Porcelain Cast-Iron Cookware: Not An Oxymoron

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When you think of tough, heat-resistant materials, you tend to think of metals like steel, iron. But what about porcelain? Despite its fragile reputation (and persistence for popping up into pretty peculiar figurines), porcelain is surprisingly tough. When paired with, say, cast-iron cookware for camping, then you have cookware that you can use for decades, provided you take care of it correctly. Also, try not to expose porcelain to extreme temperatures to avoid cracking. Let it cool off before washing.

Enameled Utensils

Porcelain cast-iron cookware is the offspring of metal alloy utensils and a porcelain glaze (also called a vitreous glaze). The resulting glaze give the sturdiness of bare cast-iron cookware, but without the complicated seasoning and cleaning process required to keep the pans from rusting away. There are even cooking grills made of porcelain cast-iron.

Modern porcelain cast-iron cookware can be used on any range and can even be cleaned in dishwashers instead of always by hand. Unlike bare cast-iron, porcelain cast-iron cookware can come in many colors other than black. You do need to be sure you don’t scrub porcelain cast-iron cookware with scratchy or harsh scrubbers, else they will chip or peel. Once they chip or peel, you really should throw them out.

What About Iron Poisoning?

There's been a lot of fuss made about aluminum cookware being partially responsible for Alzheimer's Disease. However, this has never been proven. But, it is this reason that a lot of people are looking at replacing all of their aluminum pots and pans with porcelain cast-iron cookware. And then people get scared hearing about the risks of iron poisoning with porcelain cast-iron cookware.

Not being able to eat or being able to eat properly cooked foods will certainly hurt you a lot faster than some iron leeching into your food. Again, it hasn’t been proven that you can get iron poisoning from porcelain cast-iron cookware that is NOT cracked or peeling. However, you need to eat a LOT of iron before your body starts showing signs of iron poisoning.

Signs of iron poisoning include bloody vomit or stool (never a good sign), abdominal pain, sudden lethargy and disorientation from dehydration. This means that they have ingested a large chunk of iron up to 6 hours previously. If any of these sign occur, don’t ignore it. Call an ambulance immediately. Usually, people who get iron poisoning have taken too many iron ferrous supplements as opposed to using porcelain cast-iron cookware.
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