Smithey Ironware

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by Dave Martell, Jun 17, 2018.

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  1. Nov 17, 2018 #61

    Anton

    Anton

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    you mean you do find smoother performing better? Or is the improved satisfaction is non-performance based ?
     
  2. Nov 17, 2018 #62

    boomchakabowwow

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    There is no way a new bumpy pan can match a smooth one. Even if both pans are seasoned the same. You won’t tell doing simple meals like steak and potato hash; but break out an fried egg or something delicate. Yea, you’ll notice.

    When I had my lodge, I could cook eggs but it had to be after the accompanying pork chop or something. I couldn’t start with the egg. My pan was super seasoned from me trying to learn how to cook pan fried chicken. It was super slick, but the bumps were always there. My super seasoned bumps. I can’t see how you smoth those out with just seasoning layers. That a deep level of molecular thick layers of seasoning.
     
  3. Nov 17, 2018 #63

    btbyrd

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    I misremembered Kenji's exact words, but oh well. In my experience, I've never found a difference between smooth and rough cast iron in terms of nonstick performance. And most of what I read online seems like people are going off of their intuitions about the compartive "stickiness" of a textured versus a smooth surface rather than any sort of testing. Not that my own experience is anything more than anecdotal, but in this sample where N=1, my Lodge performs just as well as my Griswolds -- even for fried eggs. Many nonstick pans feature a micro textured surface that in no way diminishes their nonstick properties. In fact, it can enhance it. On a much larger textural scale, this is the rationale behind the All Clad D3 Armor line of stainless "kinda nonstick" pans. They're sort of like pans with a grantoned bottom. I wonder how many knife nerds simultaneously believe both that (1) smooth pans are more nonstick than bumpy pans and (2) mirror polished blades are more prone to problems with sticktion than non-polished blades with the same grind. Not that these beliefs are necessarily inconsistent, but there's a bit of a tension between them at first blush.
     
  4. Nov 17, 2018 #64

    WildBoar

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    We have a mix of newer 'preseasoned' (i.e., bumpy) Lodge pans and a few smooth vintage. We definitely notice a difference between the smooth and bumpy when non-stick is desired. The smooth wins hands-down.
     
  5. Nov 18, 2018 #65

    HRC_64

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    Used to cook crepes in them, so perhaps I'm a bit more particular.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2018 #66

    Chef Doom

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    I find it does but to each his own. I am not going to tell someone not to cook on their lodge if they enjoy it.

    Although I am no fan of hipsters the one thing people seem to not appreciate is making certain traditions cool.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2018 #67

    WildBoar

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    Today was an all-cast-iron skillet day for me. Made paninis at two different times, made a batch of crispy potatoes, a batch of onions and bell pepper, two batches of fried eggs and one batch of scrambled. Made use of a large Lodge, a small Lodge and small vintage. The Lodges were modern ('preseasoned').

    Fried eggs stuck a bit in the small Lodge. And scrambled eggs stuck a lot. The fried eggs in the vintage slid all around, and came right out with zero fuss.
     
  8. Nov 18, 2018 #68

    Dave Martell

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    I've stripped all the pre-seasoning off of my newer Lodges and they're so much better now. The factory seasoning would come lose and get into the food and everything stuck even with multi-coats of additional seasonings added. The best of the bunch is the 12" skillet that I sanded to baby butt smooth - now that's a joy to use. Did the same to a 3-notch Lodge from the '80's and man that sucker is impossible to stick an egg to now.

    BTW, I wouldn't sand vintage skillets but a new Lodge is junky enough that you can't make it much worse.
     
  9. Nov 18, 2018 #69

    Luftmensch

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    Just to play the devil's advocate here...

    Is there any possibility that surface friction and the ability for food to bond with the surface are confused? For example, I purchased a cast iron dutch oven and skillet at the same time several years ago. Before using them, I smoothed the skillet but not the dutch oven. After several years of use they approximately have the same quality of seasoning. The dutch oven releases food just fine but it doesn't slide around as easily as the smooth skillet - so the rough dutch oven does seem stickier!

    The ability to slide food around with less force or even without a spatula/spoon has a fair amount of value. You can jiggle the pan around to keep the food from settling in one spot. This is great for fragile food like eggs with runny yokes.


    Or that age does not necessarily make a design obsolete! I am yet to experience a better material for searing meat.

    Definitely. Also, if you want to know exactly what makes up the surface of the pan - make it yourself. I trust Lodge's seasoning from a food safety point of view but I would approach minor-brands and second-hand goods with more caution. If it flakes off do you want to be eating some unknown substance?
     
  10. Nov 18, 2018 #70

    Luftmensch

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    Is it greedy to say "both"... :D
     
  11. Nov 18, 2018 #71

    playero

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    nice dish washer. is it good?
     
  12. Nov 28, 2018 #72

    Cutting_Edge

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    I sandblasted two lodge cast iron pans then used a flappy sanding disc to remove the sand residue and then I cured the pans two times.
    Smooth as a baby's butt. They get used a lot so I do have to reseason them every three months or so. I don't care about the name on the pan. To me it's all about performance.
     
  13. Nov 28, 2018 #73

    Luftmensch

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    What grit did you stop at? I mentioned earlier; I went overboard and polished the surface for laughs. What I didn't anticipate is how long it would take for the seasoning to adhere well. I wonder where the sweet spot is? I bet the final grit could be pretty low. Maybe 120? The scratch marks would get filled pretty easily I imagine.
     
  14. Nov 28, 2018 #74

    Cutting_Edge

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    I use 90 grit. Seemed to work well.
     
  15. Nov 29, 2018 #75

    Luftmensch

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    Nice! Thanks.

    Why did you sandblast? To strip back the seasoning on the pans? Or to reduce the amount of work you'd need to do with the flap-wheel?
     

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