Cast iron cookware.

Messages
187
Location
California
Anyone cooking " Old School " with cast iron ? About a year ago I decided to replace my worn out " non stick " and S/S stuff..... did a bunch of research and decided to go with new cast iron...... I remember my mother and grandmother always talking about how much better cast iron was than the modern stuff.... but they both have been gone for many many years..... I never inherited any of their old stuff. Well I purchased some new Lodge rather than having to did up old Griswold , Wagner or Erie stuff....... it was just easier to buy new....... that and some of the 80 year old Griswold iron is getting quite expensive......... that and I just didn't want to take the chance of someone using them to melt lead to cast bullets or make fishing lures or toys out of. I have to say I now understand what they liked about it....... this stuff cooks awesomely....... no nasty out gassing smell like the modern stuff..... food tastes better.... I don't know but now I would have to say that 98% of my cooking is done on cast iron and I'm not missing the newer stuff at all. I have now managed to get a 10 1/4" skillet , two 12" skillets , a 10" bean pot style Dutch Oven , a 12" Camp Style Dutch Oven , a 10" round griddle, a 20" long griddle and a 14" wok. Anyone else got a collection of old or new iron ?
 
Messages
6,786
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
Le Creuset makes great stuff. We have a nice set. Food comes out fantastic. Browns and cooks evenly and quickly. Cooktop to oven. No worry about whatever flavor of the month non stick getting into your food. Lasts forever. Cleanup is a snap. I also use the new green pans with ceramic coating if we feel we need a non stick type pan.
 
Messages
2,695
Location
Easton, PA
we've got mostly le creuset and a few lodge pieces I use all the time. I got my wife a starter le creuset set for an anniversary some years back, and we've added pieces from ebay and williams sonoma since then. the lodge pieces we got from cabela's and I got a lodge pizza pan from ebay. the lodge you really don't have to worry about, but the enameled LC stuff can't be overheated. a lot of the pieces on ebay have been damaged from overheating; the inside enamel gets discolored. people don't realize you don't need to run a high flame w/ cast iron.
 
Messages
1,434
Location
Ohio
I bought a couple of Lodge cast iron pans, and I like them a lot. I will say I wasn't fond of the "pre seasoning" they put on, I don't think it worked. I ended up scrubbing it off and seasoning it a few times myself, but now it works great. I also picked up a used Lodge griddle/grill off eBay for $10. A little steel wool to take off a couple rust spots, a few seasoning cycles, and it works great. Makes excellent pancakes, eggs, and bacon.
 
Messages
9,568
Location
Ontario, Canada
We use cast iron pans, the flat one for crepes, a stew pot, and a griddle. Some new lodge ones, some old. We also have a gas cook top which is a nice combo with cast iron. I like the fact that they will never wear out or need replacing, kind of rare these days.
 
Messages
4,622
Location
Western Washington
For some reason, cooking with cast iron was big when I was in the Boy Scouts many years ago. One guy in particular would always bring several pots/pans and cook with the stuff. I remember the Dutch oven making some great tasting deserts and such. IIRC, cleanup on these pots had to be done very carefully, you couldn't let them set with water and you had to wipe them with something (grease? ) when you were done.
 

Calvin

Thread starter
Messages
187
Location
California
Not long ago my wife's niece about had a cow......her niece has quite a reputation with making some excellent desserts ...... she knows what's she's doing when it comes to baking pies and cakes ect ....... Well one day I made a pineapple upside down cake in my 12" cast iron skillet.....her mind just couldn't grasp the concept that one could do that...... the cake turned out great and took about 20 seconds to clean the skillet...... you could just see the disbelief on her face that something that tasty came out of that heavy hunk of iron.
 
Messages
6,070
Location
northern Alabama
We have a couple cast iron skillets. The larger one was bought within the last decade when I was doing some work at the plant in South Pittsburg, TN. It was not pre-seasoned as they were just starting the seasoning line when I was there. It seemed like it would work pretty well though. My grandma has some pretty old skillets of unknown mfg that are pretty light. I prefer the heavier skillets from Lodge. Although she does have a nice cast iron Dutch oven. Biscuits are great from a cast iron skillet. Eggs cook well in them as well. The real non-stick surface!
 
Messages
2,695
Location
Easton, PA
 Originally Posted By: Calvin
Not long ago my wife's niece about had a cow......her niece has quite a reputation with making some excellent desserts ...... she knows what's she's doing when it comes to baking pies and cakes ect ....... Well one day I made a pineapple upside down cake in my 12" cast iron skillet.....her mind just couldn't grasp the concept that one could do that...... the cake turned out great and took about 20 seconds to clean the skillet...... you could just see the disbelief on her face that something that tasty came out of that heavy hunk of iron.
that is funny, there are people who think cast iron is hard to clean, everything will stick to it, etc. I know down south folks are fond of corn bread in a black skillet, but it comes out too dry for my tastes. my wife from south Louisiana makes a KILLER corn bread, and part of her technique is using a glass cake pan.
 
