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Why we love Cast Iron – is Cast Iron really better?

Cast Iron Dutch Oven - part of the complete outdoor cooking set by TecTakeThere is a reason that Cast iron cookware has been used for hundreds of years and it could be that there’s nothing you can't cook with it on; directly in the flames of a campfire, gas/electric hobs, even the fickle induction hob will happily heat cast iron. Plus you can pop it in the oven if you want to crisp up some dumplings on top of your stew… or just throw some hot coals on the lid to turn it into an oven!

 

No noxious fumes or toxic substances leaching into the food. Many pans are coated with chemicals that are rumoured to be detrimental to our health but Cast Iron is naturally non stick which in our experience is a real problem with many camping cookware.

OK some things will stick, but then the same can be said for Teflon ‘non stick’ coatings… The real difference is that you can take a metal scourer, even sandpaper, to the cooking surface without ruining it. Seriously once you buy cast iron cookware, you’ve got it for life!

 

Food crisps up beautifully. We’re not sure of the science behind it, but it does and that’s enough for us!

 

It replaces wasteful (and dangerous) disposables like aluminium foil. Check out our guide to cooking the PERFECT Jacket potato and never turn back!

 

It looks cool! Perhaps we’re grasping now, but it’s true – a cast iron pot filled with a hearty stew suspended over your crackling fire pit as you gather more wood or gaze at the night sky is the epitome of camping coolness...

 TecTake 7 piece Cast Iron outdoor cook set - check price and availabilty

 

Does it have a down side?

Unlike other pans that have a layer of lightweight metal coated with a chemical non stick layer, cast iron is literally a lump of iron so it’s pretty heavy! Probably not something you want strapped to your back if you’re climbing many mountains (though they somehow managed in times of old) but perfect for camping with the car, or in a camper van, caravan or at home if you don’t have wheels...

 

Netherton Foundry Glamping Pan - check priceTo get around the weight issue opt for ‘spun iron’ which is machined into shape instead of being poured (aka cast). This results in a lighter product, albeit still heavier than most camping pans, but with all the same benefits of traditional cast iron cookware. We have the spun iron Glamping pan from Netherton Foundry with it’s nifty folding handle – which gets used almost everyday and is still performing spectacularly!

 

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Sarah is a UK artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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