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Cooking with cast iron at the highest level


Cast iron cookware is considered healthy and the best foundation for a good taste of food. They are appreciated not only by professional chefs, but also by hobby cooks who now understand their special properties.

In this article, you will learn what defines top quality in the production of cast iron pans, where the differences between differently manufactured cast iron pans lie, and what to look for when making a purchase.

Table of Contents

Where are the fundamental differences in cast iron pans? A question of coating

Cast iron contains carbon particles. Fresh cast iron has a unique iron smell and rusts very easily. To protect the pans from rust, there are various coatings. Cast iron pans with enamel coating undergo significant changes in their properties. The coating is created by baking powdered glass on a metal base. As a result, the food no longer comes into contact with the cast iron, but only with the enamel. Enamel pans are suitable for braising and stewing.

Graphic cast iron coating
Graphic cast iron enamel

If one values the original properties of cast iron, it is advisable to opt for pans with a natural coating. Among other options, coatings with cashew resin and oils are available, but heat-resistant silicone is also used partially as a coating. However, there is yet another patented, natural method for coating cast iron pans, originating from the manufacturer OIGEN.

Naked-Finish by OIGEN

In this process, the cooled cast iron pans are reheated to between 800 – 900 °C. This forms a uniform, fine oxide film. In this process, the carbon particles on the surface of the cast iron are burnt off. The fine oxide film protects the cast iron from rust, without an artificial layer that could hinder heat transfer and radiant heat.

Graphic cast iron carbon

By burning off the carbon particles, the surface of OIGEN products becomes slightly more porous, allowing oil to be more absorbed. This achieves a better non-stick effect and, by omitting additives, an uncoated cast iron pan with excellent properties and an environmentally friendly premium OIGEN product. In this process, the pan obtains its typical gray color, which darkens again after multiple uses.

Graphic cast iron oxide layer

The Ultimate Cooking Experience with Cast Iron

Why does food cooked in OIGEN pans with Naked-Finish taste better? The surface of OIGEN pans with Naked-Finish draws excess moisture from the food's surface while cooking and immediately evaporates it with high surface temperature and radiant heat. This helps to retain the flavor in the food, keeping it tender and juicy inside while making the surface crispy and aromatic.

Graphic cast iron steam

Graphic cast iron water particles

The surface of the pure metal attracts tiny water droplets on its surface, which settle into the gaps left by the burnt carbon. Therefore, the cast iron pan must be heated so that the water can evaporate. After cooling down, the surface is ready to absorb oil. This oil (for example, linseed oil) must be heated in the next step to complete the seasoning process. The addition of vegetables further enhances the seasoning process.

Graphic cast iron vaporized water
Graphic cast iron oil layer

Can lower-quality cast iron pans be heated empty?

Heating cast iron pans with artificial coatings can cause damage to these coatings. The coating essentially breaks down, resulting in an unpleasant smell. Thanks to the special Naked Finish on OIGEN cast iron pans, there is no artificial coating, and this effect cannot occur.

The Nonstick Effect. And when it works

Every food contains water. Water-soluble proteins react with the metal surface when heated, harden, and stick to the pan. An oil layer between the metal and the food prevents sticking. Therefore, during the initial seasoning of the cast iron pans, this oil layer is created. OIGEN cast iron pans are particularly easy to season because the surface is perfectly prepared through the manufacturing process.

Graphic cast iron damaged coating
Graphic cast iron water-soluble proteins

What distinguishes high-quality cast iron pans? A scientific insight

Cast iron is not only suitable for cooking at very high temperatures. It is also perfect for delicate, slow cooking and for utilizing the residual heat effect. Therefore, with OIGEN products, you can enjoy the full potential of cooking:

Point 1: The outstanding heat retention of thick cast iron: Naked Pan products have high heat retention. Due to the slow heat absorption, the pan bottom heats up evenly without hot or cold spots.

Point 2: Flavor development through even heat: The pan's temperature hardly changes with the addition of food, allowing you to cook at the exact heat you desire.

Point 3: Cooking with residual heat: After the cast iron pan is removed from the heat source, the pan temperature gradually decreases. This allows the heat to completely penetrate the food, preserving cell structures in the food for better flavor.

High-quality cast iron pan from OIGEN
Preparing the cast iron pan

A Comparison of Heat Transfer of OIGEN Naked Pan Cast Iron Pans with Conventional Frying Pans

- Heat Transfer of Naked Pan -

Graphic of food cooked in the OIGEN pan

1. The food touches the pan

The temperature does not drop, and the food is immediately heated.

Graphic OIGEN pan Heat transfer to the food

2. Heat transfer from the pan to the food

The desired heat is evenly transferred from the pan to the food, allowing for ideal frying and cooking.

Graphic Cooking with residual heat OIGEN pan

3. Cooking with residual heat

After the pan is removed from the heat source, the temperature gradually and evenly decreases, allowing the residual heat to be effectively utilized.

- Heat Transfer of Conventional Frying Pans -

1. The food touches the pan

The food absorbs heat from the surface of the pan, requiring the heat source to be increased.

Graphic Cooking food in the conventional pan

2. Heat transfer from the pan to the food

Hotspots in the pan prevent the desired temperature from being evenly distributed throughout the food.

Graphic of conventional pan Heat transfer to the food

3. Cooking with residual heat

When the pan is removed from the heat source, the sudden drop in temperature causes the food to cool rapidly. This results in the breaking of cell membranes within the food, leading to loss of flavor.

Graphic Cooking with residual heat with conventional pans
Various cast iron pans from OIGEN

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