cast iron cooking

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by The Cyclops, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    What could be more manly than frying up some bacon in a cast iron cooker over a flame? I have come to love cooking on cast iron. It really started a year or so ago when I found my dads favorite skillet for his big fish fry's. He had been gone for 9 years, but when I started working to recondition it I could still smell the fish that had cooked 9+ years before. Teared up to say the least. After learning about them and how to condition them I fell in love with them. No one had in my family had been doing it right and they really are nonstick, better and safer than Teflon! Got a gas stove and man I can't believe what a difference that combo makes. Flipping omelets with a 10" cast iron chefs skillet is not for girly men! Now I am almost collecting these things, and love to think about their history. I need to find some really vintage stuff.
    #1
  2. PachmanP

    PachmanP Long timer

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    Bacon always messes up the seasoning for my pans. Probably doing something wrong, but I'm still a fan of cast iron.

    As a bonus point I can cut back on eating nails.
    #2
  3. Fire Escape

    Fire Escape Long timer

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    Cook with cast iron. Unfortunately, my wife of many decades (who steadfastly refuses to ever let her opinion be swayed by facts) does not believe that anything can ever be safely eaten after cooking in a pan that wasn't thoroughly washed. I had some cast iron back in college days, when I moved, she conveniently neglected to pack it. We did have some in the firehouse but a similar mentality prevailed, use, wash, kinda-sorta re-season was the plan. Maybe, someday, I will try again, I thought about getting some for the camper but that is used mostly where I am surrounded by warmth, humidity and salt - can't keep my fishing gear from rusting there and I am probably too lazy to keep the cookware from rusting.


    Bruce
    #3
  4. gweaver

    gweaver NorCal is Best Cal!

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    Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I'll cook bacon about once a week to help keep my pan nice and non-stick. After I fry eggs, I'll try to do bacon a day or two later just to help get some oil/grease back in there. For some reason, eggs seem to pull the 'non-stick' out of my pan like nothing else.
    G
    #4
  5. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    The entire time growing up my mom washed our cast iron in soapy water so it didn't retain the nonstick, and the first few times I tried I really goofed, too and it didn't work. Here is what I do now, and I can make an egg slide around like its literally on ice. After you finish cooking allow the iron to cool down to where its just a little warm and rinse it off with water. Take a clean, wet rag and wipe it really good until it looks clean and then dry. Spray some vegetable oil in there (just enough to get a good coat), doesn't have to be dripping or running. When you get ready to cook an egg just hit it with a good shot of veg spray again and you are good to go. It may take a few times to get it conditioned, just hand in there, eggs are cheap and the dogs love them!

    The best thing is with gas/cast iron is it cooks so much better than electric. You have to really try to burn something with that combo, its like everything is just evened out or something.
    #5
  6. seuadr

    seuadr Wee-stromer

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    i use cast iron exclusively. i have an induction stove and it maintains perfectly, because the cast iron has the mass to do it. Non stick pans just don't work nearly as well. My pans are almost all either lodge pans that can pre-seasoned or garage sale finds that were very easy to re-season.
    #6
  7. Nailhead

    Nailhead Free at last!

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    If you're on a budget, you'd better stay away from eBay, then. :deal
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  8. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    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.
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    Seriously.

    What the fuck are you guys using on your cast iron pans that will wash off pure fucking carbon? Muriatic acid?


    Clean up consists of deglazing with some water after I'm finished cooking to get up the larger bits, then a quick dip in a little hot soapy water, rinse, back on the still hot stove top to dry it quickly, then a couple of drops of veg oil wiped around before putting away. My seasoning keeps getting better and better.

    If you're washing off your seasoning with some hot water and a couple of drops of Palmolive, it ain't really "seasoned". :nah
    #9
  10. straightrod

    straightrod Long timer

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    ^ +100. That is what I have been doing for 2 years and I consider my pans non stick. Sure I mess them up a little every so often, but then I just add some oil, canola, grape, corn, Pam, whatever and it is up to par in no time.
    #10
  11. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    From the Lodge website first rule-
    Using Your Lodge Cast Iron

    Rinse with hot water (do not use soap), and dry thoroughly.
    #11
  12. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    Don't care.

    A little Dawn dishwashing liquid ain't going to hurt baked-on pure fucking carbon. :nah

    Deglaze.
    Wash.
    Dry.
    Oil.
    Wipe.
    Store.
    #12
  13. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    It's not the carbon, it's the oils left in there and that's what dish washing liquid is designed to remove.
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  14. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    The build up of pure carbon is the "non-stick" surface. Not the oil.

    I always add a touch of fresh oil before putting it away (which Lodge also tells you to do). Oil that has been repeatedly heated and left in the pan can go rancid much more quickly and create potential health issues.

    Besides, if the oil was the non-stick part (which it isn't), whatever I'm cooking typically requires some oil in the pan, anyway.
    #14
  15. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    If you really want to speed up the creation of the "non-stick" surface, take a flap sander to the inside of the skillet and get that thing baby-ass smooth. Then season it.

    The reason they take years to get enough carbon baked on to create a smooth surface is because of how rough the pans are at first. You're building up the surface and filling in those valleys a few molecules thick at a time. That's why it takes years. It helps to start out with a smooth surface.
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  16. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    Do whatever works for you, but copy and pasted from the wikipedia article on cast iron-

    A seasoned pan has a stick-resistant coating created by polymerized oils and fats. Seasoning is a process by which a layer of animal fat or vegetable oil is applied and cooked onto cast iron or carbon steel cookware. The seasoning layer protects the cookware from rusting, provides a non-stick surface for cooking, and prevents food from interacting with the iron of the pan.
    #16
  17. WormShanks

    WormShanks b00b

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    :lol3

    This is truly the only major downside to cast iron cookware. I keep mine in the garage.
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  18. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    Not a downside - flavor.

    I am also OK using soap in mine, and usually every so often I'll do so. Lately I will just click on my electric kettle to boil up some water, and drop some boiling water into the hot pan right after cooking, swirl and wipe. Then leave on heat till dry, and wipe it with some oily paper towel.
    #18
  19. WormShanks

    WormShanks b00b

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    What I meant was the unstoppable drive of certain members of the family to scrub them out is the only down side. Hence I keep mine in the garage. :evil
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  20. Burninator

    Burninator Zed's dead

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    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
    #20