Cast Iron Frying Pans

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oneleaf
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by oneleaf » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:17 pm

musbane wrote: People pay large premiums to buy antique pans made by now defunct companies like Griswold and Wagner. The reason is that in olden times makers would perfectly smooth the bottom (cooking surface) of the pan which together with the curing of the pan makes it virtually non stick.
I own 6 different cast iron pieces from Griswold and Wagner. Love them. However, I believe it is a myth that the smoothness makes them more nonstick. Yes, they are much smoother than the Lodges (I also own two modern Lodges), but the Lodges actually season better and take less time to become nonstick. Even the fanatics at the Griswold and Wagner Society Forum agree that the older smoother pans have a much higher learning curve in regards to getting used to the right amount of heat and oil to be nonstick.

The newer Lodges look less refined, as they are rougher, but in terms of useability, are truly as good as it gets, imo. The only reason I use my Griswolds and Wagners is that they are about 2/3 the weight of an equivalent sized Lodge. And I know my pans well so I know how to use them. But I believe the Lodges are actually better beginner pans.

I have two Wagners that were made in the early 1910's and they are my favorites. Goes to show how well they last!

If interested in getting old pans, the very old Wagners (Sidney O on bottom) with the heat ring are probably the best value. Less collectable than the same era Griswolds but just as nice. The 1950/60's small logo Griswolds are nice too and quite affordable. I own two from that era. Roughly speaking, the older, the lighter. A 1910-1920 era Griswold or Wagner feel much lighter than a 1950 Griswold which is much lighter than a modern Lodge.

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LowER
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by LowER » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:20 pm

A well-seasoned cast iron (not enameled) skillet is the penultimate for many dishes - think 60+ year old well seasoned skillets. There is no substitute. Imagine eggs sliding around like air hockey pucks.

I have Staub, entire Demeyere Pro line set, high-end All-Clad and Mauviel, etc., (very frugal most every where else in life); there really is nothing better than a multigenerational hand-me-down cast iron skillet that's been well seasoned. Many can be found at estate sales and Goodwill for a few bucks, but you have to look.

When seasoned correctly for a few decades, cast iron is non-reactive, extremely nonstick, holds heat well but not extremely uniform like a Pro Line Demeyere or copper core All-Clad, and is beyond easy to care for: no soap, no scrub, no soak.

There are many youtube videos addressing seasoning and ongoing care.

I also have too many enameled cast iron crocettes and skillets and grill pans, which I love, but I usually reach for well-seasoned non-enameled cast iron first.

There is a fantastic youtube video that's about 30 minutes long detailing many of the basics of older and collectible cast iron skillets out there.

Modern Lodge skillets are excellent as well, and I use them frequently, and are very inexpensive but are no comparison to a very well-seasoned skillet, which can be done over time with a Lodge. Also, modern cast iron is typically more heavy than older cast iron so holds heat better for things like 500 degree cowboy steaks - less than a minute a side, rest for 12 minutes under foil, serve on a 500 degree plate, and enjoy the best steak you've ever had. Google cast iron steak to find many recipes.

Cast iron is not so good for backpacking.

daveatca
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doing it wrong

Post by daveatca » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:26 pm

FoolStreet wrote:For the life of me, I can't figure out how to use our le creuset cast iron skillet....Then tried bar keepers friend, then just left it to soak. Yes, I had to use soap the get the junk off..
No!
You are doing it all wrong!
Never use soap, detergent, scrubbing powder on a seasoned cast iron skillet as you will remove the seasoning.

http://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice ... re-article

http://www.thekitchn.com/i-seasoned-my- ... ned-224612

mmx1
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by mmx1 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:37 pm

Or use soap, but don't scrub the [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] out of it.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/the- ... -iron.html

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oneleaf
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by oneleaf » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:58 pm

mmx1 wrote:Or use soap, but don't scrub the [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] out of it.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/the- ... -iron.html
I would agree with it. I routinely use a little mild detergent with my pans. Real seasoning (as in polymerized oil) should not come off that easily.

