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Old 08-18-2012, 01:55 PM   #31
Xeraux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nailhead View Post
A strong lye solution does wash it right off-- that's how I strip old CI cookware of questionable origin.
How often do you wash your dishes with sodium hydroxide?

I just run mine through the self cleaning cycle in my oven.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:26 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux View Post
How often do you wash your dishes with sodium hydroxide?
Odd question.

Opticlean will take the coating off CI, too, given enough time, and I have washed my dishes with that when the need arose.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:42 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Xeraux View Post
Exactly. That black "seasoning" is the polymerized oils. It's mostly all carbon. It's the residue of the burnt oil. You cannot wash that off. You can scrape it off and you can burn it off, but you'll never wash it off.

They arent non stick for shit after a soapy washing. Just use an 1/8 cup of water and an 1/8 cup of salt and scrub it down then wipe it out, light coat of oil and store it. A little soap wont hurt, a serious cleaning with soap and water will leave it prone to sticking. Do a search on dutch ovens and soap, I've never heard anyone suggest it.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:28 PM   #34
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You got some nice biscuits!
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:03 PM   #35
Hessian42
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Funny was just looking into iron pots for my slight anemia. Turns out cooking with these lets off a small amount of iron into your food and helps balance out your iron intake.

http://www.frugalfun.com/castiron.html
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:18 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Gonad Nomad View Post
You got some nice biscuits!

Actually sourdough yeast rolls.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:46 AM   #37
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Just learned the benefits of cast iron in the last year and a half or so.

For cleaning I will take and scrape out the big stuff with a spatula, fill it up with a quarter inch of water and put it back on a hot stovetop. Get it boiling and then pour it out, and hit it with salt and scrub with paper towel. If your salt gets trashed, dump it and put in fresh, until you feel comfortable with pans cleanliness - go by feel. Then, paper towel with a touch of oil and rub it in.

I just have a cheap rough cast 10" skillet from meijer - its a pretty nice setup. During the winter I cook steaks in it with decent results between stovetop and oven. Im beginning to transition to doing more things, such as eggs. I am currently on the lookout for a nice dutch oven for breadmaking.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:07 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cyclops View Post
Afraid to even look, lol. My mother in law is a garage sale junkie and brings them in from time to time. I saw this in the Lodge Outlet the other day, talk about sexy! It was built like a tank. I don't know why I haven't gotten one yet.
Ohhhhhh, me likey!

We use either straight up cast iron or enamelware cast iron, nothing else, ever except for boiling water. I basically got rid of everything else, and we had to, since we now have an induction stove top.

For cleaning, I just pull it straight off, take out the food, and use a natural bristle bruch and insanely hot tap water and it cleans right up. This works well if your tap water is crazy hot by nature. Just one benefit of having district heat.

Enamelware cleans with soap and water and is very durable, great for basically anyone who uses cast iron but a bit simpler to maintain.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:04 AM   #39
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Cleaning

I have the old cast iron pan my mother quit using. She always washed it after cooking like any other cooking pan. I haven't washed it since April, it has bacon grease a little oil and olive oil sits on the stove all the time. When the grease is cool I get the bigger pieces of food I missed and then heat it up. When I finish cooking bacon eggs and taters all at one time it stays on the stove over heat for a little while. So far it has only killed me once, that I can remember.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:44 AM   #40
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Bacon actually seems to help mine, and I drain the excess bacon grease into a mason jar through a filter (paper towel) to re-use for cleaning the pans or for cooking.

I use thick Wright bacon, which seems more natural, so maybe that helps when compared to the cheap bacon that out's there that probably has more sugar or additives in it?

Anyway, when I first got my (first) skillet (e-bay, small logo Griswold) I went and bought what I think was pork-back to chop up and then render to have pretty pure looking lard in a mason jar. Since then I found that my second mason jar of bacon grease / lard works just about the same, and is free since I cook bacon anyway. Initially I thought I wanted a second skillet to fry grits in while I was cooking bacon and eggs in the first, so I bought a second Griswold (larger logo) that was the same size. While I rarely cook grits anymore (maybe I'll do that this morning though), the second identical size has allowed me use it as a lid (upside down) for the first to use them as a dutch oven to cook bread in.

Since then a friend has passed away, and the people who cleaned out her house found a rusted skillet they were going to throw away, plus another ceramic-coated blue with white specks LL Bean skillet that is much too small for a guy's meal. But the first skillet is the very same size my first two are, except it is noticeably heavier and it has a heat-ring. Still a vintage skillet, but no clue who made it. So now I have three cast iron skillets of the same size on my stove top.

