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Shinob1
03-28-2012, 02:17 PM
I've been kicking around the idea of starting to use cast iron for my home cooking. I'm debating on buying a 12 inch skillet and or a cast iron griddle. My only experience with cast iron is using a skillet for camping. Would it be worth the investment to buy some nice cast iron cookware? If so, what do you all recommend?

Deckhand
03-28-2012, 02:22 PM
For inexpensive I have a lodge skillet I got at Walmart works just fine. For expensive, I have a Staub Boulliabaisse and mussel pot.

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 02:26 PM
I have been thinking of buying a Lodge skillet, but didn't know if that was a decent brand or not. I'm also considering buying a cast iron dutch oven. Do you feel that cooking with cast iron imparts any additional flavor? I've recently made the transition from non-stick to stainless steel and I feel that the food cooks and tastes better. May be in part that now I'm making pan sauces and searing then finishing in the oven whereas before I wasn't. I'm just thinking that cast iron might be able to take it up another notch.

Amon-Rukh
03-28-2012, 02:33 PM
I have a pair of Lodge skillets and an enameled dutch oven and love all of them. Simple, straightforward, and it doesn't break the bank. I like them much better than any number of fancy stainless steel or nonstick pans that cost way more.

My mom has an All-Clad cast iron grill pan, but I have no idea how much it might have cost her. I'm also pretty sure I'm the only person who has ever used it; did some lobster on it while I was visiting last month and it worked out really well.

DeepCSweede
03-28-2012, 02:38 PM
We have almost completely shunned our non-stick pans and use cast iron almost exclusively now. I mainly use vintage cast iron (griswold, wagner and piqueware) but also use my wife's lecreuset quite a bit. I love both the plain cast iron and the enamel coated lecreuset but it depends on what you want to cook. I am considering picking up a debuyer 12-14" fry pan for frying up potatoes and when I want something a little lighter but my cast iron can handle it with no sticking issues whatsoever.

You can pick up some fantastic vintage cast iron on ebay if you are willing to wait to get a good price. If you want high price Griswold is considered the best and will be priced accordingly although I personally think my the quality of Wagner and Piqueware is just as good. I personally would stay away from lodge unless you want to sand / grind it smooth. Key is get something that sits flat without any serious rusting issues. My most recent purchase was a 12" Wagner griddle for eggs for about $45 with shipping in December.

If you want LeCreuset - My wife has pretty much the whole collection - I personally really like the enamel coated pots. We have an outlet center within an hour and a couple of times a year they have 35% off mailers so we usually hit that. Otherwise some of the online suppliers sometimes have good deals. My other favorite is the six inch non-enamelled fry pan - omelettes are a breeze with it and no sticking issues.

Deckhand
03-28-2012, 02:40 PM
I have been thinking of buying a Lodge skillet, but didn't know if that was a decent brand or not. I'm also considering buying a cast iron dutch oven. Do you feel that cooking with cast iron imparts any additional flavor? I've recently made the transition from non-stick to stainless steel and I feel that the food cooks and tastes better. May be in part that now I'm making pan sauces and searing then finishing in the oven whereas before I wasn't. I'm just thinking that cast iron might be able to take it up another notch.

I like my lodge skillet. No regrets. In regards to Dutch ovens. I think Staub is the best and great for cooking. This may however start a Staub vs le creuset thread.:biggrin:
Too each their own on cookware. Especially for home use. I like my lodge skillet for steaks, I heat the pan in the oven, put it on my gas range to sear my steak,then back in the oven with butter on top, seasoning of course. Next on my list I want to add a falk copper pan for sauces.

tgraypots
03-28-2012, 02:45 PM
I have 3 (no name) cast iron skillets my parents gave to me back the '70's, my mom's old (no name) cast iron skillet with lid she cooked fried chicken in most every Sunday, a Lodge griddle, a (no name) dutch oven and a Lodge grill pan. Good stuff all, and no matter how expensive, or cheap, it all works. Oh yeah, add a cast iron loaf pan to my list, great for banana bread.

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 03:31 PM
I'd say my budget for a cast iron skillet would be 50 bucks max. I did a quick search on Griswold and I saw some items on eBay for around that price, but I think they were all smaller skillets.

In case it would be helpful, what I cook mostly is saute vegetables and lean meats, (I'm on a diet). So unfortunately no biscuits or gravy, fried taters, or other magical southern food will grace the skillet, well at least not often. ;)

Lately I've been doing a lot of baked fish, but I think I want to try my hand cooking it on the stovetop, I tend to eat a lot of salmon and tilapia. Would cast iron be a good choice for cooking fish?

obtuse
03-28-2012, 03:44 PM
cant go wrong with lodge. Amazon has some good deals.

ajhuff
03-28-2012, 03:58 PM
If you are buying NEW and you want non-enameled, Lodge is the best.

Any chance you live near Chattanooga? A visit to the factory store is a good time.

I use my skillets all the time. I've used my griddle once.

-AJ

DeepCSweede
03-28-2012, 04:01 PM
I'd say my budget for a cast iron skillet would be 50 bucks max. I did a quick search on Griswold and I saw some items on eBay for around that price, but I think they were all smaller skillets.

In case it would be helpful, what I cook mostly is saute vegetables and lean meats, (I'm on a diet). So unfortunately no biscuits or gravy, fried taters, or other magical southern food will grace the skillet, well at least not often. ;)

Lately I've been doing a lot of baked fish, but I think I want to try my hand cooking it on the stovetop, I tend to eat a lot of salmon and tilapia. Would cast iron be a good choice for cooking fish?

I would look at Wagner as a possibility and would be much much cheaper and there are quite a few on ebay right now. Yes, I use mine for cooking fish and veggies all the time.

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 04:04 PM
I'm in Ohio, so unfortunately I'm not near the factory. What are the main differences between enameled vs non-enameled?

ajhuff
03-28-2012, 04:15 PM
I really want to try this stuff. http://www.olvidacookware.com/

The pans themselves are made in China but the plating is done in NC. I think this may be the cat's meow.

-AJ

DeepCSweede
03-28-2012, 04:16 PM
Enameled has a ceramic coating on the outside and in most cases the inside of the pan. Main difference is the asthetics. Secondary is that some people do not want to cook acidic foods in cast iron because the acid can leach / eat away the seasoning of the pan. I have never run into that with our well seasoned pans and have cooked a lot of stews up north with no flavor / damage to the pan, but I will not store these foods in the pan after cooking. The enamel allows you to utilize the heat retention of CI without worrying about that. If I am making a stew or something with a lot of tomatoes, I generally use the enameled just because I can store it in the fridge without transferring it. Downside is I do not like to sear stuff in the enameled pans because they are a PITA to clean up and also you have to use non-metal spatulas/spoons to not damage the enamel where cast iron is actually better to use metal spatulas.

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 04:31 PM
That olvida looks interesting, I may have to look into that a bit further. My only concern with going non-enameled is the extra care needed to clean it. I always thought you never "cleaned" a cast iron, but just scraped out burnt food and called it a day. How do you guys care for your cast iron?

Andrew H
03-28-2012, 04:38 PM
Downside is I do not like to sear stuff in the enameled pans because they are a PITA to clean up and also you have to use non-metal spatulas/spoons to not damage the enamel where cast iron is actually better to use metal spatulas.

Huge +1 to that.
For cleaning cast iron I wash with hot water and then dry.

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 04:40 PM
Downside is I do not like to sear stuff in the enameled pans because they are a PITA to clean up.

What makes them more difficult to clean after searing?

ajhuff
03-28-2012, 04:51 PM
For non-enamaled I hit it with water while still hot, scrape the bottom like you would a fond, toss the water and wipe out with a paper towel and return the pan to the stove top to hot dry.

For enameled I soak in the sink and scrub with a scotchbrite, dry with towel. No problem.

-AJ

DeepCSweede
03-28-2012, 05:05 PM
What makes them more difficult to clean after searing?

The enamel tends to discolor and stick more so that the non-enameled surface.

For cleaning I sometimes use salt if there is a lot of caked on stuff (I get this especially if I cook bacon and some breakfast sausages which I believe is sugar used in the curing) otherwise I usually will just clean it in hot water and then scrub it with either a bamboo brush, sponge or a plastic sponge. Mine are so seasoned that I can use soap, but I almost never do.

DeepCSweede
03-28-2012, 05:09 PM
The enamel tends to discolor and stick more so that the non-enameled surface.

For cleaning I sometimes use salt if there is a lot of caked on stuff (I get this especially if I cook bacon and some breakfast sausages which I believe is sugar used in the curing) otherwise I usually will just clean it in hot water and then scrub it with either a bamboo brush, sponge or a plastic sponge. Mine are so seasoned that I can use soap, but I almost never do.

My dad will only use salt to clean our pans at our cabin up north.

Also, as I said, you have to be careful not to chip / scratch the enamel. The reason you use metal spatulas with reg CI is that it actually will knock down the jagged edges of the seasoning and work to make it smooth / nonstick.

obtuse
03-28-2012, 05:38 PM
staub enamel cast iron has pretty good food release. The olvida stuff seema to defeat the purpose of a cast iron skillet

ajhuff
03-28-2012, 05:40 PM
My understanding is the nickel has great non-stick properties.

- AJ

obtuse
03-28-2012, 05:47 PM
Not according to cooks illustrated who reviewed the olvida skillet. Also at that price, $98 reviewed, I'd rather have an all-clad skillet

ajhuff
03-28-2012, 05:51 PM
Good to know! Still want to try it though. It has an intangible coolness factor for me.

-AJ

obtuse
03-28-2012, 05:58 PM
It is pretty unique. I would like to try the gumbo pot.

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 06:06 PM
Not according to cooks illustrated who reviewed the olvida skillet. Also at that price, $98 reviewed, I'd rather have an all-clad skillet

I checked Amazon and it has mostly good reviews. Do you have a link to the cools illustrated review?

Chifunda
03-28-2012, 06:48 PM
Next on my list I want to add a falk copper pan for sauces.

I use the Falk "Try Me" 1 1/2 qt. sauciere for sauces and absolutely love it! :doublethumbsup: I cook primarily for my wife and myself now, so it's big enough for the two of us. Falk sells it at a somewhat reduced price compared to the rest of their line. Highly recommended.

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-31581160916913_2199_461833

Deckhand
03-28-2012, 06:56 PM
I use the Falk "Try Me" 1 1/2 qt. sauciere for sauces and absolutely love it! :doublethumbsup: I cook primarily for my wife and myself now, so it's big enough for the two of us. Falk sells it at a somewhat reduced price compared to the rest of their line. Highly recommended.

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-31581160916913_2199_461833

Glad to hear you like it. The deal on that one caught my eye as well. Did you buy it with the lid or without?

Chifunda
03-28-2012, 07:16 PM
Glad to hear you like it. The deal on that one caught my eye as well. Did you buy it with the lid or without?

As luck would have it, the lid from our three quart stainless saucepan fits the sauciere perfectly, so I didn't need to order the copper lid.

Deckhand
03-28-2012, 07:19 PM
As luck would have it, the lid from our three quart stainless saucepan fits the sauciere perfectly, so I didn't need to order the copper lid.
Was just back on their site eyeing it. Guess I better just buy it with the lid. It was already on my short list. Glad you like yours.

obtuse
03-28-2012, 07:20 PM
I checked Amazon and it has mostly good reviews. Do you have a link to the cools illustrated review?

http://www.olvidacookware.com/news.html I feel that seasoning is the benifit of cast iron and carbon steel cookware, especially in skillets.

obtuse
03-28-2012, 08:04 PM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CD1C98?ie=UTF8&ref=aw_bottom_links&force-full-site=1 amazon reviews seem poor too

EdipisReks
03-28-2012, 08:19 PM
you couldn't get me to own that nickel plated cast iron stuff.

Andrew H
03-28-2012, 08:20 PM
$130 seems steep when I can get a lodge for $23 on amazon.

Deckhand
03-28-2012, 08:39 PM
$130 seems steep when I can get a lodge for $23 on amazon.
Agree. I like my lodge skillet.

ajhuff
03-28-2012, 09:00 PM
you couldn't get me to own that nickel plated cast iron stuff.

Other than price, why?