FoolStreet
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Re: doing it wrong

Post by FoolStreet » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:09 pm

daveatca wrote:
FoolStreet wrote:For the life of me, I can't figure out how to use our le creuset cast iron skillet....Then tried bar keepers friend, then just left it to soak. Yes, I had to use soap the get the junk off..
No!
You are doing it all wrong!
Never use soap, detergent, scrubbing powder on a seasoned cast iron skillet as you will remove the seasoning.

http://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice ... re-article

http://www.thekitchn.com/i-seasoned-my- ... ned-224612
My ego is a little bruised. Daveatca and mmx1 are saying not to use soap and then LowER comes along and puts the drop on me. I've been doing cast iron backpacking wrong all this time, too!!?? ;-) Okay, time to watch the videos. Thanks, folks.

wallygator
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by wallygator » Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:34 am

Howdy,

OOOPSIE. I was told this by Lodge employee and it seemed to make sense. Appears it's wrong. Manufacturers don't want folk scratching the tops or dropping the pans and cracking them.

Thanks,

Wally

barnaclebob wrote:
wallygator wrote:
barnaclebob wrote:
Mick wrote:One problem is they should not be used on some of the smooth cooktops. Not sure why but that is what we read in the manual for ours.
Its likely due to the fact that they are heavy and therefore more likely to be slammed down on glass cooktops breaking them.
NO! The cast Iron holds so much heat that it can crack the glass top of the stove! I have to use the side burner on my gas grill but works great on steaks. Sear them few minutes each side and throw in oven for 5-10 minutes depending on thickness,,,,

See ya,

W
That doesn't make sense from a physics standpoint. The only thing the glass cares about is temperature, not the heat capacity of what is placed on it.

After some reading it does appear that cast iron conducts heat relatively poorly and therefore the bottom of it could be hotter than a typical pot or pan. However I'm not sure if thats a big deal. I do know that my brother uses cast iron on his glass cooktop with no issues.

Leesbro63
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:14 pm

OK! I am the original poster and two days ago dropped $20 at Target for a 12 inch LODGE cast iron frying pan. So far, so good! I've been playing around with it etc. My observation is that the weight of it is somewhat cumbersome and annoying, but making meat (thin steak, seasoned, for steak salad) was definitely better than made with our teflon and non-teflon All-Clad skillets. Well worth the $20...probably not worth $200+ for something fancier. Thank you all for the information about cast iron frying pans, how to cook with them, how to care for them and how to buy them. :sharebeer

Jeff Albertson
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by Jeff Albertson » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:35 pm

Lodge sponsors the 'National Cornbread Festival" in late April each year. The web site has winning recipes for jacked-up cornbread products.
http://www.nationalcornbread.com/

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Mrs.Feeley
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:57 pm

Here's a video showing how Lodge cast iron skillets are made. Really interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cqmsaf ... e=youtu.be

barnaclebob
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:26 am

Leesbro63 wrote:OK! I am the original poster and two days ago dropped $20 at Target for a 12 inch LODGE cast iron frying pan. So far, so good! I've been playing around with it etc. My observation is that the weight of it is somewhat cumbersome and annoying, but making meat (thin steak, seasoned, for steak salad) was definitely better than made with our teflon and non-teflon All-Clad skillets. Well worth the $20...probably not worth $200+ for something fancier. Thank you all for the information about cast iron frying pans, how to cook with them, how to care for them and how to buy them. :sharebeer
Yay, another convert... Now you too can chime in on the annual cast iron skillet or "what cookware should I buy" threads...

