Both cast iron and steel are alloys of iron that include carbon; however, steel contains less carbon. According to Tata Steel Europe, steel is defined as an iron alloy that has a carbon content of less than 1%. Modern cast iron has a carbon content of between 2.4% and 4%, but historically that has varied widely due to technological difficulties with keeping the alloy mixture consistent.Continue Reading
Cast iron is simpler and quicker to make than steel; it is also much more brittle. It is harder for a blacksmith to work into useful shapes because it is easy to break by hammering. The "cast" part of cast iron's name refers to this fact: it can most readily be formed into useful shapes by casting it in a mold rather than by working it after it has been removed from the forge.
Steel, on the other hand, is easier to work by hammering. Steel can also be hardened by heat rather than melting as cast iron does. It has greater tensile and compressive strength as well, making it superior to cast iron for bearing weight, as in making support columns for a building. Steel's carbon content is controlled by the addition of other elements, manganese and silicon. Steel is created by melting pig iron, a crude kind of cast iron, and removing some of the carbon content by adding these elements to the alloy mix.Learn more about Building Materials
Pans and other cookware are made from a variety of different materials, including aluminum, carbon steel, cast iron, copper and stainless steel. The quality of the cookware’s appearance, conductivity and durability depends on the quality of the materials used in the manufacturing process.Full Answer >
In order to determine if an old cast iron stove is worth buying, one must take into account the condition of the stove, its manufacturer and any work that may be required to restore it. Ultimately, the stove's value is based on the buyer's personal preference and individual needs.Full Answer >
Features to look for when selecting cast iron cookware include weight, knobs and handles, cost, and style. Popular high-end cast iron cookware brands include Le Creuset and Staub.Full Answer >
To season a cast iron frying pan, clean the pan with water and soap, and dry it over a stove. Apply lard or cooking oil generously over the pan, leave it for several hours, remove excess grease, and bake in a preheated oven for a few hours. Cool the pan, and take out from the oven.Full Answer >