-AJ

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 09:01 PM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CD1C98?ie=UTF8&ref=aw_bottom_links&force-full-site=1 amazon reviews seem poor too

Yeah you're right, going to stay away from it. I think I'll either get a Lodge or maybe a vintage skillet off the bay. Does anyone know of any reputable eBay sellers?

DeepCSweede
03-28-2012, 09:39 PM
:no: You had to get me to go on ebay today - Argggh - Had to pull the trigger on a Wagner #12 that I have been wanting. I love what this site does to my wallet! :slaphead:

Shinob1
03-28-2012, 09:43 PM
:no: You had to get me to go on ebay today - Argggh - Had to pull the trigger on a Wagner #12 that I have been wanting. I love what this site does to my wallet! :slaphead:

That's awesome. Should I just search for Wagner?

DeepCSweede
03-29-2012, 10:00 AM
That's awesome. Should I just search for Wagner?

Wagner is also very high quality and will go at about half the price on e-bay. As I said before, try to make sure you get something that sits flat and doesnt' wobble, if the person doesn't state it, then ask. I usually try to get something that is seasoned and doesn't have any pitting unless I plan on putting work into removing the seasoning and reseasoning. I prefer to look for someone with a random sale vs a dealer. It's funny, I was bidding on one pretty cheap and there was another one that was 20 times better that was about $30 higher and the crappier one ended up going for more than the better one that I got. Just a crapshoot on e-bay. I really like Piqueware also.

Good luck.

PinkBunny
03-29-2012, 12:33 PM
Enameled has a ceramic coating on the outside and in most cases the inside of the pan. Main difference is the asthetics. Secondary is that some people do not want to cook acidic foods in cast iron because the acid can leach / eat away the seasoning of the pan. I have never run into that with our well seasoned pans and have cooked a lot of stews up north with no flavor / damage to the pan, but I will not store these foods in the pan after cooking. The enamel allows you to utilize the heat retention of CI without worrying about that. If I am making a stew or something with a lot of tomatoes, I generally use the enameled just because I can store it in the fridge without transferring it. Downside is I do not like to sear stuff in the enameled pans because they are a PITA to clean up and also you have to use non-metal spatulas/spoons to not damage the enamel where cast iron is actually better to use metal spatulas.

I don't know... I'd still always use wooden spoons and silicon/plastic spatula's. There is nothing worse than cutting a gouge in your seasoning. Have to remove it all and start over.

obtuse
03-29-2012, 02:21 PM
I don't know... I'd still always use wooden spoons and silicon/plastic spatula's. There is nothing worse than cutting a gouge in your seasoning. Have to remove it all and start over.


You dont have to remove it all... you just dry it and wipe it down with oil. New seasoning will develope on any damaged spot in time or you can force it by rubbing oil on the pan and heating it. Seasoning is amazingly self reparing.

DeepCSweede
03-29-2012, 02:32 PM
This is probably the best resource I found on cast iron. I really agree with the majority of what she says about usage and maintenance of cast iron and is where I learned about the concept of metal cookware / spatulas to even out and maintain the seasoning.

http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp

SpikeC
03-29-2012, 02:54 PM
I don't know... I'd still always use wooden spoons and silicon/plastic spatula's. There is nothing worse than cutting a gouge in your seasoning. Have to remove it all and start over.

I use a metal spatula on my Griswold all the time, and I can not imagine damaging to seasoning with it! Seasoning does not just sit on the surface of cast iron, it is impregnated into the metal.

Delbert Ealy
03-29-2012, 04:44 PM
I got my lodge around valentines day and I love it, can't remember if itsa a 10 or 12, but I do love it. Got a grill pan of the same size, but I havn't used it much, but I would like to get a 6 incher for doing pancakes and eggs.
Yeah now I can make myself a damascus spatula to use on my pan :viking:
Del

Justin0505
03-29-2012, 04:59 PM
... Yeah now I can make myself a damascus spatula to use on my pan :viking:
Del

HEY! You better make at least 2 of those! -that reminds me: I need to send you some sketches ...

Shinob1
03-29-2012, 08:23 PM
This is probably the best resource I found on cast iron. I really agree with the majority of what she says about usage and maintenance of cast iron and is where I learned about the concept of metal cookware / spatulas to even out and maintain the seasoning.

http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp

Just gave that a read, good stuff. On the Wagners, what do the numbers mean? Is it the size of the skillet? I'm looking for something that's 12 inches.

DeepCSweede
03-29-2012, 08:32 PM
http://www.panman.com/sizecharts.html

Size chart

Shinob1
03-30-2012, 11:55 PM
How do you guys feel about the lodge signature series?

G-rat
03-31-2012, 12:01 AM
http://www.panman.com/sizecharts.html

Size chart

This is something I couldn't find anywhere on the Internet... I am inept...you are awesome.

ajhuff
03-31-2012, 12:29 AM
How do you guys feel about the lodge signature series?

I don't like it. I want all cast. But to each their own. I haven't seen the stuff in person but I would suspect this Signature line is like their enameled line, imported and re-badged with their name.

-AJ

Shinob1
03-31-2012, 12:43 AM
I've been doing a lot of reading about CI and ran across the signature series. Unfortunately it still has the rough bottom. Reviews are mixed on sanding down the bottom, everyone seems to praise the griswold or Wagner. I width there was a new pan I could buy that was as good as the old stuff.

obtuse
03-31-2012, 12:54 AM
The rough bottom doesn't effect cooking performance for me. I have both wagner and lodge.

ajhuff
03-31-2012, 12:54 AM
I would not let that stop you from buying a new Lodge. Hit up some flea markets. People are always unloading cast iron pans. And remember it's just a cheap hunk of iron, not a $300 knife. You have little to lose throwing $20-$30 buks at a cst iron pan even if you don't love it or it has some flaws. Throw it away an get another one.
-AJ

sscookwaresets
03-31-2012, 03:58 AM
hey there,

well, if was not sure about what to buy and what not to buy ..i head over to amazon and reverse engineer what people are already buying and make my decision..

ok , let me explain..

when you ideally go to amazon, you need to type in the product that you want to buy...in your case, cast iron cookware.. :)
look around for reviews from other people...if the product has more than 4 stars then it is an ideal product...since getting a 4 star rating is quite hard these days.

i hope you find this helpful..you can also let me know if you have any questions.. .

thx

Shinob1
03-31-2012, 02:56 PM
So I dug out our camping skillet and it's a Lodge 12 inch. It has some rust on it. I don't have a self cleaning oven, can I just scrub it with a steel wool and re-season it?

Deckhand
03-31-2012, 03:17 PM
So I dug out our camping skillet and it's a Lodge 12 inch. It has some rust on it. I don't have a self cleaning oven, can I just scrub it with a steel wool and re-season it?

I would.

DeepCSweede
03-31-2012, 03:30 PM
If it is just a little rust, otherwise you can use ovencleaner in a bag to remove seasoning and rust also.

obtuse
03-31-2012, 05:43 PM
You can also use steel wool and barkeepers friend on the spot then reseason.

Shinob1
03-31-2012, 06:09 PM
I took some oil and salt to it and then cleaned it with a scotchbrite pad and soapy water. Dried it on the stovetop until it smoked a little then rubbed it with some oil and turned off the heat.

I'm thinking next i will rub it with another light coat of oil then bake it for an hour at 400. I'll post some pics afterwards to see what you guys think. I just want to make sure it will be safe to use before I try to cook anything in it.

ajhuff
03-31-2012, 06:21 PM
Hah! It's already safe to use :-) . My favorite way to season a pan is to grease it down, put it upside down on my gas grill with all 4 burners going full blast for half an hour or so or until I remember I left it out there and then turn the grill off and let the pan cool off inside the closed grill. I pull it out the next day good to go.

-AJ

Shinob1
03-31-2012, 08:29 PM
So I went ahead and cooked in it before putting it into the oven. Made tilapia with onion and yellow squash. I felt like some of the squash had a metallic taste, however the fish and onions were fine. The fish stuck some, but nothing major; cleanup was easy too.

I oiled it down and have it in the oven now. Will the trip in the oven take care of the metallic taste?

Deckhand
03-31-2012, 08:53 PM
With proper seasoning cast iron pans become less reactive to acidic foods and transfer less iron.

Shinob1
03-31-2012, 10:05 PM
Here it is, seems like it is a bit blotchy. http://i.imgur.com/1R9wX.jpg

ajhuff
03-31-2012, 10:10 PM
The more you cook with it, the better it will get. Try to eat bacon every day. :D

-AJ

GlassEye
03-31-2012, 10:13 PM
I have found lard to be best for seasoning cast iron. Run it through several heating and cooling cycles continually rubbing it down with lard. when it looks dry, not sticky put more on.

Shinob1
04-01-2012, 12:09 AM
The more you cook with it, the better it will get. Try to eat bacon every day. :D

-AJ

Good enough reason to me to cook bacon and eggs tomorrow for breakfast. :hungry:

obtuse
04-01-2012, 02:34 AM
take care of it and it'll take care of you

SpikeC
04-01-2012, 02:59 PM
People really do over think the seasoning. Just cook with it a bunch and all will be well.

Shinob1
04-02-2012, 03:11 PM
So I have been using the pan everyday and it is coming along.
http://i.imgur.com/Hztwe.jpg?1

One thing I am noticing, is that there is some oily sut like material on the pan, even after washing. Is that normal?

Deckhand
04-02-2012, 03:39 PM
So I have been using the pan everyday and it is coming along.
http://i.imgur.com/Hztwe.jpg?1

One thing I am noticing, is that there is some oily sut like material on the pan, even after washing. Is that normal?

Looks better, and yes that's how I like mine.

obtuse
04-02-2012, 04:08 PM
Perfectly normal, keep it nice and oily. Pretty soon youll have an indestructable patina.

DeepCSweede
04-02-2012, 04:18 PM
It sounds normal. If you think it is grime buildup (ie bacon sugars) - use some salt and scrub down the pan with a paper towel a couple of times until the salt stays clean. If it is a buildup like that, that can cause sticking when you cook. By the way, the Wagner #12 came in today and looks fantastic, nice light seasoning build-up that I will definitely build-up.

Shinob1
04-02-2012, 05:08 PM
It sounds normal. If you think it is grime buildup (ie bacon sugars) - use some salt and scrub down the pan with a paper towel a couple of times until the salt stays clean. If it is a buildup like that, that can cause sticking when you cook. By the way, the Wagner #12 came in today and looks fantastic, nice light seasoning build-up that I will definitely build-up.

Pictures? :D

Shinob1
04-04-2012, 03:10 PM
Something that I am noticing is that my pan has a wicked hot spot on my gas stove, even if I omlow and slow. After more reading I've found this to be a common issue with CI. How do you guys get around it? I'm considering preheating in the oven, although I'm not sure what temp to use.

SpikeC
04-04-2012, 05:41 PM
I made a diffuser out of steel plate that is the size of the burner, but I only use it when I want a very low simmer. My Viking range has pretty large diameter burners, though.

Shinob1
04-04-2012, 05:45 PM
I've done some more reading and I guess defusers are a possible solution. Have you heard of Kuhn Rikon by chance? I'm looking into one of there products but it's 35$.

Shinob1
04-16-2012, 08:23 PM
I think the seasoning is coming along nicely.
http://i.imgur.com/RiPYM.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/UNUMk.jpg

Deckhand
04-16-2012, 08:42 PM
Looks good!

SameGuy
04-16-2012, 09:34 PM
Wait. OT back-track: Falk "Try Me" pan? WANT.

Deckhand
04-16-2012, 09:38 PM
Wait. OT back-track: Falk "Try Me" pan? WANT.

Not quite sure what you meant by your post or who you were referencing. I did get a falk "try me"pan recently. I am very happy with it.

Shinob1
04-16-2012, 09:45 PM
What are you guys talking about? :scratchhead:


Not quite sure what you meant by your post or who you were referencing. I did get a falk "try me"pan recently. I am very happy with it.

