Are you looking for cookware that will last you a lifetime? Cast iron cookware has a reputation for being especially durable and sturdy. But, unfortunately, it also tends to be rather heavy.
However, a range of cast iron cookware has been created that is significantly lighter. This makes the cookware easier to work with, while still boasting all the impressive properties of cast iron.
So, let’s discover the basics about lightweight cast iron cookware and what makes it so special…
- How Lightweight Cast Iron is Made
- Lightweight Cast Iron – The Pros
- Lightweight Cast Iron – The Cons
- Caring for Lightweight Cast Iron
- Basics about Lightweight Cast Iron Cookware – Seasoning
- Lightweight Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
- Searching for the best cookware?
- Basics about Lightweight Cast Iron Cookware – Final Thoughts
How Lightweight Cast Iron is Made
Traditional cast iron cookware is created by pouring molten metal into a sand mold. This mold is broken apart when the cookware cools, which creates it in a single piece, including the handle.
However, lightweight cast iron cookware is created in a metal mold, which allows it to be made thinner and lighter. After it is removed from the mold, the cookware is milled to make it even thinner. The handle is created separately and then securely riveted onto the cookware.
Lightweight Cast Iron – The Pros
There are many reasons to choose lightweight cast iron cookware. Let’s take a closer look at the most important factors…
Although this point may seem obvious, it is worth investigating further. This type of cookware can be up to 60% lighter than traditional cast iron cookware of the same size. This makes the cookware easier to handle and ideal for older people and those who suffer from wrist pain.
Heats Up Quickly
Lightweight cast iron cookware heats up and cools down very quickly. This eliminates the need for preheating the cookware. While traditional cast iron takes around ten minutes to fully preheat, lightweight cast iron reduces this to two minutes or less.
Lightweight cast iron cookware is ideal for cooking methods that demand quick movements and good management on the stovetop. This makes this type of cookware perfect for stir-frying and sautéing.
The handles of traditional can get rather hot, especially when you are cooking at high temperatures. However, the handles of lightweight cast iron cookware are typically made of wood or stainless steel that is securely riveted. These materials remain cool to the touch to reduce the risk of burns.
Lightweight Cast Iron – The Cons
However, nothing in life is perfect, and there are also certain drawbacks of using lightweight cast iron cookware. Therefore, it is important to take these factors into account before making a purchase.
Traditional cast iron is known for its impressive durability and can be passed down from generation to generation. However, the razor thin walls of lightweight cast iron diminish its durability to a certain extent. Still, you are likely to find that it serves you well for many years.
The thinner walls of lightweight cast iron cookware can lead to uneven heating. You may find that some areas of pots and pans are cooler than other areas. This can cause food like pancakes to become slightly burnt around the edges.
Poorer Heat Retention
While lightweight cast iron cookware heats up quickly, it also loses its heat quickly. This means that you will need to use slightly more energy to cook certain dishes. However, the fact that the cookware cools down quickly helps to make it easier to clean.
Caring for Lightweight Cast Iron
You can clean lightweight cast iron cookware in the same way as traditional cast iron. It is best to avoid placing the cookware in the dishwasher and using harsh cleaning detergents. This is likely to spoil the seasoning and cause the cooking surface to become too dry.
A mild soap is sure to be sufficient for regular cleaning. You can scrub away any remaining food residue with a metal spatula and then rinse with hot water. Make sure that you dry this cookware with a paper towel or on a hot stove instead of air drying. Coat the interior with a thin layer of vegetable oil and store the cookware in a dry location.
It is important to remember to avoid storing leftover food in lightweight cast iron cookware. It can be used to serve food, but any leftovers should be transferred to an airtight container. This will help to prevent your lightweight cast iron cookware from rusting.
Basics about Lightweight Cast Iron Cookware – Seasoning
It is important to remember to season lightweight cookware regularly to prevent food from sticking to the surface. Some lightweight cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned so that you can use it straight away. However, you will still need to season the surface every few weeks to help maintain the nonstick properties.
First of all, scrub your lightweight cast iron cookware with mild detergent, hot water, and steel wool. Make sure that you scrub the bottom, sides, and handle as well as the cooking surface. Rinse the cookware, dry it with a towel, and place it inside the oven or on top of the stove to prevent rusting.
Not too much…
When the cookware is completely dry, use a towel to spread a small amount of oil around the surface. Make sure that the oil lightly coats the entire surface. However, it is important to avoid using too much oil, as this can make the cookware sticky.
Place the cookware upside down inside the oven and bake it for around an hour at 400°F. Once the cookware is fully cool, it will be ready to use.
Lightweight Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
This features a pre-seasoned cast iron interior to save you time and trouble. The exterior is coated with enamel, and it comes in a wide range of colors. This provides all the benefits of cast iron with the added benefits of nonstick cookware.
Lightweight enameled cast iron cookware is completely safe to cook with. The thick enamel coating prevents the cast iron from interacting with your food. It is also very easy to clean and allows you to cook with minimal oil.
Searching for the best cookware?
If you’re not quite sure what cookware would suit you the best, then we’ve got all the information you need.
So, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Titanium Cookware Sets, our Best Granite Cookware Reviews, the Best Ceramic Cookware Sets, our Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set Review, the Best Cookware for Gas Stoves, our Cuisinart 77 11G Chefs Classic Stainless 11 Piece Cookware Set Review, as well as the Best Induction Cookware Sets you can buy in 2023.
Before we get to our final thoughts, you may be interested in finding out Are Copper Pans Safe to Work With?, or How to Clean Hard Anodized Cookware Interior and Exterior? Or even you may have been wondering, How to Season Stainless Steel Cookware?, Where is Crofton Cookware made?, or the Best Cookware Material?
Basics about Lightweight Cast Iron Cookware – Final Thoughts
Boasting the perfect balance between weight and durability, lightweight cast iron cookware is a real winner. If cared for correctly, this will last you a lifetime. However, it is important to regularly season and maintain lightweight cast iron cookware to prevent it from cracking.
Fortunately, you can skip this step by opting for lightweight enameled cast iron cookware. The enamel adds a splash of color while making the cookware very easy to clean and maintain. Although this type of cookware is still relatively unknown, it is most definitely worth taking the time to track it down.