Messages
496
Location
IL
I have two cast iron skillets and a dutch oven. Love cooking with all of them. You cannot beat a cast iron dutch oven for making gumbo or corned beef. I just re-seasoned a skillet this weekend. I used the burner from my turkey fryer to heat the pan, outdoors of course. I did three cycles where I would coat the skillet with peanut oil and then heat it up while turning to get a consistent heat to around 800F. Works great.
 

Calvin

Thread starter
Messages
187
Location
California
 Originally Posted By: hate2work
For some reason, cooking with cast iron was big when I was in the Boy Scouts many years ago. One guy in particular would always bring several pots/pans and cook with the stuff. I remember the Dutch oven making some great tasting deserts and such. IIRC, cleanup on these pots had to be done very carefully, you couldn't let them set with water and you had to wipe them with something (grease? ) when you were done.
Cast iron does need to be handled abit differently. There is quite a debate still ongoing with respect on how to clean them.....some say never use soap as it will remove your "seasoning" on the pan...... others say thats not the case..... it wont remove the "seasoning". I have tried it both ways........ for instance if I fried some fish..... especially a naturally fatty or oily fish I will always wash it after with soap and water...... I really want the smell of the fish off the skillet..... who knows I might make brownies with that skillet the next time I use it and I don't want my brownies smelling like fried fish............ but if I just cooked some eggs I may just wipe it clean or maybe just use water only. The dark brown / black color ( patina ) of a well used pan should not come off with modern soap used for washing dishes......... but 80 years ago when people made their own soaps ( alot stronger than todays stuff ) it could remove this seasoning...... thats where the old rule of never wash a cast iron pan with soap came from ..... what modern soaps will do it remove any buildup of oils or fats on the pan and " dry it up " so to speak..... thus increasing the chance of rust forming on the pan. After you have washed your cast iron it is best to get it good and dry..... I useually just put it on the stove and heat the pan up to evaporate any water that I may have missed while drying it with a towel....... this is done to help prevent the iron from rusting......... You really don't want them to rust........ after that then a quick thin coat of oil or spray or lard to also protect it from rusting and it's good to go until it's next use. One rule I will agree with is not to wash them in a dishwasher...... that will often times cause them to rust. Cast iron does need a small amount of bacon fat, butter , oil , lard , Crisco or whatever to do it's best cooking........ but then again how often do you see those TV chefs using a ton of olive oil or whatever type of fat to cook with modern nonstick pans ?... they do it all the time and often times use more than I use on my cast iron. Properly " seasoned " and if used with the correct temps it is very rare that I have anything actually stick to the cast iron...... if anything does stick it's normally quite easy to clean off....... even with brand new Lodge stuff ( Lodge tends to have a slightly rougher surface texture than say a 50 year old Griswold or Wagner ) that are famous for their " slick non stick qualities "...... but after a couple of uses it's all good.
 
Messages
5,570
Location
New Zealand
I've been using a cast iron skillet for over 20 years now....doing fried rice in it right now.It has a wooden handle,I unscrew it and make corn bread in the oven with it.No aluminium cookware in our house,and stainless steel....and no stainless frying pans,only cast iron.My mother used cast iron,told me it was the only pan to use,so it's all I use.
 
Messages
1,389
Location
Nebraska
 Originally Posted By: Calvin
...Cast iron does need to be handled abit differently. There is quite a debate still ongoing with respect on how to clean them.....some say never use soap as it will remove your "seasoning" on the pan...... others say thats not the case..... it wont remove the "seasoning". I have tried it both ways........ for instance if I fried some fish..... especially a naturally fatty or oily fish I will always wash it after with soap and water...... I really want the smell of the fish off the skillet..... who knows I might make brownies with that skillet the next time I use it and I don't want my brownies smelling like fried fish............ but if I just cooked some eggs I may just wipe it clean or maybe just use water only....
I keep my cast iron the same way. It works great. The occasional reseason due to over-exhuberant or acidic cooking, but the all look good and work great. My son has my Grandma's skillet, and I have two from Mom, plus a dutch oven from Mom. A little care and they can last centuries. My modern teflon dies after a couple of years. Still, teflon has a place on the stove for daily cooking.
 
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Messages
1,562
Location
St. Paul, MN
Cast iron rules! I have a 12" and an 8" my mom picked up at an auction, those things are probably 100 years old judging by the casting marks. They conduct heat like no other, I use em' for pretty much any greasy meat cooking (bacon, burgers, etc) or when I saute something in butter (mushrooms, etc) Have to say that in a good kitchen a broken in cast iron is irreplaceable.
 
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