Deckhand
04-16-2012, 09:56 PM
What are you guys talking about? :scratchhead:
I think he is referring to page 3 on this thread

SameGuy
04-16-2012, 10:10 PM
Didn't mean anything specific, or on-topic. Saw the Falk "Try-Me" pan mention, and exclaimed "WANT." Didn't think I needed to be more clear. :)

Deckhand
04-16-2012, 10:41 PM
Didn't mean anything specific, or on-topic. Saw the Falk "Try-Me" pan mention, and exclaimed "WANT." Didn't think I needed to be more clear. :)
It was a good deal. Just got it for my birthday. Really enjoy it. Hope you get one:biggrin:

Shinob1
04-16-2012, 11:22 PM
I've noticed with cast iron that it has a wicked hot spot. Do you guys ever preheat a skillet in the oven? If so, what temp do you use?

ajhuff
04-16-2012, 11:50 PM
It does have a hot spot and you are correct, cast iron really shines in the oven. I'm not sure what temp preheating a pan to and then using it on the stove would be. If I were to just guess I would guess around 330. Before you do that, even with the hot spot, try cooking at a lower stove top setting. My experience is that cooking with cast iron you need a much lower stove top setting than you would initially think.

-AJ

Deckhand
04-16-2012, 11:57 PM
I've noticed with cast iron that it has a wicked hot spot. Do you guys ever preheat a skillet in the oven? If so, what temp do you use?
Here is one I tried. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pan-seared-rib-eye-recipe/index.html
I used tony Chachere's Cajun salt instead.

SameGuy
04-17-2012, 12:46 AM
Unfortunately my home range has a Ceran (glass) cooking surface, and very few cast iron pans work on them. I have two 9" "crpe" pans but only one is smooth enough to use... and it's the thinner/lighter/cheaper of the two. I have now relegated the Lodge to use on my gas grill.

heirkb
04-17-2012, 12:53 AM
It does have a hot spot and you are correct, cast iron really shines in the oven. I'm not sure what temp preheating a pan to and then using it on the stove would be. If I were to just guess I would guess around 330. Before you do that, even with the hot spot, try cooking at a lower stove top setting. My experience is that cooking with cast iron you need a much lower stove top setting than you would initially think.

-AJ

Definitely true for me. I have to keep my vintage Wagner at a lower temp than even my Le Creuset enameled cast iron.

Shinob1
04-17-2012, 01:10 AM
Definitely true for me. I have to keep my vintage Wagner at a lower temp than even my Le Creuset enameled cast iron.

I will try a lower temp. How long do you preheat on low? I've had the most issues with hotspots when I'm cooking bacon. One side gets done way before the other and what happens is I get burnt bacon one side. Searing veggies, chicken, fish, and beef have been manageable. For some odd reason bacon has been giving me the most problems.

DwarvenChef
04-17-2012, 02:38 AM
Lodge is a quality piece of CI that gets a bad rap because it's not Griswald or Wagners. I have picked up many pieces at yard sales and flea markets because the "pickers" ignore them. My last several skillets where under $5 each. I have about 20 lodge pieces and use them everyday at some point in the day.

When it comes to cooking these pans are consistant everytime. They are all the same thickness for each style. Something that Griswalds are not. Each of my Griswalds are a different thickness and cook differently because of that. New lodges need to be broken in, they are rough in that where Griswalds are polished and season easy. But once you get that seasoning in there Oh yaaa :)

I have one skillet I got for $4 at a flea market that lives on the stovetop, it gets useded everyday, and burnt-up at least once a month because my wife turns on the wrong burner... All I do is reseason it and it's off and running again in no time. Not something you can do with a stainless skillet, they warp and thats all she wrote...

DwarvenChef
04-17-2012, 02:51 AM
It does have a hot spot and you are correct, cast iron really shines in the oven. I'm not sure what temp preheating a pan to and then using it on the stove would be. If I were to just guess I would guess around 330. Before you do that, even with the hot spot, try cooking at a lower stove top setting. My experience is that cooking with cast iron you need a much lower stove top setting than you would initially think.

-AJ

Correct, CI uses much lower heat setting. They heat rather fast already and if you using anything over a medium heat you will smoke the pan in no time. I cook my eggs on med low (2.5/3 on dial) butter smokes on 3 in my CI pans. I pre heat on the stove top at least 5 mins. Usually I come in and turn on the burner than gather my chow and prep it up. Once prepped I add the fat and move on :) no problems :)

ajhuff
04-17-2012, 10:18 AM
Lodge is a quality piece of CI that gets a bad rap because it's not Griswald or Wagners. I have picked up many pieces at yard sales and flea markets because the "pickers" ignore them. My last several skillets where under $5 each. I have about 20 lodge pieces and use them everyday at some point in the day.

So very true. Lodge makes a great product. Their manufacturing methods are far superior to what was being done 80-100 years ago allowing them to make a far more consistent product. I have an old griddle of unknown origin that I got from my Dad. You can see the tooling marks on the cooking surface where it was turned on a lathe. That allows for a much smoother surface than what Lodge provides and I think that is the greatest difference between the old stuff and the new Lodge stuff. Providing a similar finish, Lodge would cost 3x as much and no one would buy it.

-AJ

heirkb
04-17-2012, 12:10 PM
I can preheat on low/med-low for a minute or two and be ready to go for eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. The pan heats up quickly and really holds the heat. I'm totally converted to cast iron for everything that doesn't involve acid.

By the way, from what little I've read on the cast iron forum I visited, heat spots could be caused by a warped pan. You should put it on a flat surface and press down around the edges to see if it has a lot of (or any) wobble.

ajhuff
04-17-2012, 02:48 PM
I put mine on low heat until it looks wet if that makes any sense. Then throw my Bacon in. Never had a problem.

-AJ

Shinob1
04-17-2012, 03:55 PM
I have a gas stove and the burners are fairly small - that's what I think part of my problem is. I think that when I put it on a lower temp the hot spot is worse since the flame is smaller, but I may not be giving it enough time. I'll try preheating on a very low setting and see how it goes.

@Dwarven - are you buying the new lodge logic stuff at flea markets or the older lodge? I read that the older lodge CI had the polished cooking surface and therefore was similar to Griswold and Wagner. That's one of the main reasons I'm buying the Griswold, is for the smooth surface. And I think it will be nice to own a vintage piece of cookware that's older than me and my wife combined. :)

DwarvenChef
04-17-2012, 04:52 PM
I have a gas stove and the burners are fairly small - that's what I think part of my problem is. I think that when I put it on a lower temp the hot spot is worse since the flame is smaller, but I may not be giving it enough time. I'll try preheating on a very low setting and see how it goes.

@Dwarven - are you buying the new lodge logic stuff at flea markets or the older lodge? I read that the older lodge CI had the polished cooking surface and therefore was similar to Griswold and Wagner. That's one of the main reasons I'm buying the Griswold, is for the smooth surface. And I think it will be nice to own a vintage piece of cookware that's older than me and my wife combined. :)

Most of the finds I come across are the new modern pieces, once in a while I come across some old pieces. So many of the lodge pieces have been melted down in scrap drives of the past. Griswald didn't get scrapped as often so there are more of them around, and because Lodge is still being made the name just gets over looked by pickers.

As for a polished surface, I'm still on the fence as far as whether it's better or not, but that is subjective to ones own likes and dislikes. My eggs fall out of both about the same everytime, if I do my part lol

As far as hot spots via burner size and pan size, ya this can be a bugger. But I find lower heat and allowing the pan to heat up cures that. However my 14" skillet just never really heats up on my stovetop lol not to the level I want it, so it gets preheated in the oven before I sear stuff. The 14" is my braising pan and it always goes in the oven to finish anyway so no heating the oven just to preheat.

The thinner (generally) Griswald pans can get a wicked hotspot early in the pre heating, thats why lower heat and time to heat up, till the handle is almost to hot to hold, are needed to get that pan rockin :) not wabbling though :p

I have yet to find a warped CI pan but I know they are out there. Compared to a stainless pan... almost all of them seem warped, bulged, or burnt up... Hot spots are not always the culpret on warping, pouring cold liquids on a rocket hot pan does it almost everytime. I'm not talking that half cup of liquid to deglaze, I'm talking about taking the pan off the heat and running it under the faucet to wash it out... warps and cracks ...

SpikeC
04-17-2012, 10:20 PM
When I cook bacon in my Griswold I put the bacon in cold and turn the burner on low, then put the lid on. The heat builds up gradually and the bacon comes out evenly cooked and nicely rendered without being too crispy, it still has some "tooth" to it.

Shinob1
04-17-2012, 11:23 PM
When I cook bacon in my Griswold I put the bacon in cold and turn the burner on low, then put the lid on. The heat builds up gradually and the bacon comes out evenly cooked and nicely rendered without being too crispy, it still has some "tooth" to it.

Thanks for tip! I'll give that a try the next time I cook bacon.

DwarvenChef
04-18-2012, 08:19 AM
I think every piece of CI I have was first tested with bacon :)

DeepCSweede
04-18-2012, 10:25 AM
I have a gas stove and the burners are fairly small - that's what I think part of my problem is. I think that when I put it on a lower temp the hot spot is worse since the flame is smaller, but I may not be giving it enough time. I'll try preheating on a very low setting and see how it goes.

@Dwarven - are you buying the new lodge logic stuff at flea markets or the older lodge? I read that the older lodge CI had the polished cooking surface and therefore was similar to Griswold and Wagner. That's one of the main reasons I'm buying the Griswold, is for the smooth surface. And I think it will be nice to own a vintage piece of cookware that's older than me and my wife combined. :)

They make cast iron diffusers for gas stoves which may help too. I have never used one but have heard good things about them. They only work on gas though

joec
04-20-2012, 12:38 AM
It is funny but a brand I've not seen in this thread is Wagner. Now I have several different CI pots and pans with some old and some new. My favorite cooking pan is a Wagner 12" fry pan period. It is a perfectly balance handle design so when lifting it there seems no urge to let it tilt. I've used the pan for years on gas, electric and the last year on induction and it has cooked better than my griswold or lodge pans. I also don't find smooth CI pans cook better than the later rough finished pans by Lodge and others. The one and only Wagner I can't explain other than to say it heats a bit faster, holds the heat a bit longer perhaps and is very comfortable to handle especially when hot. Other than that I notice little to know difference between the old Griswold, Wagners or Lodges and the new CI pans from Lodge and others with the rough finish. So in closing to me they all cook great and if properly seasoned they are non stick.

DwarvenChef
04-20-2012, 04:38 AM
I just panfried a few trout in my 10" lodge pan and never had a sticking problem. I love this stuff :)

My wife just broke my Wagner grill pan Grrr but at least I got to get e new pan from the deal :p I hardly ever used it so I don't miss it much. My griddle is a Wagner and I think I have a corn bread pan that I will never give up lol.

One thing I have been playing with has been the use of different oils in these pans. I stopped using canola oil due to health reasons, nasty stuff... And have moved to peanut, olive, walnut oils and good ol' Lard when I can find a good source that hasn't been hydrogenated... Lard by far is the best performing but is so rare these days. Peanut oil is a close second as far as seasoning ease and maintainance. Olive oil works great for cooking and all but I find it weak in the seasoning department, like it just doesnt want to get in there and stay. Anyone else notice that different fats act differently in your CI cookware?

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/dinner15104.jpg

SameGuy
04-20-2012, 11:08 AM
Wait. Canola is unhealthy now?

ETA: Ah. Nevermind. You read about it in yet another misleading chain email. Please add Snopes to your reference library. http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/canola.asp
(http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/canola.asp)
"This light, tasteless oil's popularity is due to the structure of its fats. It is lower in saturated fat (about 6%) than any other oil. Compare this to the high saturated fat content of peanut oil (about 18%) and palm oil (at an incredibly high 79%). It also contains more cholesterol-balancing monounsaturated fat than any oil except olive oil and has the distinction of containing Omega-3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat reputed to not only lower both cholesterol and triglycerides, but also to contribute to brain growth and development.

In other words, it's a healthy oil. One shouldn't feel afraid to use it because of some Internet scare loosely based on half-truths and outright lies."

ajhuff
04-20-2012, 12:06 PM
I have a Wagner and a Griswold that were my Grandmother's. At least I think it's a Wagner; it has a small 'W' cast on the bottom. Why did so many of the manufacturers not use casting marks!!! Grrrr. My mom gave them to me because she said they were worthless since they didn't have lids. I didn't even strip them. I just put a new coat of bacon grease on them and fired them outside on my gas grill. Both work like a charm. I probably use my various Lodges the most, followed by the Wagner and then the Griswold. I really can't tell much difference between them all. The Wagner and Griswold are smoother but the pebbly surface on my Lodges are so well seasoned that they work just as well. The Lodges might actually brown and sear better but that would be a tough call. I have both the earlier non-preseasoned and the preaseasoned Lodges and they look the same now. I did nothing special, just used them.

