"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Click Here to Login

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-20-2014, 08:27 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Orestiada
Posts: 16
Exclamation Are cast iron skillets really safe?!

I was searching for a cast iron skillet to buy as i have never had one in my life, and after some research , all i read about them was super positive things .Health benefits from the iron of the skillet , no bad substances that non stick skillets have and how easy to cook on them .

But today i bumped into that article that got me thinking : Think Cast Iron Pans are Safe? Why You May Want to Reconsider I dont know if they exaggerate or not , but i am now really skeptical and kind of afraid to buy one . I just started cooking seriously at home and i wanted something that the actual chefs use. Whats your opinion about cast iron cookware?


P.S i have no connection with the website
P.S 2: check also this : The Health Hazards of Cast Iron Pans | The Healthy Home Economist

voultsi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,888
Hi, and welcome to Discuss Cooking

Neither of those two articles has citations that say cooking in cast iron pans is dangerous. I looked at the references at the end of the first article and they relate to the facts about how the body uses iron, how much iron is leached into food from cooking in it, etc., but nothing about it being dangerous.

I've been using cast iron cookware for decades and have no worries at all about it.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 09:16 AM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,023
I agree with GotGarlic. I too have used cast iron for decades, it's perfectly safe.
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 09:26 AM   #4
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 867
One of my cast iron frying pans has been in continuous use for over 57 years. There was nothing in that article that made me think I should toss it. I'm sure if the search is long enough and deep enough, some toxicity could be found in almost anything. I am aware that there are different standards used in the manufacture of all cooking vessels including cast iron frying pans. Who knows what pans the testers used to come up with their findings.
Oldvine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 09:38 AM   #5
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,206
I consider the links you posted to be unreliable. Once seasoned, there is a barrier between the food and the iron. There is no risk of over consumption of iron. The first site appears to be promoting an "organic over inorganic" agenda and using CI pans as a target.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 09:38 AM   #6
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,656
Ya know, this whole organic verses inorganic thing makes me a bit crazy. It seems that society calls anything used without ferilizers, and made with teh least processing - organic. But what does the word really mean. We are, after all, organic life forms, as are most living things on this planet. Organic simply means carbon based. Or DNA, RNA, cell structures, and most activities in the body require, or are based upon carbon. Ever wonder why burnt items leave a carbon mess afterward? most of the other materials combine with oxygen in the process and either turn to ash, or go away as smoke particulates, leaving much of the carbon behind.

Iron, as stated in the OP's linked article, is indeed FE, or elemental iron. Whether it's in plants, in a steel or cast iron pan, or as a steering linkage on your car, it's still elemental iron. It may be combined with other elements to form a compound, or an alloy. But it's still elemental iron. Nothing will change that.

It may be that in plants, the iron is joined with other molecules that help the body assimilate and use that iron, a catalyst of some sort. But I do know that a well seasoned cast iron pan, where the oil has polymerized on the cooking surface, does not release much iron at all into the food. To support this idea, I offer the following. If I scrub the seasoning from my cast iron, get it wet, and let it sit for a few minutes, the iron begins to join with oxygen molecules to create iron-oxide compounds, or rust. On the other hand, I have at time abused my pans by washing the, then letting them sit wet on a counter top, and sometimes (gasp) have even left them sitting on the stove, with no heat, and with some acidic food in them, and had no iron flavor in the food, or in the empty pan, no rust, and with the empty pan, they've even sat in water for a few days with no corrosion evident.

Properly seasoned, the seasoning is an effective barrier to other elements comming into contact with the metal.

I firmly believe, until proven otherwise, beyound a shadow of a doubt, that cast iron is one of the safest cooking vessels around, along with carbon steel (wok, mineral pans). And not being an organic chemist, this is my humble opinion. It is based on anecdotal evidence only, and a bit of common sense.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 10:25 AM   #7
Master Chef
 
Aunt Bea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: near Mount Pilot
Posts: 7,574
I use mine everyday, they are older than I am!

The only thing I don't cook in them is acidic food e.g. foods containing tomatoes. The acid can hurt the seasoning on the pan and in some cases it can cause the food to discolor.

I do not store any foods in my cast iron pans. If you need to store the food in the pan then I would choose stainless steel.
Aunt Bea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 6,345
Before long, I expect the "experts" will proclaim the only safe way to cook food will be on a stick over a fire.

