Cast iron cookware has been around for many centuries. Unlike other cookware made today, it’s made by casting the metal in the mold which results in one solid piece of material. Other cookware is put together in pieces, as you can plainly see when examining it.
To learn how to use this material tastefully, check on my posting on how to use it and display it in your kitchen’s decor. In addition, check out how to decorate your cabin with rustic decor. If you’re concerned with being too country, no need to be. My posting on how to mix country and western decor will give you useful ideas to give you a better understanding of the 2 styles.
Some say the first was cookware using this durable material was made around 700 B.C. but came into more general use in England around 1100 A.D., although it’s use really gained popularity in the mid-1800′s during the time of the American west. This is because cast iron is an extremely versatile piece of cookware. It can be used on a stove, in the oven, or over an open fire. The latter use was extremely important to pioneers of the American west, who would travel via cover wagon, with no way to cook except over an open fire. In addition, cowboys riding the open range would often cook their meals over an open fire. Cast iron skillets, often carried in their packs, were used for this type of cooking.
During these times, pot and pans were made using strong legs so they could sit over the fire, or with a handle to be hung from a tripot device over the fire. These cooking arrangements were very useful and quite commonplace during those times.
If you’ve seen any western movies, I’m sure you’ve seen cowboys on a cattle drive, bedding down, cooking over an open fire. Or American pioneers traveling by covered wagon cooing their meals over a campfire. Because of this history, cast iron is a great product to include in your home’s decor if your going for that old time western theme.
Cast iron continued in popularity during the Industrial revolution and into the 20th century . Almost, if not all, homes has at least one pot or pan of this type. During this time, there were several manufaturers, including Griswold and Wagner Ware. During the mid 20th century however, other materials became popular, especially “teflon” coated non-stick pans. As a consequence, cast iron went out of style. Many companies making it went out of business. Although you can still buy it, most cooking supply companies sell very little compared to other types of pots and pans, and what they do sell is made in countries OTHER than the U.S. – where it’s associated with American cowboys and pioneers.
Currently, “Lodge” is the only U.S. maker of cast iron kitchen ware. You can purchase this brand stores that specialize in camping, either online or their bricks and mortar counterparts. I would highly recommend it. I think it’s the best cooking material you can purchase. It retains heat well, cooks evenly due to the even disbursement of heat, and is so durable, it will last for decades if cared for properly.
If you want to look into more options for this type of cookware, and more specifically, Lodge brand, go to the western store and click on “cast iron cookware.”