Does anybody recognize this:


http://s16.postimage.org/fajhdv54l/IMG_20120420_104218.jpg

The back says 10 1/2 INCH GRIDDLE MADE IN USA but no casting marks.

http://s15.postimage.org/awdpmolyj/IMG_20120420_104232.jpg

This was my Dad's pancake griddle and has to be at a minimum 40 years old. You can kind of see the concentric tooling marks on the cooking surface. I rarely use this pan as it is an absolute PITA to control the heat on it. I think that's why my Dad wasn't shy about giving it to me.

-AJ

obtuse
04-20-2012, 02:01 PM
I just panfried a few trout in my 10" lodge pan and never had a sticking problem. I love this stuff :)

My wife just broke my Wagner grill pan Grrr but at least I got to get e new pan from the deal :p I hardly ever used it so I don't miss it much. My griddle is a Wagner and I think I have a corn bread pan that I will never give up lol.

One thing I have been playing with has been the use of different oils in these pans. I stopped using canola oil due to health reasons, nasty stuff... And have moved to peanut, olive, walnut oils and good ol' Lard when I can find a good source that hasn't been hydrogenated... Lard by far is the best performing but is so rare these days. Peanut oil is a close second as far as seasoning ease and maintainance. Olive oil works great for cooking and all but I find it weak in the seasoning department, like it just doesnt want to get in there and stay. Anyone else notice that different fats act differently in your CI cookware?

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/dinner15104.jpg
I agree with your observations on oil completely. I also dont use canola oil except when the health food store is out of spectrum high oleic sunflower or safflower oil. If I do buy canola oil, i always buy organic. Most of the canola grown in north america is GMO. Also, polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3, break down at high temperatures. This is one reason flax seed oil makes a bad cooking oil. Saturated fats on the other hand and monounsaturated fats make better cooking oils. Long chain fatty acids are not directly absorbed into your blood like poly and mono unsaturated fats are. Stearic acid, which is the saturated fat found in butter and lard, is broken down into oleic acid, the mknounsaturated fat found in olive oil. It is believed that oleic acid is better for your arteries because it has a bend in its chain which prevents it from forming plac. Also, canola oil contains small amounts of erucic acid which is known to be harmful.

mpukas
04-20-2012, 02:41 PM
I agree with your observations on oil completely. I also dont use canola oil except when the health food store is out of spectrum high oleic sunflower or safflower oil. If I do buy canola oil, i always buy organic. Most of the canola grown in north america is GMO. Also, polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3, break down at high temperatures. This is one reason flax seed oil makes a bad cooking oil. Saturated fats on the other hand and monounsaturated fats make better cooking oils. Long chain fatty acids are not directly absorbed into your blood like poly and mono unsaturated fats are. Stearic acid, which is the saturated fat found in butter and lard, is broken down into oleic acid, the mknounsaturated fat found in olive oil. It is believed that oleic acid is better for your arteries because it has a bend in its chain which prevents it from forming plac. Also, canola oil contains small amounts of erucic acid which is known to be harmful.

Good posts f/ you and DW here. Canola is nasty stuff, but if you're gonna use it use organic, as in the US non-organic canola is GM. Canola oil is a farce - there are no "canola" plants - it's rape seed oil. It originated in Canada where they had a surpluss of it. The word "Canola" is a marketing by-product term of Canada-Oil. It was used primarily as a macherny lubricant before being marketed as a cooking oil. Rape seed is also know to be a toxic weed. Saying all that, I have found some information that states that what is now considered Canola oil has gone through a series of hybridizations (which is how almost all produce that we currently consume came to be) and is no longer considered toxic in it's most current form. I still won't use it.

I find grape seed oil to be a good alternative. It's high heat and clean. But it's funky in that as it dries it gets really sticky and gummy. Haven't heard/read anything bad about it. Also, do a little investigating about safflower oil, or any refined oil suitable for high-heat use. Safflower can be GM and can have some adverse effects, and refining any oil can make it less beneficial for human consumption. Unless one has allergies/reactions, peanut oil is still one of the best "natural" high-heat oil.

Re: seasoning cast iron, in the Jan/2011 issue of Cook's Illustrated (yeah, I get it...) there was a small article about seaosning w/ flax seed oil and how it can create an indestructible surface. Something about the type of fat that's in flax vs other oils. It involves several cycles of wiping the pan w/ flax oil, putting it in a very hot 500d oven for a time, and then turning the oven off and letting it cool, and repeat 4-5-6 times. I tried it w/ some new De Buyer carbon pans about a year ago, and it didn't work for me at all. It intially created a very black even finish but it immediately flaked off during the first cooking uses. Could be that it works for cast iron and not carbon steel pans.

FWIW, I much prefer carbon steel pans to cast iron. I have a small collection of cast iron pans that I've inherited and used for years and years, really old stuff, and I hardly use them any more becasue I like the De Buyer carbon steel pans much much better. I find the carbon steel pans offers the same benefits off weight, heat retention, non-stick, etc. w/ better handles and shapes and overall better performance.

Here's a great article on cookware. Cheers! mpp
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/25717-understanding-stovetop-cookware/

DwarvenChef
04-20-2012, 03:54 PM
Personally I think the dietary bits could use it's own post.

I have only used flax seed oil in salads... have to give that a try in the skillet and see what changes :p Nice round griddle by the way, I have a 12" lodge griddle and have the same issues with it. Been working on a temp and time line up that may get things going for this pan but untill I get it worked out the griddle that straddles two burners gets the majority of use.

Shinob1
04-20-2012, 04:48 PM
I've read quite a bit about seasoning and it seems to be that there are those who season by using it and others who go through a lengthy process of seasoning with various oils. I tried both and I noticed for me personally, that my pan got better after cooking bacon in it several times and wiping it down with just a thin coat of oil after use.

I have been using Canola oil to wipe it down and EVOO for cooking. I think when I get my new pan I'm going to fry up a pound of bacon and see how it goes.

ajhuff
04-20-2012, 04:57 PM
I do it even simpler. Fry Bacon. Wipe out with paper towel. Return to hot burner to cool down (electric) . No extra coatings of oil. Just use nd wipe, use nd wipe...

-AJ

DwarvenChef
04-20-2012, 05:46 PM
Oh yaaa !! Gotta do the bacon thing :) I do batches of small dice bacon for bits. Dice up a pound and render it down on low, strain it and portion it out and into the freezer :) Filter the fat and into the fridge :) Waste Nothing :)

SameGuy
04-21-2012, 12:21 AM
Good posts f/ you and DW here. Canola is nasty stuff, but if you're gonna use it use organic, as in the US non-organic canola is GM. Canola oil is a farce - there are no "canola" plants - it's rape seed oil. It originated in Canada where they had a surpluss of it. The word "Canola" is a marketing by-product term of Canada-Oil. It was used primarily as a macherny lubricant before being marketed as a cooking oil. Rape seed is also know to be a toxic weed.

Sorry to continue OT, but there is simply no evidence for any of the negative health claims being made against canola oil. It is perhaps the healthiest cooking oil to use, but you are free to continue consuming excesses of SFAs and TFAs thinking they are "healthier" than canola. It doesn't make the claims against canola any less false, nor the claimed "benefits" of lards, butters and high-SFA and -TFA oils any more true.

http://www.givengain.com/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=cause_dir_news_item&news_id=71485&cause_id=1056

Andrew H
04-21-2012, 12:38 AM
Good posts f/ you and DW here. Canola is nasty stuff, but if you're gonna use it use organic, as in the US non-organic canola is GM. Canola oil is a farce - there are no "canola" plants - it's rape seed oil. It originated in Canada where they had a surpluss of it. The word "Canola" is a marketing by-product term of Canada-Oil. It was used primarily as a macherny lubricant before being marketed as a cooking oil. Rape seed is also know to be a toxic weed. Saying all that, I have found some information that states that what is now considered Canola oil has gone through a series of hybridizations (which is how almost all produce that we currently consume came to be) and is no longer considered toxic in it's most current form. I still won't use it.


Not to jump on you but I don't see how having a name change for a product is a farce. The name rapeseed just does not make you think happy thoughts, I don't see why that makes the oil any worse.

obtuse
04-21-2012, 03:17 AM
Rape seed is high in erucic acid. It's not considered suitable for human consumption in most countries. You can find rapeseed oil used for cooking in some parts of india. I believe it has to be heated to its smoke point in order to make it palatable. I have a bottle I bought at an indian market, it's labeled external use only. Canola is rapeseed breed to be low in erucic acid. I generally dont use it because i dont like taste of it. Spectrum, on the other hand, makes good tasting canola oil.

To the poster regarding grape seed oil. Grape seed oil forms a sticky film on your pan because it's high in polyunsaturated fats. I think they tend to polymerise or plasticize easily.

Oils should be a new thread even though oil and cast iron are best friends.

Im seasoning a cast iron waffle iron right now. Im using coconut oil.

DwarvenChef
04-22-2012, 05:42 AM
Today I watched two customers just about get into a fist fight over cleaning of Cast Iron... It was really amazing how strongly these two very civil individuals (normally) got so worked up because they saw polar oposite ideas as herasy. One was based on cleaning with a spatula and a paper towel, nothing else. The other says after reaserching where the notion of never soaping a CI pan to clean is was based on the common soaps of the time and that modern soaps where safe to use in moderation.

WOW these guys tore into each other like you wouldn't believe, is it a full moon tonight??

My point is that there are those that believe in one way so strongly that they will not be convinced of another way, ever. Personally I find that not getting into those topics with people is just for the best on all sides. I believe strongly in what I believe and others believe in what they believe, who is right and who is wrong is no longer an interest to me when all the doors close and the emotion gets hot. I just will not bite and move on to other topics. 9 times out of 10, they are both right and both wrong to some degree, there is always more than 3 sides to a story, side A, side B, and whats real.

Now back to out OP :)

How many here have and use various Dutch Ovens :)

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/DSC00762.jpg

Talal
04-22-2012, 09:00 AM
Rape seed is high in erucic acid. It's not considered suitable for human consumption in most countries. You can find rapeseed oil used for cooking in some parts of india. I believe it has to be heated to its smoke point in order to make it palatable. I have a bottle I bought at an indian market, it's labeled external use only. Canola is rapeseed breed to be low in erucic acid. I generally dont use it because i dont like taste of it. Spectrum, on the other hand, makes good tasting canola oil.

To the poster regarding grape seed oil. Grape seed oil forms a sticky film on your pan because it's high in polyunsaturated fats. I think they tend to polymerise or plasticize easily.

Oils should be a new thread even though oil and cast iron are best friends.

Im seasoning a cast iron waffle iron right now. Im using coconut oil.

i use coconut oil in almost all my cooking. I used it also exclusively to season the pans with fantastic results!

Shinob1
04-22-2012, 11:40 AM
I want to buy a Dutch oven but not sure if I should go enamel or not. If I do regular CI I'll probably buy a Lodge. However I read that their enamel products are not very good. A Le creuset is so expensive, I am not sure I'm ready to drop 300$ on one.


Today I watched two customers just about get into a fist fight over cleaning of Cast Iron... It was really amazing how strongly these two very civil individuals (normally) got so worked up because they saw polar oposite ideas as herasy. One was based on cleaning with a spatula and a paper towel, nothing else. The other says after reaserching where the notion of never soaping a CI pan to clean is was based on the common soaps of the time and that modern soaps where safe to use in moderation.

WOW these guys tore into each other like you wouldn't believe, is it a full moon tonight??

My point is that there are those that believe in one way so strongly that they will not be convinced of another way, ever. Personally I find that not getting into those topics with people is just for the best on all sides. I believe strongly in what I believe and others believe in what they believe, who is right and who is wrong is no longer an interest to me when all the doors close and the emotion gets hot. I just will not bite and move on to other topics. 9 times out of 10, they are both right and both wrong to some degree, there is always more than 3 sides to a story, side A, side B, and whats real.