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Cosmo
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by Cosmo » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:11 am

Leesbro63 wrote:OK! I am the original poster and two days ago dropped $20 at Target for a 12 inch LODGE cast iron frying pan. So far, so good! I've been playing around with it etc. My observation is that the weight of it is somewhat cumbersome and annoying, but making meat (thin steak, seasoned, for steak salad) was definitely better than made with our teflon and non-teflon All-Clad skillets. Well worth the $20...probably not worth $200+ for something fancier. Thank you all for the information about cast iron frying pans, how to cook with them, how to care for them and how to buy them. :sharebeer
Welcome aboard. Wait until you start trying to make stuff like cornbread or Apple Crisp. I have been using cast iron years before it became cool.

Cosmo

Leesbro63
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by Leesbro63 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:41 am

We are really enjoying our Lodge cast iron skillet recommended here. We also bought the Lodge glass lid and neoprene handle covers/insulators.

Question: Are either or both this lid and covers safe to put into the oven?

pshonore
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by pshonore » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:47 pm

Or you can try a carbon-steel pan which is supposedly what the pros use. (somewhat lighter than cast-iron)

I really like the Cook's Illustrated reviews:

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/equipm ... l-skillets

also one for cast iron:
https://www.cooksillustrated.com/equipm ... n-skillets

michaeljc70
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:39 pm

People have echoed many of my thoughts already. I have had lodge cast iron, Le Creuset and have had other enameled cast iron.

I think the benefit to the enameled is you have to be less careful with acidic foods and it is slightly easier to clean. To me, not much benefit (I received the Le Creusets as gifts and would not have bought them).

The non Le Creuset enameled cast iron pans I've bought have all cracked over time.

Cast iron is fantastic for searing and frying as they retain heat so well.

I avoided them (non-enameled cast iron) for a long time due to thinking it was a nightmare to clean them. Now I put kosher salt in the pan and scrub with a soft bristle brush and rinse. I apply oil rarely. I typically put it on a burner for 30 seconds to dry it well.

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Mrs.Feeley
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by Mrs.Feeley » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:24 pm

I've used my large cast iron frying pan for baking deep dish pizza and it works very well.

Inspired by this thread and the pizza-making one, I recently bought a Lodge cast iron pizza pan ($35 from Walmart.com). Oh my! The pizza crust crisps nicely on it. Better than on a pizza stone. And using it is so much easier than struggling to get the pizza on and off the stone with a peal without calamity. I plan to use it for other baking. Highly recommended.

noco-hawkeye
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by noco-hawkeye » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:32 pm

My wife swears by her Le Creuset, and we have a Lodge and a Staub item as well. She notes that the Le Creuset cleans the easiest and is her favorite to cook with. Staub is close, but not quite the same. The lodge is her least favorite.

You might try a TJ Maxx or other store like that, if available. We regularly see Le Creuset there, for decent prices. You don't get a very broad selection, but this might be a good way to try something out before going too far in.

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OldOne
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by OldOne » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:06 pm

". . $200+ as in the Le Creuset"


Go to Academy and buy Lodge cast iron cookware. That's as good as it gets and the price is right.

rene
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by rene » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:52 am


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dumbbunny
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by dumbbunny » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:13 am

I like Birmingham Stove and Range cast iron. It doesn't have the cachet (yet) of Gris and Wag iron and so it is cheaper.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

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4nursebee
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by 4nursebee » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:36 am

So yesterday we got a new Saveur magazine, had a corn bread recipe. I immediately scrapped dinner plans and set about making it. Eventually found our cast iron pan on the floor in the attic. So glad we had it as the recipe was a hit! Cream style corn, onions, cheese, sour cream and a little corn meal and eggs...oh so good.
4nursebee

Mingus
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Re: Cast Iron Frying Pans

Post by Mingus » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:26 am

Cool. I might pursue one of these.

For those interested, this is an American made cast iron pan company in Michigan, with a smooth finish like the Wagners and Griswolds of old. Unlike the rough Lodge pans.

Also to note, I have an enameled LeCreuset saucier that popped a quarter size piece of enamel off itself a few days ago. So I get to see how the good the lifetime warranty really is on that brand.

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