Ever felt that your “modern” kitchen pales in comparison to that of your grandmothers’, which is equipped with a mind-boggling variety of utensils and serveware made of iron (skillets), clay (serving pots), copper (tumblers) and even soapstone?
What is soapstone?
Cast iron’s beautiful stone cousin, soapstone, or steatite, is a soft metamorphic rock, that has been used as cookware around the world for thousands of years. It is also frequently used in chemistry labs because of its durability and ability to withstand high temperatures.
Is soapstone good for cooking?
Soapstone is dense and absorbs heat slowly, but once heated, it stays warm for a long time. So, you cut down on the cooking time that a stainless steel utensil will take. It also lets the food stay warm for an extended period of time.
Besides, it is also rich in magnesium, a vital mineral that is obtained from foods like legumes, pumpkin seeds, tofu, whole grains and dark chocolate.
Magnesium deficiency can result in frequent muscle twitches or cramps, fatigue, high blood pressure and osteoporosis among others, and eventually cause diabetes, acid reflux or kidney stones.
One way to keep healthy and avoid such health problems is to use cookware that is rich in minerals essential for our well-being. For this, soapstone is your answer. Click here to purchase soapstone cookware or storage jars for a healthy kitchen.
Is it safe to cook on steatite?
Admittedly, you need to be cautious while cooking with this “soft” stone. For instance, if you hit it too hard with a spoon or drop it, you risk the chances of cracking it.
You will also have to be careful while pouring hot water or oil in cookware that is cold. But with due diligence, you can certainly cook everything—from rasam to risotto—in soapstone. It really is that versatile!
Start with purchasing seasoned cookware and then “cure” it regularly to use it for a long time.
How do you cure soapstone?
- Make sure the soapstone cookware is at room temperature or warmer. Now add warm water to it and rinse thoroughly.
- Wipe clean with a soft cotton cloth.
- Grease all sides (inner and outer) of the cookware with vegetable oil. Do it generously since the soapstone is porous and will absorb oil.
- Place the cookware in a warm, dry place for 24 hours. This will be enough time for it to absorb all the oil. Some cookware may take longer.
- For pans, grills or lids, keep them in a non-preheated oven. Turn up the temperature to 350°F and turn off after 15 minutes. Open the oven and let the soapstone cookware cool down. Remove it gently when it returns to room temperature.
- For jars and pots, fill them with room temperature water and bring the pot to heat. The stove should be gradually brought to a medium-high flame. Let the water boil for about 30 minutes before turning the heat off. Let the water cool and pour it in your garden. Done!
One of its most remarkable qualities is that if properly cared for, soapstone cookware is incredibly durable and can be passed down through generations!
You may also like: Reader Asks: Cast Iron or Clay? What Foods Are Best Cooked in Each?
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)