Now back to out OP :)

How many here have and use various Dutch Ovens :)

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/DSC00762.jpg

Deckhand
04-22-2012, 12:09 PM
I have a Staub Boulliabaisse pot and Staub mussel pot both in blue and love them.

heirkb
04-22-2012, 12:23 PM
Le Creuset outlets are your friend.

I'm generally creeped out by nonstick (because of how it needs babying), so I looked to enameled CI as a replacement. Once you figure the enameled pans out, they're really nice to cook in. Just don't put food in a cold pan enameled CI pan--unless you're trying to render the fat in a duck breast or something like that.

DwarvenChef
04-23-2012, 04:04 AM
My enamaled pot is an off brand and it makes me nervous once in a while if I think about it to much. I'm with you on the cost of Le Creuset but they do have, at least till reciently, a great rep. Been hearning about them moving production to China and that makes me nervous.

I prefer regular CI and all but one are Lodge. One is a thin china made piece that was a gift, lucky for me it does great rolls and baking things so I don't have to worry about what may leach out of the iron. My #8 bean pot was my fisrt CI dutch oven and it has done numberous batches of baked beans, and more to come. The others are "Camp" DO's , also Lodge, that you can use outdoors with coals :)

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/DO0209107.jpg
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/DO0209108.jpg
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/DO0209106.jpg
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/DwarvenChef/FSCN0125.jpg

A very addicting past time :p

SameGuy
04-23-2012, 04:22 AM
Oh, you're making me drool. That looks great! I have to take my DO to the fire pit and try some camp grub!

Deckhand
04-23-2012, 01:44 PM
Great post!

Shinob1
08-02-2012, 03:01 PM
I had to necro this thread because I picked up my first Wagner skillet! I was in AZ for a vacation and a friend took me to this store called the AZ Man Cave. It is like a consignment shop, that has a little bit of everything. I was telling my friends about how I was a member of this forum and into cooking and cookware, knives, etc. Well sure enough I found a section of cast iron pans and picked up a Wagner 10 for 38 bucks.

It's far from perfect, but I was happy to have found it and bought it. Now I'm debating on how to go about re-seasoning it. It's actually pretty clean and the cooking surface is nice and smooth. There is some pitting on the inside and a little bit of rust.

For those who have brought older pans back to life, what's your method of restarting a pan?

EdipisReks
08-02-2012, 03:06 PM
I had to necro this thread because I picked up my first Wagner skillet! I was in AZ for a vacation and a friend took me to this store called the AZ Man Cave. It is like a consignment shop, that has a little bit of everything. I was telling my friends about how I was a member of this forum and into cooking and cookware, knives, etc. Well sure enough I found a section of cast iron pans and picked up a Wagner 10 for 38 bucks.

It's far from perfect, but I was happy to have found it and bought it. Now I'm debating on how to go about re-seasoning it. It's actually pretty clean and the cooking surface is nice and smooth. There is some pitting on the inside and a little bit of rust.

For those who have brought older pans back to life, what's your method of restarting a pan?

read this (http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/perfect-popovers-and-how-to-clean-reseason-cast-iron/) and this (http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/).

Mucho Bocho
08-02-2012, 03:09 PM
Nice shots Dwarvenchef, Those rolls look perfect. I think Kitchenaid has the Best bang for the buck. I have some staub, Le cruset, lodge DO's.

EdipisReks
08-02-2012, 03:10 PM
Nice shots Dwarvenchef, Those rolls look perfect. I think Kitchenaid has the Best bang for the buck. I have some staub, Le cruset, lodge DO's.

i think the best bang for buck right now is the clearance Sur La Table enameled. its nice.

SameGuy
08-02-2012, 03:17 PM
There is at least one KA enameled piece on deep discount in every weekly flyer for a Canadian big-box discount hard-goods chain; this week it's a 7-quart round covered casserole for $69.99...

Cutlery and More had a Creuset bargain a couple of weeks ago.

Shinob1
08-02-2012, 03:28 PM
read this (http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/perfect-popovers-and-how-to-clean-reseason-cast-iron/) and this (http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/).

Those were good articles. I'm not 100% on using the oven cleaner, but I may end up giving it a go. I'll post pictures and see what you all think about the pan and if it needs that much work. My only concern with the oven cleaner is it impregnating the iron and leeching out into the food.

I wish I had a self cleaning oven as I'd really like to try that method. No use of chemicals. I do have a Weber grill, I wonder if loading it up with coals and baking the CI pan would yield the same results? Or am I just being a baby about using oven cleaner?

zitangy
08-02-2012, 03:50 PM
[QUOTE=Shinob1;95117]
In case it would be helpful, what I cook mostly is saute vegetables and lean meats, (I'm on a diet). So unfortunately no biscuits or gravy, fried taters, or other magical southern food will grace the skillet, well at least not often. ;)

~ You may need to consider good fire/ heat management as cast iron gets really hot and may overcook the vegetables.. so either keep it moving or once it is cooked.. get it out fast. Adjust the heat source accordingly as needed.

I prefer my veggies.. translucent green. A testament of my fire management and doing it right...

you will eventually get a feel for your apparatus....

have fun..
D

Kyle
08-02-2012, 04:02 PM
Those were good articles. I'm not 100% on using the oven cleaner, but I may end up giving it a go. I'll post pictures and see what you all think about the pan and if it needs that much work. My only concern with the oven cleaner is it impregnating the iron and leeching out into the food.

I wish I had a self cleaning oven as I'd really like to try that method. No use of chemicals. I do have a Weber grill, I wonder if loading it up with coals and baking the CI pan would yield the same results? Or am I just being a baby about using oven cleaner?

I've used oven cleaner many times and it works good enough. I go overboard with the cleanup- multiple rounds of hot water and soap, then rinsed out thoroughly with hot water, then scrubbed with a brush and baking soda.

If you have an angle grinder and a wire wheel you can easily get it down to bare metal. I was nervous about it at first but then I just went to town on my 90 year old Griswold skillet and didn't have any issues whatsoever.

SameGuy
08-02-2012, 04:08 PM
I've long had the feel for my apparatus.

SameGuy
08-02-2012, 04:13 PM
If you have an angle grinder and a wire wheel you can easily get it down to bare metal. I was nervous about it at first but then I just went to town on my 90 year old Griswold skillet and didn't have any issues whatsoever.A brass or stainless wire wheel is better, and preferably one that hasn't been used on other metals before. The aggressive nature of wire-wheeling tends to embed some of the elements of the wire itself into the steel or iron of the work piece, along with any particles of other work pieces it touched before. On stainless this is a disaster. Ask any TIG welder what happens when cleaning up a bead with either a non-stainless wire wheel, or one that has been used on other non-stainless metals.

Shinob1
08-03-2012, 10:29 PM
Here is a picture of my Wagner. Do you guys think I need to take it down to the bare metal?
http://i.imgur.com/oRfV1.jpg

obtuse
08-04-2012, 02:59 AM
Here is a picture of my Wagner. Do you guys think I need to take it down to the bare metal?
http://i.imgur.com/oRfV1.jpg

no, why?

DwarvenChef
08-04-2012, 05:40 AM
Looks ok to me but it's up to you if you want to start with a clean slate, or seasoning if it where :p The bottom looks good but I can't really say much for the sides, I can't tell how thick that build up is.

Shinob1
08-04-2012, 04:23 PM
On this one I just scrubbed it down with dish soap and water. Then after drying it out I hit it with some oil and salt. The salt came out clean so I rinsed it again and oiled it up. I think at this point it's ready to cook with.

I think later today I'm going to fry up some pork chops and see how it does.

SpikeC
08-04-2012, 07:39 PM
Excellent plan!

Steve Stephens
08-05-2012, 12:19 AM
I've been off this forum for some time but came in for a visit today and saw this thread on iron cookware, a longtime favorite of mine having collected it extensively since 1968.

Not much mention here about Griswold who was the largest US maker or iron cookware and possibly the best. Earlier Wagner and Lodge are also excellent pans. Earlier = pre-1960 or even earlier. Lodge used to have a ground (polished) line and their less expensive "as-cast" line until maybe 15 years ago when they discontinued the polished line, presumable to save on cost. I've toured the Lodge foundry while in operation and it was quite a treat. I can say that Lodge iron cookware is a top quality product; they remelt pans that show even minute flaws. Their iron is (or was at the time) alloyed with scrap steel stampings from Lazy Boy recliners.

Griswold dates to about 1880 for their cookware, Wagner to 1891, Lodge to 1896. Other quality makes were numerous in the early days of cast iron; only Lodge is left today in the US. I don't care for Lodge due to the heaviness and coarseness of their pans but I read that a heavy pan is a desirable pan. I just prefer cast iron cookware from around the turn of the last century or earlier. Does it cook any better? Maybe not but I get a lot of satisfaction by using OLD things.

Lye or lye oven cleaner is the normal way to clean iron cookware used by collectors. I don't know of any harmful effects of using lye to clean iron. Lye is used in food processing to peal things like pimientos and other vegetables.

Your self cleaning oven does an excellent job of stripping old seasoning and carbon from iron cookware. Just don't put anything in the oven with a wire handle which will loose the temper in the wire leaving you with a soft wire handle subject to being bent easily. Also, you'll have to leave the oven rack in the oven which is not recommended. The 850-900 deg. F heat will darken the racks and make them slide less easily. Ask me how I know.

I don't mess with any iron cookware that is marked "Made in USA" or with a size marked in "inches". Both are later pieces (with very few exceptions) made post-1960. I just don't care for the style and workmanship after that time although, if it satisfies you it will probably be just fine.

Over the past 35 years I have accumulated a large number of 19th century stovetop skillets and other pieces that I use, mostly, for my cooking.
http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll315/SteveStephens/cast%20iron%20cookware/CIMG1207.jpg

Steve

Shinob1
08-05-2012, 01:54 PM
Fried up some bacon and eggs today. I had some sticking but nothing I couldn't deal with; I can't wait to get a nice seasoning on it.

Shinob1
08-08-2012, 11:53 PM
Picked up a Wagner griddle. http://i.imgur.com/OPgtK.jpg

DwarvenChef
08-09-2012, 03:52 AM
Nice :) I like the round griddles :)

obtuse
08-09-2012, 05:13 AM
Perfect for pancakes :thumbsup:

DeepCSweede
08-09-2012, 12:01 PM
Picked up a Wagner griddle. http://i.imgur.com/OPgtK.jpg

Wait till you make some grilled cheese on it - you will be hooked for life - congrats on the new purchase.

ajhuff
08-09-2012, 04:24 PM
I have one like that but no markings. It was my Dad's pancake pan. I find it to be a PITA to cook with. It is so thin that temperature control is very difficult.

Shinob1
08-10-2012, 10:16 AM
Thanks all. I think I'm going to strip it down along with the recently purchased Wagner skillet using the oven cleaner method this weekend. Any recommendations for which oven cleaner to use? Someone on the griswold fb page said a kind in a yellow can. Not sure which brand that would be.

obtuse
08-10-2012, 10:24 AM
You could also use the self cleaning function of your oven. Carbonoff works pretty well, I'm sure any brand will do.

Zwiefel
08-10-2012, 11:09 AM
I usually throw mine in the fireplace for a week or so...come out a bit dusty but down to bare iron.

Shinob1
08-10-2012, 05:02 PM
I usually throw mine in the fireplace for a week or so...come out a bit dusty but down to bare iron.

I don't have a fire place, (or self-cleaning oven), but I do have a Weber grill. Would loading it up with coals bring the pan to bare metal? Or would it not be hot enough to burn off the crud?

Zwiefel
08-10-2012, 05:42 PM
I don't have a fire place, (or self-cleaning oven), but I do have a Weber grill. Would loading it up with coals bring the pan to bare metal? Or would it not be hot enough to burn off the crud?


I'm sure it would work...just not sure how much charoal you'd have to go through. I'd guess about 5-10lb worth.

