Is Cast Iron Cookware Safe?

Is Cast Iron Cookware Safe?


Our kitchens are filled with cooking utensils like pots and pans. These pots and pans come in various materials, all having their unique advantages in price points, health advantages, and non-stick abilities. Cast iron is a famous material for crafting utensils, especially pans. Cast iron pans and skillets are perfect for searing and are widely used across the world. Even in India, cast iron is a great pan for making dosas and cheelas.

But the age-old question is, is cast iron safe? It is believed that iron is released when cooking in a cast iron pan. This iron is ingested by us, which is a healthy thing. After all, iron is present in each and every one of our cells. But it is also believed that too much iron can be released from cast iron pans, which is more than our RDA (Recommended Daily Amount). This can prove to be a health risk for humans.

Cast iron is not a naturally non-stick cooking surface. Hence, it doesn’t provide you with the same convenience. But it can act as a non-stick surface if seasoned properly. One thing is for sure, cast iron is definitely safer than Teflon coated non-stick cookware. But how safe is cast iron, and is there an alternative you could be using?

Like anything in the world, the health benefits of cast iron are in the grey area. It all depends on who you are and what are your dietary habits. Cast iron is the most natural cookware can get. It is being used for thousands of years in human civilization, and it is as natural as cooking in stone. Cast iron cookware is made from 97-98% pure iron. This is because iron is soft and needs to be combined with carbon to give it rigidity.

Iron has brilliant health effects on the body if you need outsourced iron from pan. However, if your regular diet fulfils your iron requirements, it could have the opposite effect on you. Aside from being a very important metal in the world, it is also essential for the composition of the human body! It is required in a constant supply and can’t be produced by the body itself; hence, it must be taken in through diet. It is responsible for carrying oxygen in the bloodstream. It is also an essential ingredient of our immune system.

Consuming just the right amount of iron is required, and that can be a combination of your diet and the iron from your cast iron pan. Whether cooking in cast iron is a good deal for you or not, whether cooking in cast iron is a good deal depends on who you are and what your daily requirements are. So here is a chart indicating daily recommended amounts of iron for different categories of people.



















There are foods which you can eat to fulfil your daily requirement. These iron-rich foods are available for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Such items include red meats, seafood, breakfast cereals, dark chocolate, spinach, and tofu. There are also dietary supplements that can provide you with your RDA of iron.

There is also the question of what to cook in the cast iron pan to avoid too much iron leaching. If you make acidic foods like tomato sauce in a cast iron pan, it will yield about 5mgs more than required of iron. So be wise about what you use your cast iron pan for!

Regardless of their iron provision, cast iron is a great material to cook food in. They cost less and can practically last your entire life without you ever having to throw them out. All it takes is diligent seasoning and little care for the pan to have a great cooking vessel for a long time.

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