UK BBQ Mag Spring 2016 - Page 26

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware is incredible, strong, versatile and almost indestructible, which is why I love to cook with it. In fact, the pioneers of America needed something robust enough to cook with in any scenario possible, which is why cast iron was heavily used.

My cast iron selection is used regularly in the wood fired oven, on open fires, on the bbq, in the oven or on the hob. They are equally suited to all environments and with all metal parts it means they can be transferred from the hob to the oven etc without worry of damage like other pans might – things like plastic and wooden handles, even Teflon coatings don’t stand up well to high heat. I simply love the versatility that this material offers.

One of the benefits to all that weight and thickness of the cast iron is that it can hold a lot of heat, which translates to great sear marks for steak, burgers etc. Although a lot of manufacturers offer cast iron grates to get that perfect criss-cross steak look, I personally prefer a solid plate to increase the surface area being charred and all those lovely flavours associated with the Maillard reaction. Having a piece of cookware that can store so much heat is also great for serving food directly on or in. Placing a beautifully cooked dish into the centre of the table in a cast iron skillet looks great (as long as you place a heat-proof matt under it first!).