OTOH, if you had to spend a couple of hours relaxing, drinking beer, and tending the fire only to find out that it didn't work...that would be just awful. terrible waste. criminal even. :)

RE self-cleaning oven...if anyone else wants to use it for something like this, make sure you remove the racks as the oven will get hot enough to damage the temper on the racks themselves (I don't know the exact temp, but it's around 600-700F).

obtuse
08-10-2012, 06:02 PM
750F for twenty minutes will render your cast iron bare. Just be sure to slowly heat it, then let it cool down slowly.

Zwiefel
08-10-2012, 06:07 PM
750F for twenty minutes will render your cast iron bare. Just be sure to slowly heat it, then let it cool down slowly.

Oooh...darn good point about speed...should have specifically said to put the pan in BEFORE you light the fire!

Shinob1
08-11-2012, 05:38 PM
I think I am just going to go with oven cleaner.

I do have a question about cooking, I've been trying to make tilapia in my CI or DeBuyer and I'm getting more sticking than I should. Also I'm getting some darker color on the fish, which looks like the seasoning. Is white fish something I should do in a Teflon pan?

SpikeC
08-11-2012, 11:27 PM
If you have hot oil in the pan and move the fish around as you put it in the hot pan is should not get stuck, at least that works for me!

sashae
08-12-2012, 12:26 AM
Thanks all. I think I'm going to strip it down along with the recently purchased Wagner skillet using the oven cleaner method this weekend. Any recommendations for which oven cleaner to use? Someone on the griswold fb page said a kind in a yellow can. Not sure which brand that would be.

Soak it in Easy-Off while it's sitting in a trash bag. Wrap the pan tight with the trashbag and let it sit overnight. Will clean off almost anything.

JanusInTheGarden
08-14-2012, 07:17 PM
Ok so i'm sure this will prove my complete lack of knowledge on the subject but can someone help me determine the difference between black steel, carbon steel, and cast iron in saute pans? When I was working in my last restaurant we kept referring to our pans as either stainless or cast iron...only thing is I can't seem to find pans like these when I look for cast iron (just find mostly lodge pans which are waaaaay thicker/don't seem to be the same material) and I find tons of references to black steel instead. Is black steel a type of carbon steel and if so is this a frequent option that can be confused (to the undereducated) with cast iron?

DwarvenChef
08-14-2012, 07:41 PM
Cast iron pans in the south have been called "black Iron" pans because they turn black when seasoned. Talking to a few southern collectors of cast iron has also lead me to the understanding that "Black Iron" pans are a higher quality CI pan over cheaper CI pans... Not sure how much stock to place into that but I have noticed a slight color difference between vintage pans and modern CI pans...

Carbon steel pans are thinner than Cast Iron pans and use a milled steel instead of casting to make the pan. Carbon steel pans and stainless pans have similar manufacturing processes.

Stainless pans are the norm for many restraunts and tend to get all burnt up and look black much of the time. Sorry I just avoid paying attention to these pans so I can't give to many details on them lol

JanusInTheGarden
08-14-2012, 08:16 PM
Seems to me the best way to tell then would be the thickness of the pan? Also where do I get professional quality cast/black iron pans? The ones we had at the restaurant held 3 rounded rivets (?) supporting a handle that was just a flat metal bar. They were much denser/heavier than the stainless and it wasn't by a little bit.

EdipisReks
08-14-2012, 09:06 PM
If you have hot oil in the pan and move the fish around as you put it in the hot pan is should not get stuck, at least that works for me!

x2, that's the way i do it.

Shinob1
08-15-2012, 12:49 AM
Seems to me the best way to tell then would be the thickness of the pan? Also where do I get professional quality cast/black iron pans? The ones we had at the restaurant held 3 rounded rivets (?) supporting a handle that was just a flat metal bar. They were much denser/heavier than the stainless and it wasn't by a little bit.

Look at DeBuyer, that kinda sounds like what you were using. I have one and love it. DeBuyer is carbon steel which is 99% iron. Once seasoned, they will turn black. They also come with the long handles using rivets.

DwarvenChef
08-15-2012, 02:08 AM
Seems to me the best way to tell then would be the thickness of the pan? Also where do I get professional quality cast/black iron pans? The ones we had at the restaurant held 3 rounded rivets (?) supporting a handle that was just a flat metal bar. They were much denser/heavier than the stainless and it wasn't by a little bit.

DeBuyer is the name I just could not remember lol That would be the carbon steel pan, most carbon steel pans have riveted or tap welded handles. Cast iron pans will have a handle as part of the pan, they are a one piece casting nine times out of ten. A few cast iron pans have a bolted on handle. Also cast iron pans will be much heavier than a stainless or carbon pan.

JanusInTheGarden
08-15-2012, 10:23 AM
This potentially carbon steel pan was very thick and heavy though. Is that a characteristic of De Buyer?

EdipisReks
08-15-2012, 11:25 AM
This potentially carbon steel pan was very thick and heavy though. Is that a characteristic of De Buyer?

some of the DeBuyer carbon pans are very substantial.

Shinob1
08-15-2012, 11:34 PM
some of the DeBuyer carbon pans are very substantial.

Mine is for sure. About as heavy as my Lodge 10 skillet.

ajhuff
08-17-2012, 08:54 AM
Ok so i'm sure this will prove my complete lack of knowledge on the subject but can someone help me determine the difference between black steel, carbon steel, and cast iron in saute pans? When I was working in my last restaurant we kept referring to our pans as either stainless or cast iron...only thing is I can't seem to find pans like these when I look for cast iron (just find mostly lodge pans which are waaaaay thicker/don't seem to be the same material) and I find tons of references to black steel instead. Is black steel a type of carbon steel and if so is this a frequent option that can be confused (to the undereducated) with cast iron?

Cast iron is a radically different material than steel. If you are shopping and not sure of what you are holding in your hand you could try what we call in the foundry as the Ring Test. When struck, cast iron makes more of a clanging sound. Steel will ring more like a bell.

By the way, cast iron for all intents and purposes is cast iron. The cast iron of today is virtually the same as the cast iron of 100 years ago and the same as the cast iron of 1000 years ago. If anything, today's cast iron is in general much more tightly controlled. It is an amazingly complicated material as opposed to steel which is mind numbingly simple.

-AJ

kannamaster
10-30-2013, 03:13 PM
AJ, I must disagree with your assertion based I believe on the otherwise excellent article by Dave Arnold that all cast iron is the same. While I agree that modern cast iron pans can be improved by sanding and even polishing (which I have done) it does not follow that all cast irons are the same either in terms of metallurgy or manufacture - both being quite important. Even Arnold notes in his section on sanding modern cast iron cookware that "Eventually, through years of seasoning, unpolished cast iron can become extremely smooth, but never as smooth as polished cast iron." Which clearly implies that he recognizes a fundamental difference, for if polishing where the only difference then they should both have the potential to season equally. I have lots of anecdotal experience with old vs. new pans and they do not behave like the same animal in terms of hardness, density, tone, heating or thermal loading, browning, speed of conductivity or ease and quality of seasoning. There is research in fact that suggest that some vintage cast cookware was closer to a form of cast steel. In this interesting PPT see slides 33-38- http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=cast+iron+cookwear+metallurgy&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

quantumcloud509
10-30-2013, 04:03 PM
wow you guys go way deeper that i ever thought possible with cast iron :) loving my Lodge combo cooker ($35 on amazon shipped) also love my old yard sale find le creuset frying pans and 9qt pot. Unfortunately I have been using the Lodge mainly for baking bread because it has been putting off a bit more iron flavor than I was used to with my older pans which I gifted to people. Whats up with that?

Erilyn75
11-01-2013, 06:53 PM
I have a very old square Griswold and its like an ice rink inside. Very smooth and shiny, nothing sticks to that thing. My 4 year old 12" lodge on the other hand is not as smooth no matter how seasoned it gets. I do an oven seasoning twice a year and cook with it all the time, never use soap and stuff still occasionally sticks to it.

Does anyone have a cast iron grill pan? I'm still trying to get it seasoned properly because if its not oiled really good then everything sticks to it and I get a build up of oil between the ridges that my scraper can't quite get.

unkajonet
11-01-2013, 09:20 PM
I have a Lodge grill pan that I loved to use but was a pain to clean.

What helps tremendously with getting that gunk out is a chainmail scrubber: http://www.amazon.com/Chain-Mail-Cast-Iron-Scrubber/dp/B0087UYR1S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383351498&sr=8-1&keywords=chainmail+scrubber

It seems a little pricey until you actually use the thing. That's when you realize it's totally worth it.

Sambal
11-01-2013, 09:25 PM
Does anyone have a cast iron grill pan? I'm still trying to get it seasoned properly because if its not oiled really good then everything sticks to it and I get a build up of oil between the ridges that my scraper can't quite get.


I have a 16 year old CI grill pan [says Ronneby Bruk / Design Sigurd Persson / Sweden at the back]. It's a beaut of a grill pan but my fish still sticks. So I'd be interested to know how I can season it better.

Erilyn, I use an old butter knife to scrape along the ridge valleys. It works but I'd like to know if there's anything I can do to make it better.

Erilyn75
11-02-2013, 01:54 AM
I have a Lodge grill pan that I loved to use but was a pain to clean.

What helps tremendously with getting that gunk out is a chainmail scrubber: http://www.amazon.com/Chain-Mail-Cast-Iron-Scrubber/dp/B0087UYR1S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383351498&sr=8-1&keywords=chainmail+scrubber

It seems a little pricey until you actually use the thing. That's when you realize it's totally worth it.

I never would have thunk it! Thanks, I'm going to give this a try and hopefully it will make cleaning it less tedious. I'm about to put it away and get a cheap nonstick, that's how frustrated I am with this thing lol

Erilyn75
11-02-2013, 02:00 AM
I have a 16 year old CI grill pan [says Ronneby Bruk / Design Sigurd Persson / Sweden at the back]. It's a beaut of a grill pan but my fish still sticks. So I'd be interested to know how I can season it better.

Erilyn, I use an old butter knife to scrape along the ridge valleys. It works but I'd like to know if there's anything I can do to make it better.

That's the million dollar question. I see people on tv cooking with these gorgeously seasoned grill pans and I'm just wondering what the heck they did because nothing ever sticks to them.

kannamaster
11-02-2013, 06:18 PM
Another option is to just use a regular CI pan for fish. Fish cooks fine in a flat CI pan in my experience. My main point is that I don't think you want to use a non-stick pan for "grilling" which usually means high temps. There are lots of styles of pans but really only a few common materials and like knife steels there are pros and cons to each choice and no pan does it all. I own and use Mauviel (copper/stainless lined).All clad (aluminum/stainless), pre 1900's Cast iron (lots), plain Steel (paellas and a wok) and even a Brazilian soup stone pot. Pan designers take advantage of the physical properties of the materials to fine tune the pans to their potential. IMO the pros for cast iron are: 1.Generally less expensive than other high quality pans 2. Browns and sautes well. 3. Stove to oven to grill to fire cooking 4. Non stick for most foods 5. Can take high heat. 6. Great thermal loading which is why they are good at browning meat. 7. Easy to clean up when done right. Cons: 1. Relatively heavy. 2. Usually so so handles that also get hot 3. Non great for acidic foods. 4. Slow conductor so not so good for sauces or eggs - not that you can't cook eggs in CI but eggs and sauces are not a CI pans strongpoint compared to say copper or aluminum.5. Getting the good stuff requires some patience, study and looking on ebay or elsewhere 6. They need to be seasoned properly to work their best. Here are two good articles about when and when not to grab for the cast iron:http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/120/Common-Materials-of-Cookware
And a shorter primer: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/120/Common-Materials-of-Cookware

boomchakabowwow
11-03-2013, 09:18 PM
That's the million dollar question. I see people on tv cooking with these gorgeously seasoned grill pans and I'm just wondering what the heck they did because nothing ever sticks to them.

stuff still sticks. you have to be patient, let it sear, crust..and then it releases. even fish. you set the food in, and it sticks immediately. dont touch it..let it crust.

quantumcloud509
11-03-2013, 09:32 PM
stuff still sticks. you have to be patient, let it sear, crust..and then it releases. even fish. you set the food in, and it sticks immediately. dont touch it..let it crust.

Same goes for bbq.

