Cooking with Cast Iron

Cast iron pans have been a staple in kitchens (especially our Carey household) for generations.
These versatile pans are not only durable, but they also distribute heat evenly, making them a popular choice for cooking meat (particularly beef)! Whilst you will find them with a higher price value than your standard pan, the benefits of these bad boys are worth every cent!
If you're looking to elevate your beef-cooking game, look no further than a trusty cast iron pan. Here’ a few reasons why >

1. Even Heat Distribution 
This one for us is the ultimate benefit with cooking with a cast iron. With the ability to both retain and distribute heat evenly, this allows for the entire surface of the pan to get hot, meaning your beef is cooked more evenly and right throughout (yes - you can say goodbye to cooked on the outside but not on the inside!) It holds the heat well and keeps your food pipin’ hot!
We particularly like to use a cast iron when cooking thicker cuts of our beef, such as steak or pieces.‚Äč

2. Sturdy, long-lasting and hella durable! There’s a good reason why these pans have been around for generations. You only need to pick up a cast iron to understand and appreciate how incredibly durable they are. With its weight alone – these guys feel indestructible!
If well cared for, these pans can certainly last you a lifetime.

3. Versatile – works well with many heat sources 
Cast iron pan are extremely versatile and can be used on many heat sources. Stovetop (gas, electric or induction) – oven – grill - you name it.
We find it particularly handy taking on our camping trips as you can even use it on an open flame at your campfire.

4. Can be used for cooking AND for serving 
This one man pan can do it all. Transfer direct from your heat source, up for serving. Typically cast iron cookware is aesthetically pleasing and today are even often used in restaurants as serving dishes.

5. Potential health benefits 
You may have heard that cooking with a cast iron can actually add small amounts naturally of iron to your diet. This fact is stated to be true, the amount of which however has not yet been proven…
Now for the fun part…. Cooking our beef on a cast iron! Here’s some general tips for achieving perfection with your beef:

  • Pre-heat your pan  Before cooking your beef, preheat your cast iron pan on the stovetop. Cast iron pans take a bit longer to heat up than other types of pans, but once they're hot, they retain heat very well. Preheating your pan ensures that your beef will cook evenly.
  • Use high heat - Cast iron pans can handle high heat, so don't be afraid to turn up the heat when cooking your beef. High heat will help you achieve a nice sear on the outside of your beef while keeping the inside tender and juicy. We aim for about 5 minutes – a hot pan will deliver the best sear (you want to hear that sizzle when it hits the pan).
  • Test temperature whilst cooking - We’re a big fan of using meat thermometers to test the temperature of your beef whilst cooking. This allows you to understand the temperature at every thickness of the beef, without having to cut into it.
  • Like all good meat, let the beef rest - A crucial step to achieving well cooked beef. Once cooked, make sure to let it rest (we suggest a few minutes) before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavourful piece of meat. Once carved, serve up with your favourite side dishes or seasonal veges!

So, where can you buy one?

The good news – we sell them! If you’re in New Plymouth, you can pop down to our Butchery on Katere Road to have a look at the Engel-Elzen Cast Iron pan in the flesh.
Designed and cast in New Zealand, the EngelElzen Cast Iron Pan is a solid cast iron pan that has been designed by an engineer Carl Engel and chef Michael Van de Elzen – making it the only pan you’ll need in your kitchen for the many years to come.   

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