My family requests them for most holiday dinners and other special occasions. Wrought iron is composed primarily of elemental iron with small amounts (1–2 percent) of added slag (the by-product of iron ore smelting, generally consisting of a mixture of silicon, sulfur, phosphorous, and aluminum oxides). Not only do the potatoes pick up the flavor of the ham, but they look beautiful! You need a robust handle for these things. However, water is all you need!. Michigan-based Marquette Castings produces cast-iron skillets and cookware using a special casting technique that produces lighter cookware. This is really a positive and a negative. I cook with cast iron every day and it’s damn heavy. Cast-iron cookware comes in two weight classes: standard and lightweight. Cast iron is harder, more brittle, and less malleable than wrought iron. The term “wrought iron” is often misused today; it is commonly used to describe designs similar to historical wrought iron pieces—regardless of the metal used. Casting is a manufacturing process in which a liquid material is usually poured into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape. They’ve also made doubly sure there are no animal fats, paints or peanut oils in their seasoning. It's so impressive when it's served warm right out of the oven, and the honey and apple filling is yummy. But the wine and mushroom sauce makes it seem special. And I’ve come across no complaints that the matte finish stains. They make it easy to handle even with thick oven mitts. Ductile iron, also known as ductile cast iron, is a modern and unique form of cast iron developed by researchers during the 1940s. This easy apple tart recipe is my personal favorite. —Melanie Mero, Ida, MichiganGet RecipeTaste of HomeOld-World Puff PancakeMy mom told me her mother-in-law showed her how to make this dish, which became popular during the Depression, on their "get acquainted" visit in 1927. We serve this with rice, salad and sauteed green beans. Rice and steamed broccoli make nice accompaniments, too. However, should such a situation occur, simply season the pan again. Casting is significantly less labor-intensive than manufacturing wrought iron, and was a prominent form of production throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. If your pan is showing signs of rust, email firstname.lastname@example.org for specific care recommendations. Cool Handle: Skillets made of cast-iron retain heat very well. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. Whether you’re using lightweight cast-iron cookware for the first or the umpteenth time, don’t forget to season. However, if you cook with non-coated cast iron too often there can be a chance of raising your iron to a toxic level. These skillets are also more expensive than traditional cast iron, particularly when you compare well-known brand names, like Le Creuset. While steel has almost entirely displaced cast iron in construction, cast iron remains popular for products with complex shapes that are easier to cast than machine to shape. Have fun with it! Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog. But what about lightweight cast iron cookware? —Susan Baughman, Houston, PennsylvaniaGet RecipeTaste of HomeHomemade ChurrosThese fried cinnamon-sugar goodies from the Country Woman Test Kitchen are best when fresh and hot. —Cheryl Miller, Fort Collins, ColoradoGet RecipeTaste of HomeKate Smith Coffee CakeWhen I lived in an orphanage more than 50 years ago, I helped out in the kitchen, often making this wonderful coffee cake and dutifully following the recipe the cooks used. Especially if you have an enameled dutch oven, they can add a pop of color to the table! However, enameling the cast iron can cause loss of ability to resist sticking of food. One pan had a black matte ceramic nonstick coating inside, which initially proved to be a real boon, releasing food perfectly, but it had lost much of its nonstick ability by the end of testing. There is some debate regarding some of the manufactures and whether they recommend it. And the first thing I like about it is its weight. Your email address will not be published. Practical: Because you can use it over so many surfaces, the pan is an all-around cooking vessel that is great for everyday use. Michigan-based Marquette Castings produces cast-iron skillets and cookware using a special casting technique that produces lighter cookware. These skillets also have the potential to rust and have a low thermal conductivity; it may take a while to properly heat up a pan to cooking temperatures. But I’ve had no issues with this. However as mentioned before, having excellent heat retention quality, the entire cookware gets heated evenly to high temperatures which includes its iron handles so it’s important to use protection while touching handles. And even bits of burned bacon is easily removed with a little hot soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge. —Jeri Dobrowski, Beach, North DakotaGet RecipeTaste of HomeMom's Fried ApplesMom often made these rich, cinnamon-sugar apples when I was growing up. In one study of cast iron on induction cooktops, it was found to heat unevenly due to the induction element being too small. A method to check whether the material of the cookware is going to work for induction is to use an ordinary refrigerator magnet. Here are the main pros and cons of lightweight cast iron cookware compared to its heavier sibling: Now that you know the good and bad that come with lightweight cast iron, here are two of my favorite lightweight cast-iron cookware on Amazon. A good choice would be parchment paper. Some folks have asked about the seasoning oil turning rancid. Photo Credits to fowler&fowler at wikimedia commons and parityytirap, johnny.hunter at flickr creative commons , Photo courtesy of sierravalleygirl via flickr creative commons, Enameled Cast-Iron 5-Quart Dutch Oven at Amazon, Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Dutch Oven with Dual Handles, 5-Quart at Amazon, some lucky chefs can inherit cast iron skillets, my first choice is the set by Lodge at Amazon, scout out nearby thrift stores and garage sales, Cook’s Illustrated on a bare-cast iron skillet, Chow Hound Forum Topic on Enamel or Porcelain versus Traditional cast iron, The Kitchn.com’s article on Enameled vs Cast Iron, The Cast Iron Collector on Enameled Cast Iron, Kitchen Tool School: The Workhorse Enameled Dutch Oven, Epicurious on How To Wash, Season, And Maintain Cast Iron Cookware, Tools and Tips on Cast Iron Cookware from Instructables, Food may stick if the seasoning is poor. Regardless of what type of cast iron you choose, you will be able to cook with pans that have been around for centuries. This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. It retains the same temperatures longer than other materials. —C.E. If you've never tried red beans and rice before, I promise you'll like this recipe.—Jackie Turnage, New Iberia, LouisianaGet RecipeTaste of HomeAu Gratin Peas and PotatoesWhile this delicious potato skillet is a wonderful side dish, we find it satisfying enough to be a main course, too. The result is excellent food cooked precisely in a short duration of time. When it's out of season, though, I do substitute canned or frozen corn in this favorite recipe. It also comes pre-seasoned and will stay nonstick for a long time. —Nancy Robaidek, Krakow, WisconsinGet RecipeTaste of HomeBerry Bliss CobblerA little bit sweet, a little bit tart and topped off with golden, sugar-kissed biscuits, this cobbler is summer perfection.