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Buyers Guide For Cast Iron Camp Cookware
Camping season is approaching where many will be enjoying the great outdoors. Some may be planning to do so by taking a hike, while others will take the time to travel in their RVs. As a camper you need a good cast iron camp cookware set in order to have every” base ” covered.
In the world of camp cookware, cast-iron reigns supreme. There is a reason why it’s been around for over 150 years. Not only are there millions of people that use cast iron in their kitchen, but there are multiple different types of cast-iron skillets for sale in stores and online. So, how do you pick out the best cast-iron skillet? We have the answers to your questions here in this guide..
What To Consider When Choosing
Choosing your first cast iron camping cookware is not a decision to be rushed. We don’t want your RV trip to be ruined, so please give this some thought. Here are some tips to help you choose the best cast iron camping cookware.
Cast iron is long lasting and a decent heat conductor. The original, uncoated version has proven effective at maintaining a steady temperature for years. It is also an excellent option for camping in the great outdoors. It’s the one that’s least likely to get banged up while you’re out exploring.
Cast iron griddles, frying pans, and Dutch ovens that are not coated should be well-seasoned before use. If you don’t do this, your food will stick to the tray.
The enameled variety, in contrast, features a long-lasting coating that is resistant to acidic foods. Having an enamel coating makes it non-stick and simple to clean. Cast iron is also shielded from damage by these layers.
Size and Weight
It’s important to consider your intended use when deciding on the size of cast iron cookware. More compact cooking utensils are preferable for backpackers. If you opt for a recreational vehicle, you’ll have more room in your kitchen and can therefore purchase more substantial cookware.
Additionally, you should think about how big your burners are. Most of the heat is lost when the burner is too big for the pot or pan. Contrarily, when a cookware item is larger than the burner, the heat will not be distributed uniformly.
Lightweight alternatives are the best choice in every case. Those who don’t want to work up a sweat while barbecuing outdoors will appreciate not having to lug around a heavy cast-iron skillet.
Because of the limited storage space in an RV, you’ll need cast-iron cookware that folds up easily. Depending on the model, you may be able to store your cookware more compactly by “nesting” the pieces together.
The amount of mess in your RV kitchen can be reduced by using stackable cookware. Keeping everything in its place and off the counter is easier than ever thanks to the nesting capabilities of modern storage solutions. When going on a camping trip, you can easily pack them away in your backpack.
Investing in a cookware set that comes with a warranty is a viable option. Damages sustained within the warranty period will, in theory, be covered by this. However, brands that don’t stand behind their products should be avoided at all costs. It’s not as unusual as you might think in today’s competitive marketplace.
Types of Cast Iron Camp Cookware
Camping with certain types of cast iron cookware, while convenient, is not required. Here are the essential pieces of cast-iron cookware for making any meal in the wilderness or over a crackling fire.
Almost anything can be cooked in a cast iron skillet, making it an essential piece of camping cookware. The versatility of the cast-iron skillet makes it ideal for outdoor cooking, whether you’re preparing meat or vegetables.
And although you can find them in sizes from as small as 3 1/2 inches across to as large as over 15 inches across, you should probably stick to the more common 8-inch, 10-inch, or 12-inch sizes. These standard sizes are favored because they provide a large usable surface area for cooking while remaining compact enough to be transported and stored with ease.
When shopping for a cast iron skillet, keep in mind that the size is indicated from the outer edge of the pan, not the inner. For this reason, when referring to a skillet’s size, remember that a measurement from rim to rim is what you should use.
After investing in a reliable and versatile cast-iron skillet, the next cast-iron cookware piece you should get is a dutch oven. You can use this cast-iron cookware for any dish that would otherwise stick or burn in a regular cast-iron skillet. Bread and desserts can be baked, and flavorful soups and chilis can be simmered, all in the great outdoors.
The final necessary piece of cast iron cookware is a cast iron griddle, which can be used for frying and grilling in much the same way as a regular round cast iron skillet, only on a much larger scale. A conventional cast iron skillet may only be 8 or 10 inches wide, but a cast iron griddle can be as much as two feet wide, meaning you can cook significantly more food at once.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
We used in-depth examination and direct contact with the products to determine the best options. These pans have all been used for roasting, searing, grilling, and simmering. We tested their abilities in every area they were intended for. We put in a lot of time perfecting new recipes, so you can be sure that the ones we recommend have been tried and true. Although traditional cast iron brands can cost several hundred bucks, we were pleasantly surprised by some of the more reasonably priced options we tested.
What exactly is cast iron?
A cast-iron pan is ideal for creating a golden crust on meat and other food. The pan is made from a combination of iron and carbon steel, which provides superior strength, longevity, and heat retention. Its heft makes it suitable for both high and low heat, so you can use it for everything from fast stir-fries to low-simmer braises.
Additionally, proteins benefit from its ability to create a delicious crust. You can also ditch your non-stick pans in favor of cast-iron cookware because, after a quick seasoning, they acquire a glossy texture that keeps food from sticking. No harmful chemicals are used, less oil is used, and the food is fortified with iron.
What are the benefits of using cast iron for cooking?
Cast iron can be heated to very high temperatures, making it perfect for grilling or searing steaks. Furthermore, as the seasoning accumulates and is absorbed by the pan, delicious flavors are developed that make the best burgers and steaks. Cast iron’s excellent thermal properties and ability to retain heat make it ideal for use as cook-and-serve utensils and for slow-cooking casseroles.
What is the recommended size for a cast iron skillet?
Both the menu and the number of diners will play a role in this decision. Although there are always exceptions, cast-iron skillets typically come in 8-12 inches. Keep in mind that when a manufacturer advertises the size of a skillet, they are almost always referring to the size of the cooking surface. You should remember that the handle is not included.
You don’t want the sharp end of the handle digging into your back while you lug this around in a backpack. In addition, a pan with more depth will allow you to distribute more of the ingredients in each serving. Most pans have a depth of two or three inches. Look for a smaller but deeper cooking surface if you’re concerned about packing space.
How do I maintain my cast iron cookware?
Seasoning and storing your pan in a dry area are your best defenses against rust. Apply a light coating of high-quality vegetable oil, roast at 240 degrees Celsius for one hour (or cook over a medium flame for the same amount of time), and let cool. When it has cooled, remove any excess oil and store it somewhere cool and dry. Cast iron cookware rusts easily when exposed to moisture, so make sure you keep it in a dry place away from sources of steam and water.
Is cast-iron dishwasher-safe?
It’s not a good idea to put non-coated cast iron in the dishwasher because it will remove the seasoning. Cleaning by hand with hot, soapy water, rinsing, drying, and finally coating in vegetable oil is recommended.
On the other hand, enameled versions of some of the finest cast iron cookware are available; these versions are protected from rusting and don’t develop a distinctive seasoning over time. Generally speaking, you can put it in the dishwasher, but you should verify this with the manufacturer just to be safe.
Our goal was to equip you with the knowledge to confidently choose the best cast iron cookware for your forthcoming road trip. Make room in your RV for at least one of our recommended items, even if you plan to cook only for yourself. If you’re going on a trip, bring along a cast-iron griddle or skillet to cook delicious meals without lugging around a heavy pot. Keep your cast iron in good condition for future adventures by stowing it away properly after each use.