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Cast Iron Selection Ideas
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WCS Gorilla



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Central Louisiana

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:12 pm    Post subject: Cast Iron Selection Ideas Reply with quote

Hi folks!

I have a few questions regarding what you might select if you were choosing your cast iron ware, from the start.

I am in possession of Anolon advanced cookware, with the 'rubber' bottom, but the pan I use the most is demonstrating it has a hot spot. This stuff, as advertised, is NOT to have this happen. Also, in researching what can be done, within the envelope of pan design, found that these pans have been replaced, by new ones from posted readers, in a 4 year lifecycle! Not a good thing to hear by new owner of new pan, no?

Hence, the reason I'm looking into cast iron. I have looked at "named chefware" cast iron ... darned fools couldn't make a deal with Lodge, no, but sure could get the Asians to make a piece of cast iron, and bring it back over here with their name attached to it! Same thing with the shopping networks!

I did read some comments here about the 'pebbly' surface of Lodge ware. You would too have that look if you had shot media blasted at you to clean away all molding material. (Saw that in the production of cast iron video on YT from Lodge Mfg.)

So, which piece(s) to get this rangetop-style cook going? Any comments on the LCS3 chef skillet Lodge makes? Any comments on new silicone handle covers they produce?

WCS Gorilla
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the best option is flea markets / etc - pick up the old Lodge or Griswold stuff - it's superior to anything made today.

the "old" stuff was actually machined to have a smooth bottom - today is just the sand cast finish. which, btw, you can polish with a sanding disk to a fine smooth finish yourself.
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WCS Gorilla



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Central Louisiana

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: re: Cast Iron Selection Reply with quote

Dear Folks,

Thank you for your response. I pondered on it for a bit. I searched Ebay, but with "no schmaltz"

A friend invited me out to eat with them, and we landed, on a path the city bus does not take, at a Cracker Barrel restaurant!

Lo! and behold! now, i am the proud owner of these two cast iron 'Inststruments of Grub"!
I thought it was different, but found out that they were Lodge pieces, so I had no trouble outlaying the cash for these.

Hmmm ... maybe now I can get a 'correct fitting lid for a correct fitting frypan'?

http://shop.crackerbarrel.com/Lodge-Logic-10-1-4-Skillet/dp/B0050PM0Y4?field_availability=-1&field_browse=6060245011&field_product_site_launch_date_utc=-1y&id=Lodge+Logic+10-1+4+Skillet&ie=UTF8&refinementHistory=brandtextbin%2Csubjectbin%2Ccolor_map%2Cprice%2Csize_name&searchNodeID=6060245011&searchPage=1&searchRank=salesrank&searchSize=12

http://shop.crackerbarrel.com/Lodge-Logic-Round-Griddle/dp/B0050PM4CM?field_availability=-1&field_browse=6060245011&field_product_site_launch_date_utc=-1y&id=Lodge+Logic+Round+Griddle&ie=UTF8&refinementHistory=brandtextbin%2Csubjectbin%2Ccolor_map%2Cprice%2Csize_name&searchNodeID=6060245011&searchPage=1&searchRank=salesrank&searchSize=12

till later,

Mugwump
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: re: Cast Iron Selection Reply with quote

WCS Gorilla wrote:
Dear Folks,
Hmmm ... maybe now I can get a 'correct fitting lid for a correct fitting frypan'?


You may or may not find one that "fits" the Lodge fry pan. You would want to call Lodge and ask. However, there just has to be something in your arsenal that might work. I have an old lid for my wok that just happens to slide down in to many of my fry pans, cast iron or stainless, don't matter. In fact, I used it 2 days ago for frying pork chops. Use what you have, if you can.
xo, Biggles
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the lid from my stock pot on my CI frying pan. (and a couple others . . )

a purpose designed CI lid for a "Dutch Oven" style would be more unique - flat with rim to hold coals.

but for general indoor use I have a collection of lids - some where I've replaced the plastic knobs with a turned alum. for max "heat proof"

Lodge adverts itself as the last USA CI foundry - so I support them there - but do note that their enamel CI (and misc other lines) are made in China.

I've tossed around various CI pots/pans/etc for pushing 60 years. most were "no name" - or more accurately - no name I bothered to look at / consider. it was superb cooking work stuff; but heavy.

then I by total accident stumbled on an old Griswold in a flea market. Grundgy? that would be a kind understatement.... cleaned it up. sandblasted it; no - don't wanna hear the outrage....

it's thinner and lighter than any of the "new" stuff. has not warped in 50+ years of use, probably not going start warping now. quite literally it's a twelve inch cast iron frying pan where I can one-handed flip eggs - emphasis on "one-handed" - don't try that with the heavy stuff.....
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WCS Gorilla



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Central Louisiana

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:48 pm    Post subject: re cast iron selection Reply with quote

Dear Folks,

Thank you for your commentts, folks!

I did call Lodge, and these cast iron pieces are made by Lodge, for Cracker Barrel. The 10 1/4 inch frying pan does have a matching lid. The Lodge-suggested lid, is a 'self-basting' lid with all those dimples inside. The lid also fits the griddle, but I can't get that idea, except to keep the bacon spattering down to a minimum, maybe.

I did find a nice short diner-style wood handled spatula, and did make some nice eggs in the frypan. I followed Lodge-CSR-suggested clean-up method, and it looks nice.

