Towards the end of last year, Petromax got in touch with me to ask if I would be interested in trying any of their products. I already owned a couple of Lodge cast-iron pans and also some Weber iron accessories for the GBS. I had been extremely impressed with the Lodge cast-iron, but that will be no surprise to those of you who already own some Lodge.
Petromax sent me a couple of cast-iron skillets, a sandwich iron, a coffee percolator, and a few other useful accessories.
So Why Cast Iron?
Some people don’t like cast-iron because of the weight but there are a number of benefits to cooking on cast-iron:
Gives excellent and even heat distribution
Non-stick: once well seasoned they basically become non-stick
Lifespan: they are made from tough material which if treated right will last for decades
Cost: they are cheaper than many other materials and are much more durable and long-lasting if treated right
Versatile: they can be used on the BBQ, on the hob or in the Oven
Heath Benefits: adds iron to your food and are chemical free
Easy to clean: once well seasoned you will find cast-iron incredibly easy to clean
To Season or Not to Season?
Cast-iron will get better with age if treated properly. The Petromax cast-iron comes pre-seasoned but I decided to still put a few layers of my own seasoning on it. This involved covering the surface with a thin layer of vegetable oil and then placing them in a really hot oven for 20 minutes. You then need to remove them, allow to cool before repeating the process a couple more times.
The Petromax cast-iron really came up a treat. Now that I have cooked on them numerous times (and have re-seasoned) they are building up a fantastic non-stick surface.
If you want to find out more about seasoning your cast-iron watch this video from Barbechoo James. It not only covers how to initially season them but also has some great information for on-going maintenance.
I have now done a number of cooks on the BBQ using the Petromax cast-iron. They have included prawns, chicken, potatoes, (smash) burgers and fennel to name a few. The cooks have all gone really well and since receiving the Petromax products it has encouraged me to use cast-iron a lot more.
The other great thing with cast-iron is that they also work with induction hobs, which was something I only learned fairly recently. Definitely, a good investment to make in general.
As you can imagine the cast-iron get really hot so you will end up with some burnt bits on the pan but they always clean up really well. It is recommended that you don’t use any washing-up liquid when cleaning them. This is a great piece of advice as you really don’t need it.
If I get any stubborn burnt bits, I use the Petromax Chain Mail Cleaner which helps to shift any residual food. After drying well I then apply the Petromax Care Conditioner before putting away until the next cook.
I am not an expert with cast-iron by any means. I have been cooking with it for 2 to 3 years, but the Petromax cast-iron is definitely on a par with my Lodge cast-iron. The weight is comparable and the coating is definitely improving over time, meaning I can cook most things on it without any sticking.
If you are in the market for a cast-iron pan (or even a new pan) I would definitely consider looking at Petromax as I don’t think you will be disappointed.