Cast iron cookware has been around us ever since the dark ages of course. They used it back then because they didn't have anything else. These days, when people have great choices in all kinds of modern kitchenware however, when you see people choosing cookware, cast iron still comes up near the top of the list often. With cookware, cast iron is just something that cannot be improved upon for variety of reasons. To begin with, it's a heavy enough surface that it will heat evenly, even if a tiny gas burner is all that's heating up the the dish.

Certainly it's a little slow, and it takes a little more energy than thinner and more modern cookware to heat; but once it's ready, there's quite nothing like cast iron for certain kinds of foods that we've all really come to love - fried hamburgers, omelettes cooked with flavor, and seared and browned steak. With cast iron ware, you find it everywhere. You'll find it at every kitchenware department, and you also find it at a few camping stores. Taking care of cast iron though is a different matter - it's the product of a different age, and it needs a certain amount of user care. And that's something that might be in short supply to someone in today's world of intelligently designed minimal-care equipment.

A particular problem with the kind of cooking you would prefer to do with cast iron cookware is that it tends to build up grease on the surface. The great thing with iron though is that you can subject it to almost any kind of punishment - all manner of cleaning. Use fine-grained sandpaper attached to a power tool to sand the surface to perfection. If you don't want anything quite so crude, try soaking your cookware in water mixed with a bit of vinegar overnight. You'd be surprised how well it loosens up grease buildup.

Here is a cool trick to try with cookware. Cast iron takes any kind of beating. You could leave it in your oven, and turn on the self-cleaning cycle. Your oven will certainly clean itself, and it will clean the iron pan inside too.

Each time you put your cast iron pan through anything that rough though, you will strip it of its smooth oiled surface that gives it its nonstick qualities. Every time you give your pan a thorough cleaning like that, you'll need to build the nonstick surface up from scratch, in a process that's called seasoning. To season your iron pan, coat it with bacon grease all over, inside and out, and heat it up in your oven for a short time. Once you wipe it off, you should have a nicely seasoned article of kitchenware that will do great with any kind of deliciously fried foods.