Anyway, I believe that real lard (not store-bought hydrogenated lard) is one of the keys to having a well-seasoned and easy-to-use cast iron skillet. That, and that lard is usually far healthier for us than all the substitutes the last few generations have been sold/convinced were healthier.

If done well, all a skillet that had good bacon and eggs cooked over-easy should seem to need is a little lard from the leftover bacon grease, and a wipe-down with a dedicated lard-wiping rag, or a new paper-towel while the skillet is still hot. Used like that I don't need soap or water.

If I cook other more sugary foods in them, like onions / diced veggies, or my seasoned chicken, then yeah, I'll use hot soapy water (on the bottom of the inside, don't really want to uncoat all it oil off of the sides and outside) right after using it, then put it back on the burner to steam the water off, add a tablespoon of the mason jar's grease and wipe it around or push it around with my SS spatula.

I think one of the things to consider about the way people used cat iron for a long time was that they didn't have this 'clean' fetish that so many are used to today. Sure, they were clean people, and wiped down their cast iron, or maybe boiled a little water in them, but I don't believe they went to the lengths some people today do to get them ultra-clean. After all, it's food particles, and as long as you get your skillet nice and hot the next time... they're sterile enough that a wiped-down skillet that was just used the day before isn't going to kill ya.

For new-comers, I'd suggest this write-up on cast iron: http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:35 AM   #41
Mambo Dave
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Originally Posted by Gonad Nomad View Post
I haven't seen this method mentioned yet, so here is my secret to an absolutely stick free skillet. NO WATER! Seriously. I know, I know. Heresy. You'll get the plague. Stick with me on this one.

I'm a Firemen. I work with some pretty damn fine cooks. This tip was passed on to me, to keep our stations collection of Wagner cast iron in tip top.

Anytime you cook with bacon, pour the grease into a paper cup or glass. Put bacon grease in fridge.

Anytime you cook with your cast iron, use a metal spatula to scrape out what you can. Then, pour a tablespoon or two of coarse sea salt in the pan. Take a rag and begin "sanding" away the caked on gunk. Takes less than a minute. Brush all salt and food gunk into the trash can.

At this point, you'll have a smooth, gunk free surface. Removal of non-stick oils and seasoning will have been minimized.

Finally, stick the pan on the stove on medium heat. Apply a teaspoon of previously saved bacon grease. Turn off heat and wipe away excess with a paper towel, or leave it for that matter. The bacon grease will cool and leave a grayish, almost dry appearing surface.

TOTALLY STICK PROOF! I can fry eggs over easy all day long.

Scott
Just read this, and I agree - I got into using water and soap once in a while, and should get back to no water. Thanks for the reminder, and the knowledge that you guys up in New York still pass down the old world knowledge.

Man, I bet you could tell us a few more things they passed on down to you.

Anyway, for a great metal spatula for these cast iron pans, guys, look into Dexter & Rusell flippers.

I bought both http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i00 and http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o03_s00_i01 , and found them great additions to cooking with cast iron.

I primarily use the smaller one since my pans are smaller when I cook for myself, but if I get a family sized pan or skillet, the larger will be perfect.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:41 AM   #42
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Just shot a little video of an egg in CI and loaded it. Really old skillet with only marking a "5" on back. Shot of Pam, egg left out to reach room temp, and thats about it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:19 AM   #43
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Just shot a little video of an egg in CI and loaded it. Really old skillet with only marking a "5" on back. Shot of Pam, egg left out to reach room temp, and thats about it.
You can hear my 3 yo in the background telling me I can make cupcakes out of the eggs
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:22 AM   #44
enjine
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Originally Posted by perterra View Post
have a recipe for that you'd like to share?
i could use biscuits like that as a major bargaining point with the wife ;)
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Nailhead View Post
Not so: check out a vintage Wagner, Gris, Piqua, etc., and you'll find the interiors are machine-finished. It's generally only the modern CI that is left rough.

I have a Griswold Chef Skillet that I bought cheap because the bottom of the interior is pitted as hell. Cooking in it was dicey at first, but now that the pits have filled in, it cooks great. I suppose a rough-cast modern one would do the same thing, but the flap-sanding idea sounds like a good one to remedy modern makers' laziness.
New chinese stuff does respond nicely to being refinished prior to cooking.

I don't trust what they come with from the factory anyhow.
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