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Old 12-01-2012, 05:51 PM   #196
Mambo Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachnsurf View Post
Just got two pans in the mail and broke 'em in with some bacon. It's going to rain all weekend here so I plan to do some cooking.

On my list:
chicken fried steak
burger
sausage in pan in oven
fried chicken
steak

Any other ideas?
Corn Pone
No Knead Bread
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
No pics, but I was camping with my Scouts last night, and while they struggled with foil dinners in the coals, I broke out the dutch oven and sliced up a pork loin, some chopped potatoes, onion and carrots, seasoned with pork rub, adobo, salt and pepper, and a stick of butter.

Oh my gawd that was tasty.

Bacon and eggs and toast for breakfast this morning was good too.
Sounds really good. Tell me that wasn't an entire stick of butter, lol.

Do the scouts get some type of badge for foil cooking?
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #197
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That was an entire stick of butter. In fairness, I shared with a couple people. Perhaps it only took one year off my life instead of 3.

Foil dinners are just tradition, something to make the scout think about feeding himself and doing something to get fed (fire, then cook) and learn a little about how it all works. Our boys are too city-fied for my taste, so this is roughing it for most of them. A select few have been through my hard-core high adventure trips, and know better, but it's getting time to do that again. Yesterday was just car camping.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
That was an entire stick of butter. In fairness, I shared with a couple people. Perhaps it only took one year off my life instead of 3.

Foil dinners are just tradition, something to make the scout think about feeding himself and doing something to get fed (fire, then cook) and learn a little about how it all works. Our boys are too city-fied for my taste, so this is roughing it for most of them. A select few have been through my hard-core high adventure trips, and know better, but it's getting time to do that again. Yesterday was just car camping.
Hey man, I envy the position you're in. I didn't have children, but had I - reliving and teaching the new stuff I've learned would be great.

Can you believe that Boy Scouts in Florida aren't ever taught how to wrassle a gator?!

But, seriously, some of the tips for the simplified care, and use, of a cast iron skillet might well be included in there.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #199
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Oh, they were all watching. And watching me eat my most excellent smoked Tennessee bacon. I shared a piece out to the older ones who might appreciate it, and they all saw how simple the use of the tool was, along with its versatility.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:16 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post












Great idea on the lard production but, I don't think I would use a paper towel for straining, maybe some trace chemicals from production present that were not designed to be ingested. A coffee filter on the other hand was designed for straining.


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Old 12-02-2012, 08:37 AM   #201
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Coffee filters, they don't do all that good with oils. Just go ask any restaurant if they could spare a fat filter or 2. I'd give you some if I was closer.


Producing lard....darn I used to have one of them huge cast iron kettles, must have been a 60+ gallons. That's what they used them for in the old days, scalding pigs and then produce lard after the butchering. I watched them do just that in Mexico a couple times, everything in the pot bones and all....lets make lard. The smell can be a little offensive and the end product a little on the dark side. But tasty....!

I like that smiley...reminds me of my youth when we set up my big cast iron kettle for "corn on the cob" parties. That thing would sing when set on a large fire with 40 gallons of water boiling in it. Then dump the cobs in there by the hundreds and later fish them out with a leaf rake. A few pounds of butter preferably set on the hood of someone's junker and some salt. LOTS of beer....

I had some doubts about the fat rendering method, did not match what I learned many years ago but had to wait until I got home to my somewhat extensive library of very old cookbooks.Because I remembered the process should start with water and then found a recipe in "The cuisines of Mexico" by Diana Kennedy:

Easy and best of all....no mess or much time wasted stirring the pot.

A meat grinder and 2 lbs of pork fat:Cut the fat into pieces and pass it through the coarse disk of a meat grinder or chop finely in a food processor.( My notes on that...works better if the fat is frozen first and then chop as it is thawing. The food processor works well as long as it is a real one like a Cuisinart, not a wimpy discount one.Same applies to the cleaver work.)

A large bowl and 1 cup of cold water: Pour the water over the fat in the bowl and mix it well. Set aside to soak for at least 6 hours.

3 8-ounce jars: Sterilize the jars.(Note and food service tip, we now use an Hydrogen Peroxide solution to sterilize our equipments.)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

A heavy iron pan: Transfer the fat and water to the pan. Place on top shelf of the oven and cook until the fat starts to render- about 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 225 F and continue cooking for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Pour off the drippings from time to time, straining them into the prepared jars. Set the jars aside for about 36 hours and then seal and store in a cool, dry place.

Author's notes on the process: " The rendering could be done on top of the stove but I find the steady. indirect heat of the oven more satisfactory-the fat is less likely to catch you unawares and start to brown." (Diana Kennedy, The cuisines of Mexico, 1989)

Now that you have lard, go make some deep dish pies in them cast iron pans.I always get a kick of feeding pies to the vegetarians, vegetable shortenings just don't do it for me.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:01 PM   #202
Mambo Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cogswell View Post
Great idea on the lard production but, I don't think I would use a paper towel for straining, maybe some trace chemicals from production present that were not designed to be ingested. A coffee filter on the other hand was designed for straining.
Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
Coffee filters, they don't do all that good with oils. Just go ask any restaurant if they could spare a fat filter or 2. I'd give you some if I was closer.
Good ideas - both.

Not sure how accurate it is, but there is no doubt I should have thought of this beforehand, andjust found a Yahoo reply stating:

"There are two chemicals of concern in paper towels. The first is formaldehyde, which is used for wet strength of the paper, and the other is dioxin, which may be present from the bleaching of the paper.

Dioxin is an extremely toxic chemical and has been found to leach into foods such as milk from bleached paper cartons. Formaldehyde is a volatile chemical that can be released into the air and absorbed by other materials.

