“Wait , wait, wait , what the hell NJFS?! You’re supposed to be a source for food industry news in New Jersey. Why are you writing stuff about pots and pans? Next thing you know, you’ll be writing about where to find the best green beer on St. Patrick’s Day!”

Okay, it is a departure from industry news. But don’t worry about values. I will not be writing about “Where to find the best green beer in this St. Patrick’s Day” pieces anytime soon, if ever. Sites that tell you where to find the best nightlife and cheekiest meals are a dime a dozen in this state. My focus is on more important stuff. The bits and pieces of what keep the food scene running in the garden State .

Keeping with that, and having just made crispy, delicious diced pork using my trusty cast iron pan, I set out to profess a love for it, for a creates a product no other pan can hope to create.

The author’s wonderfully crispy diced pork. It then went into a 6in tortilla with some lettuce and chipotle sauce. It was sublime.

“Okay, so how does that fit into your NJFS narrative? How does your cast iron pan keep the ‘food scene running in the Garden State’?’”.

Wow, you’re an argumentative little thing, huh? It is my website, you know. You know, you’re being short-sighted. It’s not about my pan, it’s about all the cast iron pans out there, both in New Jersey and out. They’re the things that create that yummy crust on your steak. The things that make wonderful crispy, fluffy pancakes . It’s the pan that, when you go to make your next meal, infuses a little bit of “that last thing you cooked” into whatever you’re cooking now.

“I’m still not getting it, but I’m intrigued. Go on.”

Thanks! I’ll continue.

Cast iron gets the love it gets from cooks and chefs (there is a difference) because of two main reasons: it gets really hot and retains that heat for a long time, and it’s sturdy.

First, the heat aspect. Cast iron retains heat wonderfully. Once those densely packed iron molecules start dancing, it becomes an all-nighter. This means that when you get that thing nice and hot, it doesn’t drop the temperature of the cooking surface too much when a piece of meat hits it. What follows is a beautiful crust on your ribeye that would be harder to get from a steel, copper, or aluminum pan. Although, all three of those metals are better conductors of heat, but that’s for another day.

Just take it off the stove and serve!

Second, it’s sturdy, meaning you can take a cast iron pan anywhere, put it directly into an oven, over a camp fire, or under a broiler. The whole thing is one piece of iron, regardless of its shape, and so no part of it will melt or deform. I mean, the melting point of cast iron is between 2000 and 2200° f. You’re not likely to ever see those kinds of temperatures in a kitchen.

Oh, you cook brussel’s sprouts perfectly, cast iron pan!

“Well, well, well, that was a nice little dissertation on cast iron’s usefulness. I’ll agree that it is an extremely versatile cooking implement . But I still can’t see how it is relevant to the ‘New Jersey food industry’. Your tagline for your website says ‘food industry news’”.

Oh, for God’s sake! Okay, then we can agree to disagree. The fact of the matter is, cast iron pans keep the food in this state crispy and delicious. Oh, and we all have just a little bit more iron in our blood because of them. So, yeah, this is about the food industry. It’s about one of the most beloved pieces of equipment of any kitchen. Cast iron, we love you!