Cast-iron cookware is valued for its heat retention properties and can be produced and formed with a relatively low level of technology.
Seasoning is used to protect bare cast iron from rust and to create a non-stick surface.
However, the first mention of a cast-iron kettle in English appeared in 679 or 680, though this wasn't the first use of metal vessels of cooking. Both terms referred to a vessel capable of withstanding the direct heat of a fire.
Cast-iron cauldrons and cooking pots were valued as kitchen items for their durability and their ability to retain heat evenly, thus improving the quality of cooked meals.
If given time to equalize, the entire pan will eventually heat to an evenly high temperature, which includes any iron handles, making it important to use protection to prevent burns.
The 20th century also saw the introduction and popularization of enamel-coated cast-iron cookware.Through cooking shows, celebrity chefs have brought renewed attention to traditional cooking methods, especially the use of cast iron.In the 2010s, small startup companies such as FINEX, Element Cookware, Smithey Ironware Company, Marquette Castings, Stargazer Cast Iron and Borough Furnace began producing cast-iron cookware designs for specialty cooking markets.In both Europe and the United States, before the introduction of the kitchen stove in the middle of the 19th century, meals were cooked in the hearth or fireplace, and cooking pots and pans were either designed for use in the hearth, or to be suspended in a fireplace.Cast-iron pots were made with handles to allow them to be hung over a fire, or with legs so that they could stand in the coals.Cast iron is a very slow conductor of heat and forms hot spots if heated too quickly, or if heated over an undersized burner.