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Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by Luftmensch, Sep 10, 2019.
What would you suggest, then, sir?
I think your lowes proxy and prices seem to be spot on. They are the same as down here in Texas. Sorry about the St Louis slam. It's an involuntary reaction.
Appliance pricing in St. Louis is in line with the rest of the country.
By the by...
Interesting thing I stumbled across yesterday. Lodge has acquired Finex:
I guess they are doing the full monty - albeit indirectly (through M&A). Not sure I care for Finex's aesthetic choice - but it will be interesting to see if Lodge does anything with Finex's know how...
@ian surely this lends more credence to the Portlandia hypothesis
Thanks... thats disappointing!
If seasoning was the only thing that flaked off it wouldn't be so bad. Locally when you look at the standard lodge cast iron line they are often chipped, heavily, like hunks of missing material. I mean, I have picked through them and got good ones and have had zero issues with them but I'd sure not want to order them blind.
You are not wrong!
Gas or ceramic with coils under are the norn here (S.E. Pennsylvania)
Induction only in custom built homes $$$. Where the owner get to chose appliances cabinets etc.
The local big box (Lowes) does not even have an induction display model
I am a big fan of induction but it also doesn't work with mainstream American cookware e.g. teflon coated aluminum or clad stainless.
That and the American appliance industry is wacky!!
Woh, that's news to me, thanks for posting it.
There is nothing that Finex does that Lodge hasn't done 100 years ago. They don't need know how. It was the availability of cheap aluminum and non stick coatings that made Lodge change their product. The cast iron pans went out of vogue and they had to figure out how to compete (lower prices made possible by automation). This meant no polishing or machining of the cooking surface and that pans couldn't be cast as thin (one of the consequences of automation in the forming molds).
The vintage pans that are lighter and smoother started becoming collectable in the past couple of decades and the boutique companies started popping up. Lodge is simply responding to the changing market. People are much more willing to drop serious coin on cast iron now. I have an original Blacklock Lodge that I came across 15 years ago that is at least 109 years old and I guarantee Finex is not superior in any way except if you value the coiled wire handle. The main difference is I paid ~$20 each for most of my vintage cast iron and a Finex will set you back $200. I know because I bought one and sold it shortly thereafter.
Wow, just wow!
So if you have a ceramic cooktop and it dies, you can't just replace it with an induction? Pretty easy in Europe since all appliances are 60cm (23.6 inches) wide and usually less than 60 cm deep. Lift out your cooktop, unplug / unwire it, replace it with a new one.
I also heard that in USA people have a single appliance that contains both oven and cooktop. To me, that is so strange of a concept. Here, they are almost always separate devices and can be replaced independently of one another, even though the cooktop is generally installed directly over the oven. Ovens fit into standard sized kitchen cabinets and are never installed standing directly on the floor. Replacing your oven is as simple as pulling the old one out, unplugging, and plugging into the electrical socket and pushing the new one into the cabinet. People buy and sell used electric cooktops and ovens all day long on facebook marketplace. 50 EUR seems to be the going rate for used induction cooktops of normal width.
Gas is extremely rare here and I am always so jealous of those who have it. Given the choice of a gas stove over induction, gas would always win hands down.
It's a choice you make when you buy an induction. I think everything IKEA sells is induction-compatible. Lodge and De Buyer are induction compatible. Same with Le Creuset. I don't use other than those, but there are also mediation devices that allow you to use non-ferrous cookware on induction cooktops.
Hehe... don't get me wrong... this isn't deep tech. It is a soft material... There are no great secrets or magic.
That said, manufacturing has changed in the past century. What Lodge did 100 years ago isn't necessarily cost effective today. CNC machines as we know them (digital) are only ~40 years old - so it is "new" technology if you haven't been using it. If Finex have this tooling and in-house knowledge, Lodge could conceivably have a 'smooth' line manufactured in the Finex plant.
What if you value octagons?
Part of the reason I started this is that access to cheap vintage pans is not global. So a manufacturer with international distribution that offers smooth pans is of interest to me. The Blacklock line looks like a close match to this - I just did wish they went the whole hog...
Nothing that you can't fix with a grinding disk and a wire brush in half an our or so. There are people on YouTube who are really into getting cast iron pans with an almost mirror-polished surface.
But I'm not sure it's necessary. I have a (standard, not Blacklock) Lodge cast iron pan. It's a little rough, as they are. But it works fine. Stuff doesn't stick.
I did add my own seasoning (in the oven, four coats, with rice bran oil). So far (after nearly a year), nothing has flaked off, failed, or shown degraded performance. It's my favourite pan.
I remember! Thats how we "met"...
I did the same. A grinding disk and flap wheel will get you most of the way. I went even further, just 'because', and hand polished to 1200 using wet and dry. It was approaching a mirror surface and very smooth. In the long run I found that to be counter productive. The seasoning had a tough time adhering and accumulating. A year or two later I decided to 'reset' and rough the surface with 180 or 320 (I cant remember) to give the seasoning more texture to grip on to.
