Cast Iron Cookware
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?
For inexpensive I have a lodge skillet I got at Walmart works just fine. For expensive, I have a Staub Boulliabaisse and mussel pot.
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 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.
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.
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:
Originally Posted by Shinob1
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.
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.
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?
cant go wrong with lodge. Amazon has some good deals.
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.