One Thing Chefs and Preppers Agree On: Cast Iron Cookware
Dr. John Woods 10.26.17
Cast iron is one of the best cooking materials available. It is not only durable and long-lasting, it generates uniform heat patterns that will quickly and evenly cook whatever is in the skillet or oven. There is a huge variety of skillet and pan sizes and other configurations. Cast iron would make ideal cookware for a prepper camp or Bug Out location.
The brand name Lodge is well-known for its cast iron cookware. Founded in 1896 by Joseph Lodge, it continues to manufacture quality cast iron cooking utensils from its South Pittsburg, Tennessee plant. Lodge cookware is distributed widely at many outlets including Bass Pro Shops stores. It can also be ordered direct from their web site at www.lodgemfg.com. These days, Lodge is the only company producing American-made cast iron cooking products.
Lodge Cast Iron is made in a wide variety of product types and sizes to fit practically any type of indoor or outdoor cooking. They offer skillets, covers, Dutch ovens, griddles, deep ovens, grills, grill pans, and bakeware. They also have a comprehensive line of accessories and other products including cook books.
Prepper John CV (name withheld to protect those not-so-innocent) has a whole collection of cast iron products. He and his Korean wife cook a lot of Korean dishes and cast iron is the cookware of choice. “The even heat across the whole pan enables a quick cook, and the cast iron will retain heat longer for a good simmer,” says CV.
Contrary to many reports and urban legends, cast iron is not hard to care for, clean, or to maintain. It actually seasons better with age the more it is used. After use, just hand-wash it, dry, and rub down with plain cooking oil.
Cast iron can be used for practically all types of cooking. This cookware is good for searing, sauté cooking, baking, broiling, braising, and frying. It makes the best cornbread ever. Mix up your cornbread mix, pre-heat the oven, coat the cast iron skillet with butter, and slide it into the oven to pre-heat, too. Using an oven mitt, take out the pan when the oven reaches full temperature. Pour in the bread mix and cook until golden brown on top. The pre-heating and butter will make the cornbread release easier.
If you want a sturdy set of cookware, buy a select set of cast iron pieces. If you really want to experiment, try a Dutch oven over a bed of red hot coats.