What is a forged Pan?
Unlike cast iron pans, forged pans are formed into pans in one piece. This usually makes them thinner than cast iron pans. In addition, they are not as brittle as cast iron pans, but they warp more easily on the stove.
Cold and Hot-forged Iron Pans
Cold forged iron pans are deep-drawn. This means that in the cold state the iron blanks are pressed into the correct shape (called deep-drawing process).
In hot forged iron pans, the blanks are first heated in a fire and then formed into the correct shape with a forging hammer. Since hot forged iron pans require much more manual work, these pans are usually much more expensive.
Wrought iron pans have some advantages, but also disadvantages.
They are very durable with good treatment. Once the patina (see below) breaks, the pan can simply be re-burned. This is not possible with PTFE / Teflon-coated pans.
Compared to cast iron pans, they have the advantage that they are usually a little lighter and therefore can also be used for panning of fried food.
However, they deform relatively easily, especially on induction stoves. Further information can be found below.
Our tip for a very good wrought-iron pan is the De Buyer Mineral B Element. We have been using the pan for several years and can recommend it to you.
Best use of Wrought Iron Pans
A frying pan must be able to heat very high, and they must pass the heat as much as possible to the fried food. Hardly any other pan performs like the old, natural iron pan. That’s why professionals have always favored them. In terms of taste and health, dishes prepared in the uncoated iron pan are unsurpassed. Iron pans are very durable.
The roasting of steaks succeeds very well in this type of pan. If the pan is well seasoned, you can also prepare fish, eggs, and pancakes perfectly.
Not suitable are blacksmith pans for acidic foods, which are cooked in the pan for a long time. The acid dissolves the patina and it slowly crumbles. Uncoated stainless steel pans are well suited for these dishes.
Over time a patina builds up, which also stores roasting aromas. Therefore, different pans should be used for foods with a strong taste. Meat, fried potatoes, and eggs can be wonderfully prepared in the same pan. Fish, on the other hand, should have its own pan.
It is important that good iron pans in cold condition do not lie flat on the stovetop, but can be raised in the middle of the pans by up to 5mm. This is wanted and necessary because the material expands when heated and then rests flat when hot.
Wrought iron pans are suitable for all types of stoves. It is always important that the stove plate is larger in diameter than the bottom of the pan (or the same size, but not smaller). Especially with induction stoves, the bottom of the pan deforms more easily if the heat source is too small. This is because the temperature differences in the pan are large and the warm iron expands.
Please note that many pan manufacturers do not specify the diameter of the pan bottom, but the diameter at the top of the pan.
Seasoning of an Iron Pan
Forged iron pans work best when seasoned. When baking oil is heated in the pan, which then decomposes at high temperatures. This “patina”, like PTFE, forms a layer on the pan. It keeps slightly sticky foods from sticking to the pan and makes cleaning easier. For detailed instructions on seasoning, see: Seasoning Wrought iron pans
Cleaning & Care of your Iron Pan
Iron pans do not need much cleaning. It is important to never put them in a dishwasher. The aggressive salts attack the patina and destroy the non-stick effect. Cleaning them in the dishwasher will also lead to rust.
It’s better this way: after roasting, it’s enough to wipe the pan thoroughly with kitchen paper. If this is not enough, the pan can be cleaned with a little bit of warm water and a sponge.
If something is burnt into the pan, let it soak with some water. You might use the heat of the
In very stubborn cases you can also rub out the pan with coarse salt.
The use of dish washing detergent hinders the build-up of a good patina.