I couldn't find any research that shows how much dioxin or formaldehyde is emitted from paper towels or absorbed by food that has been sitting on them for a few minutes. My opinion is that if the food is simply sitting on the towel for a few minutes, it is probably absorbing very little of either chemical. But my best recommendation would be to use a plate instead.

If you are going to use paper towels, it's better to use the unbleached brown towels. There is more info on choosing paper towels in Green Seal's Choose Green Report on Bathroom Tissue and Paper Towels." http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...8193920AACf7PK

and there is a longer, more interesting post above that one that gets into detail, but still - good thinking on your parts.

And thanks for the stories and instructions, H96669, very interesting stuff. You're right - I now have the lard, but I've never made a pie crust before... guess it's not a bad time to learn though, right? I have, once, had a decadent apple pie cooked by a sweet country lass that was made with lard in the crust. I've had bakery-bought pies that came close to it, but I've never had one as flaky or good as that pie.

I hoped to make Buttermilk biscuits out of the lard, but for the work involved ... I might as well keep buying frozen Buttermilk Biscuits and instead make a pie.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:06 PM   #203
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I'm really starting to love my new Lodge that I sanded the bottom smooth. It has been building up a good seasoning and now nothing will stick to it. Even burnt bits wipe out with no effort what so ever. I dare say I think it may be better than my Griswold or Wagner that have fantastic bottoms
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:28 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by The Cyclops View Post
I'm really starting to love my new Lodge that I sanded the bottom smooth. It has been building up a good seasoning and now nothing will stick to it. Even burnt bits wipe out with no effort what so ever. I dare say I think it may be better than my Griswold or Wagner that have fantastic bottoms


I'm going to try this. My 18 year old has declared himself a cast iron fan, and maybe I'll do this and put one under the tree for him.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:03 AM   #205
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While at the farm during deer season, I was digging around looking at the cast iron. The bottom of the cast iron pot had both Wagner and Griswold labels. What's up with that?
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:43 AM   #206
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While at the farm during deer season, I was digging around looking at the cast iron. The bottom of the cast iron pot had both Wagner and Griswold labels. What's up with that?
I believe that when Griswold went out of business, Wagner bought the molds out http://www.griswoldcookware.com/history.htm

ignore what they say about them not being 'collectable' - to any of us looking for good CI to cook with that has some history, they're probably as good as anything. Wagner made good stuff, and if I understand what I've read correctly, yours was still made to Wagner specs sometimes after the 1950's, but not in the 1970's.

Later Trademarks

  • In 1915, Wagner stamped one large italic W followed by smaller letters "agner" and "are" on the bottom of its cast iron cookware. These trademarks included Wagner ware Sidney O stamped on many different pots and skillets until 1959; Griswold Wagner ware on Dutch ovens, muffin pans and skillets from 1915 forward; Wagner ware inside a triangle on skillets and NATIONAL Wagner ware from 1915 until an uncertain date. The company stamped WagnerWare on numerous products from 1959 forward. In 1991, it marketed a "Wagner's 1891 original" on its cast iron cookware.

Mambo Dave screwed with this post 12-03-2012 at 08:16 AM
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:27 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
Good ideas - both.


"There are two chemicals of concern in paper towels. The first is formaldehyde, which is used for wet strength of the paper, and the other is dioxin, which may be present from the bleaching of the paper.

Dioxin is an extremely toxic chemical and has been found to leach into foods such as milk from bleached paper cartons. Formaldehyde is a volatile chemical that can be released into the air and absorbed by other materials.

I couldn't find any research that shows how much dioxin or formaldehyde is emitted from paper towels or absorbed by food that has been sitting on them for a few minutes. My opinion is that if the food is simply sitting on the towel for a few minutes, it is probably absorbing very little of either chemical. But my best recommendation would be to use a plate instead.
The dioxin...I can't get over the habit of some restaurants of serving food on top of "paper doilies". I don't exactly cook in a restaurant but we had a couple cases of them at work, I threw them all out.

What I use for filtering stocks & juices at work is plain old nylon "nauseum screen", same stuff that your tent is probably made of. You can buy that by the yard at most tissue stores, if you don't mind being the odd man in there.

As a matter of fact, the deep fryer filtering systems for high volume operations rely on a very similar material to prefilter fats before it goes through the machine. You can also buy similar material at the u-brew beer & wine stores,that would be a fruit bag to make wines out of seedy fruit like raspberries/blackberries.Just have to be careful as to how hot the lard is when you pour it in but they all seem to do fine at around 200-210F, I keep washing/reusing them filters over and over, just so I don't have to go to the tissue store too often.

Sorry, can't show you how to make pastry here, all I use is lard/flour/water and a little salt, no need to get fancy with extra ingredients for flakiness, it is all in the working/folding the dough.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #208
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Wow, I thought Wagner had gone under completely - it appears they are still available:

www.wagnerware.com
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by spezjag View Post
Wow, I thought Wagner had gone under completely - it appears they are still available:

www.wagnerware.com
Cool, that's good to know-- polished interior and all.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:05 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post



I don't know the brand, but that lid is perfect for putting coals or charcoal briquettes on, so I'd strongly consider it since that's the style of Dutch Oven the outdoor/cowboy cooks I've been reading up on, and watching videos, are using. 20 does sound huge though. That same site has smaller ones. Guess it depends on the family and friends you have to cook for.

That is a neat site ( http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/cast_iron_cookware.htm ) - I may order my next CI from there instead of bidding for an antique on ebay next time. Thanks.






I just got my Bayou Classic 16 qt Dutch oven. The lid is so warped it won't fit the pot and the lip around the inside of the lid appears to be broken in two places. It could be made this way, but I can't find a reason why. Finish is VERY rough. I'm not a happy camper.

I'll find out in the next day or so how their customer service is. This pot is going back.
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