Erilyn75
12-07-2013, 06:57 AM
Another good budget line of enameled cast iron is the Martha Stewart brand at Macy's. I scored an 8qt a few months ago for $70, It cooks just as good as my LCs and saved me $300. I like it so much I just ordered the 8qt oval from their Black Friday special too.

apathetic
12-19-2013, 07:39 AM
3. Non great for acidic foods

Still works decently enough for me. What to you use for acidic food, stainless steel?

jai
12-19-2013, 10:28 AM
A good trick is to get it full cranking hot and get canola spray. Spray it all over the surface. It will be a bit like a flame thrower but just control it and then get a damp teatowel and rub it well so the whole grill looks a bit shiny and well lubed and not dry at all. Then get a tray with oil in it and dip your fish skin into it and put it on the grill. Leave it until it had the right amount of color or seared marks and then take it off. Shouldent stick but it really comes down to fish quality and the way its been handled and portioned. If the skin has been left to dry out more it can help but it might not aswell depends on the fish .

NO ChoP!
12-19-2013, 10:57 AM
I like to use course salt in a hot cast iron. It creates an infinitely small barrier between the protein and the pan, and also helps keep the moisture to a minimum, making for a faster sear. Just alter the seasoning of the protein itself to compensate. I'm not a fan of oils in cast iron. It will eventually turn to build up.

Nmko
12-19-2013, 10:57 AM
A good trick is to get it full cranking hot and get canola spray. Spray it all over the surface. It will be a bit like a flame thrower but just control it and then get a damp teatowel and rub it well so the whole grill looks a bit shiny and well lubed and not dry at all. Then get a tray with oil in it and dip your fish skin into it and put it on the grill. Leave it until it had the right amount of color or seared marks and then take it off. Shouldent stick but it really comes down to fish quality and the way its been handled and portioned. If the skin has been left to dry out more it can help but it might not as well depends on the fish .

I don't do that at all, i watch lots of chef's do it but i hate seeing little specks of black burnt oil and crap all over a nice filet/piece of meat.. What i do is wait until its adequately hot there's really no point to oiling a char (cooking oils burn at those temps) - If its a pan then oil it, Then Rub sea salt flakes into the skin and heavily coat it. ( salt breaks down oil but seals a surface when cooked on it. ) after the initial sealing of the salted skin, the filet won't stick and isn't excessively oily or covered in burnt oil specks or soggy... Its ALOT more gentle, and respectful to what you are cooking (in my opinion) - as opposed to lathering the product in oil and flaming it up on a char

In turn the product is evenly cooked and no excess seasoning is required.

With some species of fish i tend to make 2 small parallel slices through the skin so the filet doesn't curl at temperature.

NO ChoP!
12-19-2013, 11:10 AM
Yes, and when using this dry, high heat technique, the pan will be brown (not to be confused with orange); ie: well seasoned. Brown = love in cooking. Caramelization is what it's all about...

One can always drizzle with a little extra virgin when plating....

apathetic
12-19-2013, 12:24 PM
Ok, just to get that right. You actually use no oil but only salt on all proteins.
And I guess it works on both normal pans and grill pans, correct?
Also do you do that only on cast iron or also on iron pan such as the debuyer series?

Edit: does the salt need to be coarse or any would do?

Erilyn75
12-20-2013, 12:29 AM
Does anyone have a griswold large logo and small logo or a griswold and Wagner that can tell me if there's a big difference in them to warrant such a big price difference?

boomchakabowwow
12-20-2013, 01:02 AM
I[QUOTE=Erilyn75;269500]Does anyone have a griswold large logo and small logo or a griswold and Wagner that can tell me if there's a big difference in them to warrant such a big price difference?[

No performance differences. Only a collectors difference.

Erilyn75
12-20-2013, 03:04 AM
I've got my eyeballs on a few large and small logos. Seems the smaller size skillets run pretty much around the same price, give or take $10 unless the large logo is in supreme condition. It's the bigger ones 10, 11 and 12 that there's a huge difference in price. I see a lot of the smaller logo pans and wagners not selling on the bay and I keep reading conflicting info on the internets.

Lefty
12-20-2013, 03:21 AM
Not just because I'm Canadian, but bar none, the best cast iron I've used/do use was made in Brockville, Ontario. They are called "Smart Pan", are antique, super smooth and have that perfect medium weight. I love them.

Craig
12-20-2013, 11:51 AM
My family is from the Brockville area on my mom's side. I'd love to get my hands on a Brockville pan.

edit: I'd love one of their axe's too, come to think of it.

boomchakabowwow
12-20-2013, 01:44 PM
I've got my eyeballs on a few large and small logos. Seems the smaller size skillets run pretty much around the same price, give or take $10 unless the large logo is in supreme condition. It's the bigger ones 10, 11 and 12 that there's a huge difference in price. I see a lot of the smaller logo pans and wagners not selling on the bay and I keep reading conflicting info on the internets.

i bought my pan from a rabid collector. the man was insane.

he asked me what i wanted the pan for and i told him..."cooking". (seemed like a weird que)..he told me to buy a small logo one. and showed me a griwold #8, $25! i got it. he also sold me an unmarked one. slightly bigger. slick as glass. $20. i got them to be used. they work wonderfully. the unmarked one, he thinks was a mistake griswold.

the large logo pans fetch a better price for sure. with that heat ring thing..even more. so the man said, and said, and said..

Justin0505
12-20-2013, 02:23 PM
My GF found both a small and a super large Wagner skillet at estate sales. The large actually had a matching lid, but she didn't get it because they wanted like an extra $10 for it and she didn't have enough cash. Obviously the prices where far below ebay levels. However, even ebay prices don't seem super outrageous when you think of what it would cost to make a small production run of these today with modern tooling, shipping, and labor costs.

Answer: the better part of $200.
http://finexusa.com/
http://finexusa.com/wp-content/themes/finex/assets/img/finex-usa--graphic--lead.jpg
I pre ordered one just because this is something that I've wished existed for years and now, even though I have 2 wagners and a forged carbon steel skillet, I can't resist.

EdipisReks
12-20-2013, 07:36 PM
My GF found both a small and a super large Wagner skillet at estate sales. The large actually had a matching lid, but she didn't get it because they wanted like an extra $10 for it and she didn't have enough cash. Obviously the prices where far below ebay levels. However, even ebay prices don't seem super outrageous when you think of what it would cost to make a small production run of these today with modern tooling, shipping, and labor costs.

Answer: the better part of $200.
http://finexusa.com/
http://finexusa.com/wp-content/themes/finex/assets/img/finex-usa--graphic--lead.jpg
I pre ordered one just because this is something that I've wished existed for years and now, even though I have 2 wagners and a forged carbon steel skillet, I can't resist.

That looks pretty neat!

Has anybody tried the Turk forged iron (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/cooking-canning-baking/products/turk-one-piece-forged-iron-fry-pan) pans or Komin (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/komin-fry-pan/)? carbon steel cookware has mostly replaced my cast iron fry pans in common usage, and I have a lot of cast iron fry pans, but I think both of these look neat, if for very different reasons. I really like the Turk handle look, and Turk makes lots of other nice looking stuff. The Turk carbon steel pans (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/products/turk-stainless-steel-fry-pan) look similar to Matfer. I'm not sure how pronounced the criss-cross pattern is on these Turk iron (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/products/turk-high-edge-criss-cross-forged-iron-fry-pan) pans.

apathetic
12-27-2013, 08:08 AM
That looks pretty neat!

Has anybody tried the Turk forged iron (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/cooking-canning-baking/products/turk-one-piece-forged-iron-fry-pan) pans or Komin (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/komin-fry-pan/)? carbon steel cookware has mostly replaced my cast iron fry pans in common usage, and I have a lot of cast iron fry pans, but I think both of these look neat, if for very different reasons. I really like the Turk handle look, and Turk makes lots of other nice looking stuff. The Turk carbon steel pans (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/products/turk-stainless-steel-fry-pan) look similar to Matfer. I'm not sure how pronounced the criss-cross pattern is on these Turk iron (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/products/turk-high-edge-criss-cross-forged-iron-fry-pan) pans.

These Turk pans looks really good, I am going to get one of their pans to see how that works. Any idea what the the criss-cross pattern is for?
As for the Komin pans, I am not sure how well really thin cast iron would work, but you you might want to also look at Ronneby Bruk's ultra light line (http://www.ronnebybruk.nu/en-us/Products/Category/34?name=Ultra%20Light%20Original%20Light%20weight% 20cast%20iron)
I haven't used this specific line but I have several pans of their classic line and have been happy with it.

@Justin0505:
Quite curious about these Finex pan, if you get one, please let us know how it peforms

Sam Cro
12-27-2013, 11:50 AM
Here is the How To Do IT correctly ! and yes it works any New cast Iron I get (used or Brand New ) gets it done this way Vs how my grandmother showed me it is much easier and will provide many many many years of service .(if you take care of it ) Cast Iron is the Original Non stick cook ware .
http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/

Samuel

bkultra
12-27-2013, 09:46 PM
That looks pretty neat!

Has anybody tried the Turk forged iron (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/cooking-canning-baking/products/turk-one-piece-forged-iron-fry-pan) pans or Komin (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/komin-fry-pan/)? carbon steel cookware has mostly replaced my cast iron fry pans in common usage, and I have a lot of cast iron fry pans, but I think both of these look neat, if for very different reasons. I really like the Turk handle look, and Turk makes lots of other nice looking stuff. The Turk carbon steel pans (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/products/turk-stainless-steel-fry-pan) look similar to Matfer. I'm not sure how pronounced the criss-cross pattern is on these Turk iron (http://store.kaufmann-mercantile.com/collections/kitchen-home/products/turk-high-edge-criss-cross-forged-iron-fry-pan) pans.

I have been waiting for these to come back in stock. The only US reseller (the one you linked) says it will be mid February before they get them back in stock. I am looking to buy the one piece hand forged ones (both 24cm & 28cm) but can not find any reseller willing to ship to the US. The cost is cheaper in Europe and should help offset the shipping if I do get lucky and find one.

Sambal
12-27-2013, 10:24 PM
That's a great link. Thanks Sam!

I've been looking for the best fat/oil for the polymerisation process. Best I found so far has been a combination of coconut oil and ghee (which is of course a form of pure butter). Worked better than other oils I've tried but when I cook something acidic like tomatoes, it strips the coating very dramatically. I'll definitely try flaxseed oil now. Very reluctant to bring my pan surfaces back to iron though!

Sam Cro
12-28-2013, 03:45 PM
You will Not be disappointed with the results if you follow this set of directions I have a vast amount of cast iron and cook with it very often as in almost exclusively once it is Seasoned Correctly you will be utterly amazed at its ability to cook flawlessly.

Sam

kannamaster
12-28-2013, 09:56 PM
Being a furniture maker it is interesting to note that Flaxseed oil is just another name for Linseed oil. Linseed oil in a hardware/paint/woodworker's store is often mixed with chemical "dryers" which are poisonous and is also much cheaper than Flaxseed oil which you might find in your health food store. The two names help keep people from thinking they might be able to ingest Linseed oil as a dietary supplement and save some money - though it would be fine to finish a chair with Flaxseed oil - It would just cost more and dry a bit slower. Linseed oil is a tried and true finish. It adheres to itself (builds) and it "self"- polymerizes well (hardens) which, is the reason it works on cast iron too. Most oils don't really polymerize -or "harden"properly and produce a weak finish. I use flaxseed oil on all my cast iron and find that in many ways the process of seasoning a pan has much in common with finishing a piece of wood. Just sayin'.

EdipisReks
12-28-2013, 10:14 PM
I picked up a Komin pan at W-S, the other day. Yeah, that thing is pretty light and thin, not sure if it would be a performer. The design is really nice, though.

EdipisReks
12-28-2013, 10:16 PM
Being a furniture maker it is interesting to note that Flaxseed oil is just another name for Linseed oil. Linseed oil in a hardware/paint/woodworker's store is often mixed with chemical "dryers" which are poisonous and is also much cheaper than Flaxseed oil which you might find in your health food store. The two names help keep people from thinking they might be able to ingest Linseed oil as a dietary supplement and save some money - though it would be fine to finish a chair with Flaxseed oil - It would just cost more and dry a bit slower. Linseed oil is a tried and true finish. It adheres to itself (builds) and it "self"- polymerizes well (hardens) which, is the reason it works on cast iron too. Most oils don't really polymerize -or "harden"properly and produce a weak finish. I use flaxseed oil on all my cast iron and find that in many ways the process of seasoning a pan has much in common with finishing a piece of wood. Just sayin'.

