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The challenge: cast iron on smoothtop stoves

 
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Cormega
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:11 am    Post subject: The challenge: cast iron on smoothtop stoves Reply with quote

As a steak lover, I absolutely love cooking with cast iron. The lady and I recently moved and despite all my protesting, we ended up with a smoothtop stove. As many of you probably know, pretty much all the stove manufacturers warn against using cast iron on smoothtops because it can cause scratches.

So what to do? I'm thinking about putting a sheet of aluminum foil between the burner and the cast iron pan. Any idea if this would work without ending in a disaster? I read somewhere about aluminum foil melting in someone's oven, but it was not clear whether it was regular aluminum foil or coated aluminum foil.

If anyone has any ideas, please share! I miss my steak. Sad
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CookNewb
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would buying a separate electric burner be out of the question? Or perhaps does cooking the steak in the over still in the cast iron vessel?
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Cormega
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CookNewb wrote:
Would buying a separate electric burner be out of the question? Or perhaps does cooking the steak in the over still in the cast iron vessel?


I considered this and the best one I could find was a Waring Pro. At 1300 watts (my stove's burner is something to the tune of 2500w), do you think this can get the job done? I need my cast iron stupid hot. I'd prefer a more integrated solution, but if nothing else works then this may be my last resort.
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Auspicious



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 58
Location: on the boat, Annapolis, MD

PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why electric at all? Get a portable gas burner. They are frequently used by caterers and outdoor chefs. They aren't expensive and the butane canisters are readily available.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there any ill effects to using a portable gas burner indoors or is it not much different than a gas stove?

To be honest, the main reason that I'm staying away form this sort of solution is because the Mrs. refuses to let me get anymore kitchen gadgets. Anger

So, anyone have any idea about that aluminum foil? Sad
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Are there any ill effects to using a portable gas burner indoors or is it not much different than a gas stove?

To be honest, the main reason that I'm staying away form this sort of solution is because the Mrs. refuses to let me get anymore kitchen gadgets. Anger

So, anyone have any idea about that aluminum foil? Sad


How about getting a portable counter top single burner induction stove. They can be a little pricey, but they heat instantly and you can put it away after you use it without a really long cool-down. The portable butane stoves are also good. I think I might come close to having an arm wrestle contest on this, and the winner gets his way on this one. She has four or five burners on her new stove that you can't use for your intended purpose. She owes it to you to allow you to buy one burner to satisfy your needs.

If your wife absolutely won't let you buy any more gadgets, tell her what you want for your birthday gift! Big smile Big smile

The aluminum foil idea will help prevent scratches, but you may find aluminum marks on the stove that you'll have to clean. Besides, those smooth surfaced electric stoves just don't have the output of other types of stoves, regardless what the manufacturer specs tell you. The thermostats in them prevent the pans from getting too hot.
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Howard



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't espouse the sear-then-bake method, get an outdoor turkey fryer burner. Doubles as a sweet (and might I say tasty) wok burner.
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IndyRob



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When a steak meets my cast iron skillet, the skillet is usually on my outdoor gas grill. I find I can get around a 760 degree F surface temp on the pan - versus around 400 degrees on my gas 'power burner' on my stovetop. So my first suggestion would be to try it outside. That's where men should be cooking anyway Wink. I give the the steak about a 1-2 minute sear on each side and then put the pan into a 425 oven to finish.

So, if an outdoor grill is something you've acquired before the embargo, then that's what I'd recommend. I'd be curious to know if anyone has measured them surface temp of a cast iron pan on a charcoal grill.

But electrics (I'm talking about coils here), in my own anectotal evidence, seem to get hotter than gas stovetop burners (despite the low thermal reaction time). (I'd also be curious about measured temps there as well.)

It seems like a couple layers of aluminum foil could guard against scratches. If I recall correctly, the melting point of aluminum is above 1100 degrees F. That's about what Ruth's Chris has said their broiler temps are at.

But use this info at your own risk of course.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use my cast iron my glasstop all the time. I figure if it scratches, it will be a good excuse to switch to gas.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd strongly suggest skipping the aluminium foil idea -- on high heat you could melt the foil and end up with a huge mess on your hands.

I too love cast iron, but it doesn't work well on my smoothtop primarily because it's not perfectly flat. When I really need to use it, I have a single burner propane (or butane?) unit that works just fine.

http://www.amazon.com/000-BTU-Portable-Burner-06-0004/dp/B00125R7SU
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kevenjoo



Joined: 12 May 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is maybe the foil which is not coated or the regular one. We had this smoothtop oven too. We've been using that for so long.
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An-Engineer's-Wife



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use baking paper/parchment paper - between the pan and the smooth top of my induction cooktop. Works great!
Please don't use foil. You could end up ruining your cooktop.
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DJLake
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Aluminum Foils and Cast iron skillets Reply with quote

I'd be careful, sometimes (according to Reynolds) aluminum foil will react when in contact with other metals, notably cast iron skillets, and the foil will end up with lots of holes in it as the aluminum turns to aluminun salts due to the reaction. Supposedly they are not harmful to humans if accidently consumed.
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MichelCleark



Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Location: 2131 Blackstone Landing Dr, Kissimmee, FL 34758

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Tools, Equipment, and Gadgets Reply with quote

Using a aluminum foil in your kitchen will not harm you physically and I think it takes time to turn aluminum to aluminum salt. It is not a fast process, though it is a continuous process.
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