...or maybe not, as the sticks will undoubtedly be deemed too sharp and the fires too hot. And then there's the problem of the pesky secondhand smoke.
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 11:02 AM   #9
Head Chef
 
sparrowgrass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Highest point in Missouri
Posts: 1,820
They are safe as long as you don't drop them on your toe.
__________________
I just haven't been the same
since that house fell on my sister.
sparrowgrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 24,671
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
They are safe as long as you don't drop them on your toe.
Yup, or the danger that came to my mind:

__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 11:58 AM   #11
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
Welcome to DC. I can appreciate your questions about using CI pans, however, I have CI skillets my grandma used...I've had them for 40+ years. She had them for 60+ years before I got them. And other CI pans that I've had for 30+ years. One would think that by now I'd be experiencing side effects from using them. Not so. CI pans have been around a long time. I have no concerns about health issues (other than dropping one on my toe or burning my hand because I forget to use an oven mit). Of course, none of my CI pans were made in China...those I might have concerns about...
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 11:59 AM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 13,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Before long, I expect the "experts" will proclaim the only safe way to cook food will be on a stick over a fire.

...or maybe not, as the sticks will undoubtedly be deemed too sharp and the fires too hot. And then there's the problem of the pesky secondhand smoke.
That would be a green stick and it would have to be a weanie roast or s'mores...not that s'mores are bad for you.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
https://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 01:21 PM   #13
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,656
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
They are safe as long as you don't drop them on your toe.
I once heard that one of my ancestors clobbered her husband with a cast iron skillet, and he was never the same afterward. That make cast iron a very dangerous cooking vessel.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 02:02 PM   #14
Head Chef
 
GLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
What an utter bunch of baloney. I love this line:

" Our bodies cannot easily break down this form of iron because it is a metal." Oh, yeah. As opposed to that other iron, the one that's not a metal? And...

"... like all minerals, has two forms – organic and inorganic. Both forms of iron have the same chemical composition (Fe)..."

Well, I suppose a single element is a "chemical composition." But someone should n't have spent chemistry class writing boys names on book covers. Iron, Fe, atomic number 26, is an element, a form indivisible without the application of forces not found in kitchens. But readily oxidized and so not naturally found in a pure state.

We also don't seem to have the slightest notion of what "organic" means. (Except knowing that it means the author wants to sound all natural and healthy.) Chemically, organic means a compound is formed combining carbon and other elements. The carbon makes it "organic." Or do we mean organic as in "organic matter," meaning something that was or is alive. Been watching too much transformers if you think iron was or is alive or is or was the product of a living organism. Or organic farming methods, which has nothing at all to do with iron or metals or pots and pans or even organic chemistry.

Oh, and it's strongly implied that cast iron is a hazard because inappropriately ingesting iron supplements is bad. Might as well claim that cast iron is bad because you could hit yourself over the head with a cast iron pan. (Although there are apparently some for whom that might be a workable therapy and certainly couldn't harm their thought processes.)

The subtitle of the article is "You May Want to Reconsider." Yep. You sure might want to do that. But what you may want to reconsider is reading ignorance pretending to knowledge and committed to writing solely to fill provide some web content. This just happens to be one of more sad examples of the genre.
__________________
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 03:20 PM   #15
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 24,671
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Bravo GLC. I had my suspicions, so I didn't bother to read the article.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 03:27 PM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 24,888
Well-said, GLC.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 04:00 PM   #17
Head Chef
 
Zagut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Friendship,MD.
Posts: 1,298
"Are cast iron skillets really safe?! "

Yes, They are safe.

The exceptions have already been noted here.

Do not drop it on your toe.
Do not piss off your SO to the point of making them want to conk you on the head.
Remember that metal on the stove gets hot and will burn you if you forget this fact and grab a hot pan without protection.


My grandparents used cast iron for almost everything. They lived into there late eighties. This is before the miracles of modern day medicine.

I have and use there cast iron cookware some of which is over 100 years old. I'm getting up there in years myself. I only hope I live as long as they did.

Perhaps using cast is a benefit rather then a detriment?

Steve, Not only will the sticks be deemed too sharp. The species of wood will have to be determined for which food it is being used to cook. Multiple tests will need to be preformed for each combination of wood type and food stuffs.
Zagut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 05:30 PM   #18
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 9,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Before long, I expect the "experts" will proclaim the only safe way to cook food will be on a stick over a fire.

...or maybe not, as the sticks will undoubtedly be deemed too sharp and the fires too hot. And then there's the problem of the pesky secondhand smoke.

or only eat raw foods
__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2014, 05:44 PM   #19
Head Chef
 
Zagut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Friendship,MD.
Posts: 1,298
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
or only eat raw foods






I think that's why cooking was invented.


And if we didn't cook then this site wouldn't exist.


Well I guess it could be called "Discuss Raw Chow".
Zagut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2014, 12:39 AM   #20
Executive Chef
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ring of fire. So. Calif.
Posts: 3,287
Cast iron pans have been cooked in for hundreds of years. If there was any increase in kidney or hardening of the arteries or gall stones, enough people have used them that some proof of it would have shown itself, just by the shear millions using them. It would have become well obvious by now.
Caslon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cast iron

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.