Cooking with Cast-iron

As the weather cools, our thoughts turn to slow-cooking and heart-warming meals – comfort food which is nurturing and good for you. The tradition of cooking in cast-iron pans dates back centuries and yet it as relevant today as then. Here we take a look at the key benefits of cast-iron cookware from Chasseur of France.

Pearl Barley Risotto with Mushrooms in Chasseur Round French Oven – Matte Black

The reason Chasseur ‘French Ovens’ and specialty pans remain popular today is that they are excellent conductors of heat, distributing heat evenly throughout the cookware and while resistant to high temperatures they only requires medium heat to perform at its best – which makes them an ideal choice for slow cooking (and saving energy!). They also work just as efficiently on a camp fire as they do on an induction cook-top, because the iron used has inherent magnetic properties. Cast-iron also absorbs and retains heat to keep food hot unlike any other pan.

Chasseur cast-iron cookware is created from 80% recycled material

The foundry where Chasseur is manufactured was established in the Champagne region of France in 1924, a region made famous by our favourite sparkling beverage [see The Art of Champagne by the(anonymous)chef ] and which is also internationally renown for its fine cuisine. Many time-honoured traditional techniques have been used for decades in the manufacturing of Chasseur cast-iron cookware and these remain in use today but modern technology and slight improvements, for example increasing the handle shape, have also been adopted in recent years. Additionally 80% of the iron used has been recycled!

Images of the enamelling process at the Chasseur factory in France

Then there are the colours – Bordeaux beautifully captures the rich colour of the rich red wine after which it is named. Dusk Grey is a modern minimalist colour which would be at home in the most stylish kitchens. Liquorice Blue has a matte finish with a gradient effect that adds a beautiful depth of colour and Cherry Blossom is a sophisticated shade of pink that even if you are not a pink fan we think you may just fall for this one. There are also the classic colours that represent their homeland’s flag – French Blue, Brilliant White and Federation Red.

Alicia Roque, Brand Manager of Chasseur in Australia is delighted that Duck Egg Blue, which was introduced a couple of years ago, has fast become a best-seller. The newest addition to the family is Peppermint, deliciously minty and arriving in stores now.

Duck-Egg Blue is a popular colour, as Peppermint is destined to be

The choice of colours provides something for every kitchen and makes Chasseur cookware a decorative and desirable gift item – perfect for any gift registry.

A feature that is unique to Chasseur is the inclusion of concentric rings on the underside of the lid, which assists with even distribution of the steam produced while cooking across the entire dish. The steam gathers on these rings then drips down over the top of the food instead of only falling around the edges.

Unique raised rings underneath the Chasseur lids evenly distribute steam for a flavourful dish

Another novel feature is the stainless steel knob which can handle high heat and the built-in groove conveniently holds a wooden spoon while your dish is simmering on the stove top.

Silicone pot holders are made to fit the handles of the French Ovens perfectly and easily clip on to provide a safe way to move a hot pot while still looking smart when taken to the table. And with all those beautiful colours, Chasseur makes an impressive and practical way of serving a meal at a table surrounded by friends and family.

Cast-iron cookware is not only for the cooler months though, the grill pans are great in summer as they effectively create an indoor barbecue on your stove.

While enamelled cast-iron doesn’t require ‘seasoning’, proper care should be taken to maintain it and prolong its life. Match the size of the heat source to the width of the receptacle, avoiding the concentration of heat over a small area. Raise the temperature gradually to ensure excellent diffusion of heat and avoid thermal shocks (enamel is actually a form of glass) and never apply maximum power or use the booster function on induction stove tops. Lightly grease the pan with oil (e.g. with a paper towel) and only cook on low to medium heat settings. It’s best to use non-metal utensils in the pans, not only does this also protect the surface, metal on metal never sounds or ‘feels right’. After washing, dry completely inside and out to avoid potential rust spots, but if they do occur they can easily be removed by applying cooking oil to the spot.

Whatever your style of cooking, you’ll appreciate the qualities of your Chasseur cookware more and more with continued use and we are confident it will become a firm favourite in your kitchen.

these: images: JimmyWongEats

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