Thanks for pointing that out! With hindsight, it's actually not that surprising. The polymerised oil needs something to "hang onto". If the surface is too smooth, it'll peel off, probably in small sheets.
120 sounds reasonable to me. To a human, that's "very smooth". To the oil, that's probably "quite rough".
A 'range' or 'stove' is a single appliance with a cooktop over an oven. The advantage is it is a single unit that gets tucked in between two base cabinets, and only needs one electrical wire, or one electrical wire plus one gas line. Separates are available as well -- cooktops and wall ovens. Going that route means two special cabinets and a counter cut-out, plus two separate power and/ or fuel sources. So that means it is more expensive, so you do not see separates much in new home construction.
I have a gas range, plus a separate electric oven. But we installed those when we renovated the kitchen.
I know what you mean, it’s as if excess oil collects and doesn’t season then flakes off. I soak all my CI in NaOH (lye) solution then scrub with steel wool, neutralize the lye then season from raw iron.
I don’t think I’ll get any of these new ones as I’m happy with the current modern Lodge CI I have.
I found the same. I sanded out one of the lodge chef skillet (with the sorta sloped sides) using a flap wheel and sand paper (think a progression of 40-60-100 grit) and didn’t do a great job. You can almost see “facets” from the flap wheel being aggressive on the curved sides and there’s a lot of scratches, plus some lodge has little divots or casting inclusions.
At any rate I find the seasoning doesn’t stick as easily in the pan doesn’t get as dark. When giving a hard sear to a steak over high heat I find it doesn’t release as easily as the rough surface versions.
Guiding this back on topic (slightly), I have a 15 inch (38cm) Lodge cast iron skillet whom I refer to as "Ozzy Osbourne" (it, like Ozzy, is heavy metal). Lodge measures from outside rim to outside rim across the top of the cookware, not the bottom. The bottom of the skillet is 13.5 inches (34cm). The largest "burner" on my current induction cooktop is 21cm, which means that there is quite a bit of "overhang" that does not get nearly as hot as the center of the skillet. This pisses me off when I am trying to fry 4 pork chops at the same time.
The solution is to buy a newer induction cooktop that has multiple heat zones that can automagically be combined into one. I found this one at a local appliance store for 567 EUR, not bad for a "high end" induction cooktop. Time to pull the trigger here real soon now.
Nice design approach. The technology makes it possible, but someone has to think of actually taking advantage of what it can do, such as make several seamless rectangular cooking areas. Very nice!
larger than average american stove but this is what is most common here
Maybe I am being dense here, but why wouldn't the solution be to use two pans?
Because the 24cm DeBuyer pans which I have, which have a bottom diameter of 18cm and fit perfectly on the two 18cm burners on the left hand size of my cooktop are not big enough to each hold 2 pork chops flat.
The 24cm DeBuyer pans are already touching rims when they are on the 18cm burners, which means that using the 26cm DeBuyer pans is already out of the question as the pans would again be hanging over the edge of the "burner". See my diagram above to know what I mean.
I have the same 15” pan and use it on my largest “burner” which is about 28cm. I let it preheat for a long time and don’t have issues. But going down to 21cm is a lot. It sounds like the perfect fit for the 10.25” (old #8) size
Side note… I also dream of upgrading to induction, but only if I get something like a Gaggenau which I can setup gas and induction side by side.
Exactly... this was my reasoning. Taking it to the polished extreme was very much a waste of time - but I was honestly curious how shiny I could get it. Pro tip... it oxidises quickly (duh). I tried to be artful with the rough sandpaper - I got a strip and rotated it about the centre (so the scratch marks look approximately circular). I have also been experimenting with burning off some of the residue after cooking (including remnant meat/sauce/veggies) and then scraping it clean with a paint scraper. It is ugly but the surface that is accruing does seem durable...
I think this is one of those on going cast iron debates (smooth or rough). I tend to agree with you.. I think a well seasoned pan can be made 'non-stick' with a rough or smooth surface. Your comment reminds me of this:
(any beautiful science nerds out there? Enjoy! Watch the whole thing through... you'll be treated by the cello)
Thanks for that link, that's a great video!
As far as my Lodge is concerned, it has the original slightly rough surface. It's well seasoned, with a good film of polymerised oil. Stuff doesn't stick, it's simple as that. So, I'm not worried about the pan not being perfectly smooth on the inside.
If I cook an egg in that pan, I do see some very small and finely-spaced spots on the underside of the egg occasionally, especially if I've used no or almost no oil. The peaks of the rough surface seem to heat the egg just a little more, so each peak creates a slightly darker spot. Seeing that I rarely serve my eggs upside down, I don't mind
My pleasure! apart from the cello having an unfair advantage in pulling my heart strings, the effect is quite pretty.
My experience is similar. Objectively I have no reason to seek a smoother surface.... aesthetically? Well... I can't really defend it! But at least I know its is not borne of rationality...
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