice collection ! I was hoping you might help me with something. I found these really unique vintage cast iron things in a scrape yard and no one knows what they are! They look like a decorative open design basket with a handle on it?? I have pics but I can't attach to this post??? Do you have an email address or somewhere I could send you pics? Would really appreciate your help!

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