When it comes to choosing cookware that helps you create healthy meals, the best material, in my opinion, is cast-iron. Companies like Lodge and LeCrueset are great choices. When choosing a wok or skillet, avoid teflon-type “non-stick” materials. Classic teflon and non-stick pans are notorious for creating toxic fumes. Fumes can be especially harmful to small pets. Iron, on the other hand, does not create fumes, and even adds small amounts of iron to our diet.
Perks of Cast-Iron
One of the perks of using cast iron is that unlike teflon, you can cook on high heat. You can even put a cast-iron pan in the oven if you want. This creates a lot of versatility and is safer for you and your family. Non-stick pans also wear out. Cast-iron products may cost more but they will last a lifetime. You end up saving money and having better health.
Although I prefer wooden utensils, you can also use metal spatulas with cast iron. The cast iron will not scratch under normal use. Cast iron can corrode over time, with rust patches appearing if it is not cleaned and dried after use. That may seem like a problem, but I have seen cast-iron products that are a century old being refurbished to look like new. Cast iron products even have excellent resale value.
When cooking with cast iron you will need to use oil or butter to prevent sticking. If you were around in the 1990s and early 2000’s, you may instinctively retreat. Today’s dietary recommendations are more understanding of how some fats are good for us. The mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, which is also suitable for cooking at high heat. The mediterranean diet acquired fame because of “blue zones” in Sardinia where some of the longest-living people in the world reside.
Lodge Cast Iron Wok
The Lodge Wok is a mainstay in our home. I use it frequently to cook fried-rice and vegetables. Although woks are an asian invention, I often use it for other types of cuisine. This includes preparing filling for tacos and fajitas. Believe it or not, I also use this wok as serving dish for spaghetti. As an Italian, it seems strange to serve pasta in a wok, but it looks really good and keeps the table clean! Also, rumour has it that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from Asia, so I think Italy would be open to using a wok.
We purchased rubber handle covers for the wok as well. These were sold separately. Heat distributes very easily across the wok and the handles do get hot as well. The rubber covers are durable and easy to clean. They also protect my golden hands.
LeCrueset Cast Iron Skillet
Another vital tool for food preparation in our home is the LeCrueset Cast Iron Skillet. Before we discovered the American brand of Lodge, we were big fans of the French brand LeCrueset. This brand is more expensive, but we were always impressed with the products. They come in a variety of fun colours. We have several of their cast-iron skillets in each of our homes. If you are going to grill some veggies, or fry an egg, this is the way to go. If you use just a little bit of olive oil or butter, and cook at the right heat, there is no sticking at all.
LeCrueset Round French Oven
The first LeCrueset product we ever purchased was the 26 inch Round French Oven. This pot seals in flavour and moisture to help you make risotto like a champ. This was an investment back in the day, but they last a lifetime.
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