Dutch ovens are large cooking vessels with a lid and are typically made with cast iron. As a material, solid cast iron is an indispensable tool that can endure extreme thermal conditions (hot and cold). They help create the best pot of soups, stews, and curries at your home or even over a campfire. You can also use Dutch ovens in breadmaking—which produces the best bread and pastries, thanks to its steam conduction.
Using your cast iron cookware improperly may develop a rancid, metallic taste—that can be transferred to your food if you prepare your pot. Another reason why your food might taste “tinny” is because of the actual food you’ve prepared. Acidic foods like vinegar, tomatoes, and citrus fruits release high levels of acids that can react to your iron. This causes the iron to dissolve quicker—dispersing its flavor to your meal.
Why Does My Food Taste Like Cast Iron?
As abovementioned, acidic ingredients used in cooking can produce a certain reaction to your cast iron cookware. This situation is also applicable to other metals like aluminum and stainless steel. That certain acid-metal reaction is a chemical process where metal molecules loosen up (due to exposure to concentrated acids), causing it to disperse its metallic elements (scent, taste) to the food.
This reaction to the food is not toxic. Iron released by this cookware is beneficial for people with iron deficiency. Diluted iron that is mixed into your food can alleviate the need to consume iron supplements. However, some may find this metallic taste unappealing—and may consider replacing their cookware.
If you are using an unseasoned cast iron pot, there is a high chance of your food taste rancid and metallic. Further studies imply that seasoned pots contain patina. This impermeable material resists the release of natural iron to your cookware. Cooking your acidic sauces on unseasoned cast iron can release 108 milligrams of iron-containing ten times more iron molecules than those cooked with seasoned cast iron cookware.
The taste and scent of reactive cookware also differ. Once you’ve cooked continuously on your unseasoned cookware, acids found on several sauces penetrate the iron pot further, causing it to release higher metallic content. Foods cooked on reactive cookware may impart unwanted iron-like flavors that are not palatable. It can also produce a strong metallic scent (similar to iron capsules) that is enhanced further due to heat.
To prevent your food from tasting like cast iron, you must prevent using unseasoned variants, releasing higher iron content. Cleaning and seasoning your cookware frequently and properly will also improve the impermeable coating of your Dutch oven.
How Do You Get Rid of Metallic Taste in Food?
Fixing the taste of metallic food is impossible since the iron molecules are already mixed with the sauces. However, you can lessen the metallic taste in your mouth by using flavor to balance out the metallic taste. Listed below are some foods that can temporarily reduce the rancid taste from foods cooked in cast iron.
- Fruit juice, smoothies, and sorbet. Studies show that fruits and vegetables release flavors that are tolerable with people with metallic tastebuds. Consuming your acidic-metallic soup with freshly-squeezed fruit juice, vegetable smoothie, or a sherbet will tamper with such unwanted taste.
- Hard candies and mouthwash. Hard candies are created with a mixture of sugar, citrus, and mint. These flavorings are enough to release the metallic taste inside your mouth. Eating hard candy can improve your tastebuds. Gargling a cup full of mouthwash can also remove food residue and metals inside your mouth—improving the quality of your food.
- Eggs and Fish. Metallic taste is increased with several protein types like meat and poultry. Meats served cold or marinated with citrus-based juices can increase higher levels of iron. Consuming protein alternatives like eggs and fish, which minimal iron taste, can improve your eating—while still consuming adequate amounts of protein.
- Peanut butter, beans, dairy. Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and ice cream can instantly remove your food’s unwanted metallic flavor. This is also working on bean-based products like peanut butter, fermented beans, and bean pastes. Dairy and beans are an alternate protein source and contain lipids that can lift unpalatable metallic flavor to your food.
- Extra virgin coconut oil. An enormous amount of iron can mix with other toxins that can prolong the metallic taste inside your mouth. Oil pulling or a process of smothering food oils inside your mouth can accelerate the release of these toxins that can affect your overall taste and scent. Place a tablespoon full of extra virgin coconut oil inside your mouth. Swish the food oil all over your tongue, mouth, and teeth. Once the oil turns thinner and milky, spit it out.
- Cinnamon and peppermint. As for flavor enhancers, cinnamon and peppermint can be used separately or in combination to release the unpalatable metallic taste inside your mouth. Chewing a cinnamon stick, peppermint leaves, or both before and after meals will dispel stomach gases that can release a metallic taste to your mouth.
Is It Unhealthy to You?
Foods can be metallic for certain reasons: improper cookware, poor food preparation, and medical conditions. Cooking foods using metallic foils and unseasoned cookware for long periods may increase the chance of producing a metallic taste inside your mouth. This reaction increases further if you are cooking acidic meals using the same type of cookware.
The metal-acid reaction can loosen iron molecules from your cooking surface, making it instantly dilutable to your food. Although this does not impose any health concerns on you, the metallic, medicine-like scent and flavor can disgust some food enthusiasts. Iron-filled food can be healthy for people with iron deficiency.
Iron can treat the slow production of iron in your body. This element is also essential in helping you improve your overall growth and health. Iron cells help you to prevent constipation, belly pain, and upset stomach. You can consume iron by taking medical supplements or consuming food that is mixed with diluted iron.
If you don’t want to endure its metallic taste, you can use flavor enhancers and other condiments on your countertop. Certain products can tamper, resist, and alter the flavor and scent of consuming iron-induced foods. You can get the medicinal properties of iron while still enjoying your food.