Interesting facts about iron pans

19.05.2013 17:52

Traditional and popular: the iron pan

The iron pan is perfectly suitable for hot cooking: after a few moments have passed, you can roast the delicacies precisely at very high temperatures without risking that the food gets stuck at the bottom of the pan. This is because the iron simply gets too hot and closes its pores immediately. In addition, the iron pan does not have a coating that could wear off over time. If you want to have a pan for life, the iron pan is perfect for you. 
 

Iron pan Mineral B Element by De Buyer

Increasingly more cooking fans celebrate the return of the traditional and popular iron pan, which is a precious cultural asset for hearth and home. Only iron pans make it possible to roast a steak crispy on the outside while the inside stays tender and juicy without ever being too limply, dry or tough. Out of this cultural asset, De Buyer creates a wonderful cultural art piece, the iron pan Mineral B Element. This handmade roasting pan is made of pure iron and is delivered with a natural antioxidant protection made of beeswax. At Gourmet-Web, the roasting pan, which is suitable for any type of cooker, is offered in different versions. The farmer's pan, which combines the characteristics of the wok with the bulbous shape, the high brim and the flat bottom of the roasting pan, is particularly suitable for roasting, tossing and simmering. The traditional iron pan "Poêle lyonnaise" has a lower brim and is an essential basic in the kitchen.
 
 

First use of your iron pan

Prior to the first use of your iron pan, it should be "pre-treated": after you have cleaned your new pan with warm water and dish soap, you can "pre-treat" the iron pan with oil. As a matter of course, everyone has their secret recipe for cleaning and some add salt and a few potato peelings to the hot oil. The bottom of the pan has to be covered in oil, which is then warmed up until it begins to vaporize. After a few minutes, you can tip the oil out and wipe out the iron pan with paper towels. Over time, a natural patina develops that protects the pan from corrosion and causes the delicious roasting taste that fascinates gourmets and expert chefs. 
 

Maintenance of your iron pan 

After extended use, the iron pan gets darker and can turn black at the bottom. However, this does neither diminish the quality nor the durability but is completely normal when using iron pans regularly. Nonetheless, some simple maintenance is required in order to ensure that you can cook with your iron pan for a long time. Even though iron is a very hard and non-sensitive material, there are some recommendations as to how to care for iron pans. After roasting, you can deglaze your iron pan with a glass of water so that the roast clause comes off. Following this, you should wipe out the pan with paper towels. If there is deep-seated roast clause, it is advisable to mix water with lots of salt so that the burnt food comes off of the bottom of the pan. After that, you should retreat your pan with oil as usual. Under no circumstances must an iron pan be cleaned in the dish washer or soaked in dish soap for a long time. Apart from losing the protective coating against corrosion, chances are that rust damage, which is difficult to remove, occurs as well. If you follow these few and simple rules, your iron pan will last for a very long time. 
 

Iron pans in use

Many tasty meals have one thing in common: they can be prepared very easily. The only things you need are some high-quality ingredients and the right cookware. For simple dishes, it is advisable to also use simple cookware. Iron pans are particularly suitable for food that should be roasted at high temperatures. In comparison to stainless steel, iron's heat conductivity is four times higher. In addition, iron is a heavy material that is suitable for producing thick-walled cookware. As a result, it takes some time for iron pans to really warm up. However, once it has reached a certain temperature, the heat stays inside the pan for a long time, which means that meat can be left in the pan for post-heating. There is one simple trick in order to find out if the iron pan is already warm enough for roasting: put the stick of a wooden spoon into the heated oil. If the oil begins to sizzle and creates bubbles all around, the temperature is just perfect. 
 
A further advantage is the universal usability. Iron pans are suitable for electro cookers, induction cookers, and gas cookers and can even be used on open fire. When cooking meat or mushrooms in an iron pan and the room is filled with the scent of tasty food, you become part of a centuries-old cooking tradition. As a matter of course, this tradition is not only confined to Germany or Europe in general; in China, India, Japan and Korea, people have cooked with iron cookware for a long time as well. In this sense, iron pans are not only of interest for traditionalists and purists but are also suitable for crossover experiments between Asian and European cuisine. 
 
Iron pans differ from coated pans to a considerable extent since excellent cooking results can only be achieved after a certain period of time. The reason for this is that iron pans must first develop the protection that coated pans have from the beginning. Only after several roasting processes does the typical roasting taste in the iron pan develop, which is much better than that of coated pans. 
 

No-stick pans and iron pans

In the vast market for kitchen equipment, a great variety of kitchen utensils is offered; this, of course, also applies to roasting pans. Nowadays, pans that are made of PTFE or PFOA and promise non-stick roasting are very popular. However, it is not a secret that this synthetic material is neither healthy nor particularly effective in achieving the desired cooking results. In fact, PFOA is toxic for humans and even manufacturers advise their customers to renew their synthetic pans regularly as the non-stick coating wears off over time. For enthusiastic cooking fans, the purchase of such a piece of cookware is not really advantageous. 
 
As a matter of course, there are also many pans that are made of other materials. However, those who want to do without PTFE and are interested in stainless steel or aluminum should keep in mind that neither stainless steel nor aluminum pans are a good alternative. Stainless steel does not have good heat conductivity properties and aluminum cannot store the heat. In addition to this, such pans have to be replaced every few years, which may be good for the consumer society but for your own wallet it would be more worthwhile to invest in a Mineral B Element iron pan by De Buyer since this really is a pan for life.