I have a cast iron pan that was made during the Civil War. I guarantee that the only fats that were used on it, until I got it, were crisco and lard, and the seasoning (which was rancid, and had to come off before I could start using it) was hard and extremely durable. I've never used Flaxseed on carbon or cast iron, but I was impressed by the results of 150 years of use.

bkultra
12-28-2013, 11:31 PM
I was able to track down a 28cm Turk One-Piece Forged Iron Fry Pan for around $150 shipped to the US. I placed the order but it will be 2 weeks before it gets here. I will let you know my thoughts once I use it for awhile.

boomchakabowwow
12-29-2013, 01:46 AM
I was able to track down a 28cm Turk One-Piece Forged Iron Fry Pan for around $150 shipped to the US. I placed the order but it will be 2 weeks before it gets here. I will let you know my thoughts once I use it for awhile.

cool!!

the skillets look awesome as well.

apathetic
12-29-2013, 06:04 AM
I picked up a Komin pan at W-S, the other day. Yeah, that thing is pretty light and thin, not sure if it would be a performer. The design is really nice, though.

Very interested in hearing your thoughts about it once you've had the time to use it

77kath
12-29-2013, 07:56 AM
Same here. Cook something!

Sam Cro
12-29-2013, 01:53 PM
Being a furniture maker it is interesting to note that Flaxseed oil is just another name for Linseed oil. Linseed oil in a hardware/paint/woodworker's store is often mixed with chemical "dryers" which are poisonous and is also much cheaper than Flaxseed oil which you might find in your health food store. The two names help keep people from thinking they might be able to ingest Linseed oil as a dietary supplement and save some money - though it would be fine to finish a chair with Flaxseed oil - It would just cost more and dry a bit slower. Linseed oil is a tried and true finish. It adheres to itself (builds) and it "self"- polymerizes well (hardens) which, is the reason it works on cast iron too. Most oils don't really polymerize -or "harden"properly and produce a weak finish. I use flaxseed oil on all my cast iron and find that in many ways the process of seasoning a pan has much in common with finishing a piece of wood. Just sayin'.

The Most important thing is FOOD GRADE :

If not you run the risk of being poisoned and ruining your beloved Cast Iron ! should some one read your post and decide to do it your way they could die if they use the wrong oil . I hope you can live with that as the information you have put out could and would Kill folks .

Sam

Talim
12-29-2013, 04:10 PM
The Most important thing is FOOD GRADE :

If not you run the risk of being poisoned and ruining your beloved Cast Iron ! should some one read your post and decide to do it your way they could die if they use the wrong oil . I hope you can live with that as the information you have put out could and would Kill folks .

Sam

You should read it again. He never said to use linseed oil and even remarked that it is the same as flaxseed oil with poisonous chemicals added to it.

EdipisReks
12-29-2013, 06:32 PM
Very interested in hearing your thoughts about it once you've had the time to use it

I'm sorry for the confusion: when I said I picked up, I really meant physically picked up, as in handled.

EdipisReks
12-29-2013, 06:33 PM
I was able to track down a 28cm Turk One-Piece Forged Iron Fry Pan for around $150 shipped to the US. I placed the order but it will be 2 weeks before it gets here. I will let you know my thoughts once I use it for awhile.

very cool!

apathetic
12-30-2013, 09:23 AM
I'm sorry for the confusion: when I said I picked up, I really meant physically picked up, as in handled.

ah ok! Completely misunderstood :lol2:

kannamaster
12-30-2013, 11:37 AM
You should read it again. He never said to use linseed oil and even remarked that it is the same as flaxseed oil with poisonous chemicals added to it.

Sorry. My post could have been a little confusing though I did not intend it to be. DO NOT INGEST LINSEED OIL OR USE IT TO SEASON YOUR PANS. Flaxseed oil is safe for seasoning pans and ingesting and, while more expensive, could also replace linseed oil as a wood finish. Actually it would be a fine choice for cutting boards or handles as a substitute for more smelly ,poison laced linseed oil based finishes. So to recap. You can eat Flaxseed oil and you can finish stuff with it including pans. The only thing you should do with anything labeled Linseed oil is finish wood with it. Do not ingest or finish your pans with Linseed oil. Thanks and sorry for any confusion.

kannamaster
12-30-2013, 08:02 PM
And while I'm at it. There is one more reason it is good to understand the link between Flaxseed oil and Linseed oil. On the labels of most Linseed and tung oil type finishes they note that oily rags can and will self combust! This is because as linseed oil dries it produces heat. In other words the drying of linseed and other oils is an exothermic reaction as you may remember from your chemistry class. Many a wood shop has burned down from oily rags. The problem is that Flaxseed oil does not come with similar warnings- but it should because as I noted before - it's primarily the same stuff - just without the poisinous driers and solvents. This means if you use a paper towel to apply Flaxseed oil to a pan to season it and then ball up the paper and throw it in the garbage it could start on fire without any other help or flame source! It is best to soak or even submerge all oily rags in water and then dispose of them somewhere safe and it also helps to lay them out flat - not balled or rolled up when disposing of them. Once they are dry they should not self combust but are still flammable rags! Thanks Sam Cro for alerting me that my previous post may have been misunderstood.
For more info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linseed_oil
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yq6VW-c2Ts
A final note. It appears that in some countries what we would call Flaxseed oil is sold as Linseed oil but labeled as "food safe" (I hope) - rather than use a different name. So Caveat Emptor as usual.

FoodLover
12-31-2013, 07:51 AM
I have used cast iron pans in the past and I must admit I did like them but the weight was a bit of a problem so went with all clad. Fast forward to Christmas and my wife's mother got me a set of de buyer mineral b pans and I absolutly love them. They are like cast iron and not as heavy. I seasoned them and have been using them over the holidays and will be adding to them. Take a look.

http://www.debuyer.com/product.php?id=778&cat=63

Yamabushi
12-31-2013, 08:26 AM
If flaxseed was readily available here at a reasonable price, that would definitely be my first choice. Since it's not, I've used grapeseed oil with excellent results. To a lesser degree it offers a lot of the same polymerization benefits as flaxseed. That being said, one of the most important keys is applying the oil in the thinnest possible layers.

Sam Cro
12-31-2013, 01:33 PM
KM Thank you for re-posting your information . while I understood the relation between the two some "Wood" Not . as many Newbie folks do skim through the post they may have seen only a few words and used the wrong Oil.

Sam

willic
01-11-2014, 03:59 PM
I love vintage cast iron cookware.... some of the old stuff was thinner, not very porous and very smoothly finished. I love going to flea markets and bringing back a pan! Wagner and Griswold are my favorites!

willic
01-11-2014, 04:00 PM
I used to season with all kinds of different oils, but my son's BSA Troop uses Crisco. They wipe all pans when cleaned... I have started this and VERY happy!

Erilyn75
01-12-2014, 05:07 AM
Maybe it would help to compare what flaxseed oil and linseed oil look like so people won't be confused. On the left, organic food grade flaxseed oil which I use for seasoning pans. On the right, linseed oil for wood. From what I understand from my woodworking friends, this particular type of linseed oil does not contain driers and is safe to use on wooden kitchen utensils. One you get at a health food store, the other at the hardware store.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/classycrafter/a90560b98e1bd456b43c658bfd35f0e3.jpg



I picked up some old griswolds and love them but, I also got a Favorite Piqua Ware #12 for $50 shipped and that is my absolute favorite. It's so much lighter than the griswolds and cooks like a dream. Wish I'd held off on the griswolds.

Edit: sorry for the blurry pic. I forgot to sharpen after I resized it :scared4:

loves2cook
02-09-2014, 04:27 PM
I've done the same thing in my home. I have various old griswold and wagner skillets of every size from 3-11. I also have a few older Lodge ranging from 3 up to a 14 skillet. The Lodge's are made in the USA and are very good quality. I have both enameld pieces from France and USA(Lodge) that I also use as well. I love my CI Dutch Ovens and have various old Griswolds, Wagners and Lodge from 2 quarts up to 12 quarts and I use them all the time. Nothing beats them IMHO. I use my old round griddles size 12 and 14 with the bail handles for pizzas. Mine are so well seasoned that I can cook tomato based chili in them and the seasoning stays unaffected by the tomato sauce. I've heard pros and cons but a little extra iron sure can't hurt lol. I've found most of my old CI at thrift stores, antique shops, craigslist and a few good guys on eBay.
We have almost completely shunned our non-stick pans and use cast iron almost exclusively now. I mainly use vintage cast iron (griswold, wagner and piqueware) but also use my wife's lecreuset quite a bit. I love both the plain cast iron and the enamel coated lecreuset but it depends on what you want to cook. I am considering picking up a debuyer 12-14" fry pan for frying up potatoes and when I want something a little lighter but my cast iron can handle it with no sticking issues whatsoever.

You can pick up some fantastic vintage cast iron on ebay if you are willing to wait to get a good price. If you want high price Griswold is considered the best and will be priced accordingly although I personally think my the quality of Wagner and Piqueware is just as good. I personally would stay away from lodge unless you want to sand / grind it smooth. Key is get something that sits flat without any serious rusting issues. My most recent purchase was a 12" Wagner griddle for eggs for about $45 with shipping in December.

If you want LeCreuset - My wife has pretty much the whole collection - I personally really like the enamel coated pots. We have an outlet center within an hour and a couple of times a year they have 35% off mailers so we usually hit that. Otherwise some of the online suppliers sometimes have good deals. My other favorite is the six inch non-enamelled fry pan - omelettes are a breeze with it and no sticking issues.

loves2cook
02-09-2014, 04:36 PM
that looks nice !
I think the seasoning is coming along nicely.
http://i.imgur.com/RiPYM.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/UNUMk.jpg

loves2cook
02-09-2014, 04:43 PM
the difference is what the collectors have set the prices to be, there is no difference how they cook or are used in the kitchen. the quality is the same. anything Griswold is great quality . if it has wagner on it with griswold then its not the same quality as the Griswold.
Does anyone have a griswold large logo and small logo or a griswold and Wagner that can tell me if there's a big difference in them to warrant such a big price difference?

loves2cook
02-10-2014, 11:36 AM
Another tip with Wagner's. If it has the 1891 on the skillet then its not a good skillet. The older skillets made in the USA just have Wagner Wagner Ware or Sidney on them. You do not want one of these below.

https://www.google.com/search?q=new+wagner+skillet&espv=210&es_sm=93&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=dvH4UuSCNpfroASEroHQBQ&ved=0CAsQ_AUoAw&biw=1658&bih=909#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=iVC0PAV9KSIQMM%253A%3BaYDiedbVh0TbaM%3Bhttp% 253A%252F%252Fhome.earthlink.net%252F~myjunketc%25 2Fimages%252FEquipment%252FcastironMarkWagners1891 Original.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.discusscooki ng.com%252Fforums%252Ff89%252Fmore-cast-iron-questions-27557-3.html%3B400%3B300

bjg1
02-14-2014, 06:09 PM
I started out with cast iron and still love it! Bayou Classic is my brand now. Great stuff and many sizes. I use salt for crusty cleaning but baking soda works good too.

Erilyn75
02-16-2014, 03:56 AM
My collection now consists of:

#3 Piqua
#6, 7, 8, 9 Griswold sm logo
#10 Wagner Ware (not 1891 original)
#12 Piqua

I got a really good deal for a set of small logo griswolds 3-9. I sold 3, 4 and 5 since I didn't need them which made the deal even better. Now I have to get a #11 of something to round out my collection. So far I've not noticed a bit of difference in cooking with any of them. I like the piqua because it's very light but I can't use the 12 on my stove, it's too big for our tiny burners. I have a few more to clean and season then that will be all done. It's a pain in the butt but very worth it in the end.

loves2cook
02-17-2014, 12:19 PM
I use my 7 and 8 Griswolds every day for eggs,omelettes and to saute veggies for the omelette's. The 8 makes a perfect 4 egg omelette.