In Indian context, Cast iron cookware has been used since time immemorial.It specially forms an important of Maharastrian kitchen. Whereas Teflon is a relatively new concept.
Though I use different kind of cookware for cooking.My personal favorites are the clay and cast iron cookware.
Keeping it simple, here is a quick comparison between Cast Iron pans and Teflon:
- Cheap: Cast iron pans are easily available anywhere. All you need is anywhere around 100-300 Rs to get a good quality cast iron pans.Whereas Teflon pans are either equally priced or expensive . Tip-Buy the cast iron pan from local markets.
- Easy to handle: Teflon is easier to handle for most.But so are cast iron pans.Though first timers may find it difficult. Tip:When you buy a cast iron pan the first time, wash it with soap then dry it and apply a layer of oil (that is called seasoning) and you can use it any time you require.If you don’t apply oil it may rust, so beware.Keep it seasoned and you won’t need Teflon coat.
- Uniform Heating: Unlike Teflon pans, cast iron pans get heated uniformly.
- High temperatures: Teflon is made of a carcinogenic substance called perflurooctanoic acid which when heated to high temperatures releases harmful chemicals which are bad for health.On the other hand, cast iron cookware can easily withstand high temperatures without release of toxins.
- Fortification of food with iron: Food when cooked in cast iron cookware it gets fortified to some extent with iron.So if you someone who has anaemia or have low iron level go for it.
- Durability: Cast iron cookware lasts for even hundred year unlike Teflon.Mine is over 50 years old passed down from my grandmother to me.
Having said all this, one also need to know that cast iron cookware are heavy, they need to be taken care of or they rust.Lastly, anyone having high iron/haemoglobin levels or hemochromatosis should avoid use of this cookware.