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Feb 15, 2010 07:21 PM

Can you taste the metal from cookware and knives?

I have been told many times that I should not cook acidic food, like tomatoes, in a cast iron Dutch oven because the iron will dissolve faster in acidic environment, which is true. However, I have cooked many tomatoes in my Dutch Oven and I have yet to really noticed that metallic taste. Maybe I am not sensitive enough. I certainly know what metal tastes like, but I cannot taste it in my food. Can you people actually taste iron from your cast iron cookware? I assume it is real because many people wrote about it, but I cannot taste the iron. I am curious how many of us actually can taste the iron and how many cannot.

The other claim is something I seriously question. I have seen many advertisements for ceramic knives. While I agree with many of the claims, there is one seems questionable. That claim suggests that a ceramic knife does not impart metallic taste to food unlike a stainless steel or carbon steel knife. Seriously? Have any of you ever cut up your bell peppers with a stainless steel knives and later say "Hmm, I taste steel in my bell peppers tonight" Moreover, don't we usually cook our cut up food in a metal cookware anyway. So the knife cannot possibly transfer more metal taste to my food than a stainless steel saute pan. What do you think? Thanks.

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    1. The knife thing is complete bullshit. I mean cutlery is stainless steel anyway. Do you taste metal every time you put the fork in your mouth? I don't, and even if I did, using ceramic knife earlier in the cooking process changes nothing.

      Can't comment on the bare iron, don't have any.

      1. I always thought that the only problem with carbon steel (but not stainless steel) knives was that they could cause discoloration of certain vegetables. Don't know about any change in taste, though. I've also never noticed any metallic flavor in food cooked in my carbon steel or cast iron cookware.

        3 Replies
        1. re: tanuki soup

          I have a carbon steel opinel which I can taste on certain fruits - most annoyingly apples which I like to slice. It makes them taste zingy.

          1. re: tanuki soup


            But by that account, your carbon steel and cast iron cookware will discolor your vegetable more so than the carbon steel knives anyway. Your knives will only contact the vegetable for 1ms to 1s. Your cookware will contact your vegetables at high heat for between 5 minutes to 4 hours.

            As such, the carbon steel knives only make a difference for foods which do not require cooking, like a paring knife for peeling a fruit.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I think you are correct about foods that don't require cooking, CK. It seems that it is mainly websites dedicated to decorative vegetable and fruit carving that recommend against carbon steel knives.

              But another thing to consider is that carbon steel knives don't have a nice layer of seasoning on them. I wonder what food would taste like after being cooked in an unseasoned cast iron or carbon steel pan?

          2. Hi, CK - I have never tasted the metal. However, my dream last night was my DH is complaining about the metal taste and asking me what I used. I guess it is because of this post, but the good part is that I am not poisoning him:)

            3 Replies
            1. re: hobbybaker


              This may sound really stupid, but what is a DH? Does it stands for Dear Husband? By the way, are you serious that you actually had a real dream of the metal tasting thing?

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Yes, it is and yes, I am. But sorry, if my joke is too silly.

                1. re: hobbybaker


                  It isn't a joke if this is a real event. Did you tell you DH about your dream? You should, if you haven't. It is a very funny dream indeed.

            2. I have gotten a metalic taste when using a #1 blue carbon steel knfe on certain fruits. I smell it if using that knife to cut onions. Can't say I've tasted it because the onions usually get cooked straight away.