New Questions:
1. Since my Anolon cooking tools are all described on the Anolon site as 'nylon', what about my spoons and other spatulas? Replace, or use till damaged, then replace? What to replace them with? High-heat resistant silicone? Wood? Metal?

2. The Rice-a-Roni website says to NOT use cast iron pieces to make that, with the reason being 'the vermicelli will not cook right'. Any suggestions? I have two recipes made with RAR, that would make "Alina" of "Worst Cooks" proud! (Alina has earned the nickname of 'mad scientist' from Bobby Flay.)

3. Oils, margarine, butter, oh my! E.V.O.O., safflower, sunflower, unsalted butter, or what? I read the article about the smoke points of oils, but I am asking those who use it, what do you folks use?

Thank you, folks, for your answers. It's fun figuring out how to cook with 'new hot' stuff, when your other 'new hot busted' stuff isn't that old, but has to be replaced, due to mfgr's defects.
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IronRinger



Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use grapeseed oil for the seasoning process of all my cast iron. It has a very high smoke point. I rub a THIN coating on the pans and heat them upside down (you never want the oil to start pooling) in a 450F oven for an hour or so. Cool slowly. Repeat as necessary.
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WCS Gorilla



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Central Louisiana

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: RE: cast iron seasoning Ideas Reply with quote

It is written:
"I use grapeseed oil for the seasoning process of all my cast iron. It has a very high smoke point. I rub a THIN coating on the pans and heat them upside down (you never want the oil to start pooling) in a 450F oven for an hour or so. Cool slowly. Repeat as necessary."

I spent the weekend, going through all the stores that are in my central Louisianan town, and I could not find "grapeseed oil"!

I know that this board goes internationally, so is this "grapeseed oil", somethiing that is European, in particular? Or, is that a Canadian term?

I DO thank you for your method of seasoning cast iron.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grape seed oil is available in some places. it's not the most popular oil on the shelf.

there's a thousand opinions / methods on how to season cast iron.

I season mine "by usage" - restricting their use to bacon / sausage / fatty stuff the first 6-10 times. that's the "classic" method used for the last couple centuries, seems to work, but it's not an "instant fix" - which frankly from my reading seems to be the main problem with the many other suggestions.
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IronRinger



Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get my grapeseed oil at Costco. I'm afraid I've become somewhat of an oil snob - I refuse to use Canola anymore, even though much of it is grown around here, because it is almost all GMO these days. I'm just not a fan of Round-up in my kitchen, nor any of the business practices of Monsanto.

OK, sorry for the rant....
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WCS Gorilla



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Central Louisiana

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:28 am    Post subject: re: cast iron selection ideas Reply with quote

First, a thank you to Dilbert and Ironringer for these:

"Dilbert Joined: 19 Oct 2007 Posts: 877 Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:01 pm Post subject: Reply with quote
grape seed oil is available in some places. it's not the most popular oil on the shelf.

(Thank you for the confirmation on that!!! )

there's a thousand opinions / methods on how to season cast iron.

( I csn verify your statement, by all those vids on YouTube i watched concerning just that!!!)

I season mine "by usage" - restricting their use to bacon / sausage / fatty stuff the first 6-10 times. that's the "classic" method used for the last couple centuries, seems to work, but it's not an "instant fix" - which frankly from my reading seems to be the main problem with the many other suggestions.

(I cleaned and scrubbed as normal; used oil and kosher salt and cleaned, watching for my fingers not to get burned; I cleaned and scrubbed in sink again; dried and heated pans on low for over 30 min.; then sprayed cooking spray, as mfgr suggested, and it seemed to do the trick!)

IronRinger Joined: 23 Nov 2011 Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:47 pm Post subject: Reply with quote
I get my grapeseed oil at Costco. I'm afraid I've become somewhat of an oil snob - I refuse to use Canola anymore, even though much of it is grown around here, because it is almost all GMO these days. I'm just not a fan of Round-up in my kitchen, nor any of the business practices of Monsanto.

OK, sorry for the rant...."

(No problem for rant! I vote 'yea' on your GMO/Montsanto/Roundup view! As to 'Costco', know what they were, as when i lived in Oregon, but now all i have is "the bigger, more stuff Sam (walmart) Club thing"! I tried that new, super-duper cooking oil mix of canola and EVOO and some other oil. Meh! It's four parts canola, to the other oils.)

Now, how do you clean a cast iron lid, the one with the dimples?

My rant ... all the kitchen gurus, including Christopher Kimball of America's Test Kitchen tell us all that a 12-inch skillet would work best for us.

"okay, wiseguy, how's aboud d'is?" i have a 1970's apt. galley kitchen, and my LARGE electric burner measures 7-inches from edge to edge of the burner element! A Lodge 10 1/4-inch skillet's bottom Lodge logo circle measures 6 7/8-inches! How can i use a 12-inch skillet effectively when the burner is not even 9-inches across? (Burners are one for 7-inches, three are 5-inches!) I read the old rule is fit the skillet size to the size of the stove top burner. I am, the chef, sous chef, dishwasher, waiter, customer, so why might I need a 12-inch skillet?

that's my rant.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

be aware that commercial "cooking sprays" contain emulsifiers - which turn very sticky and very gummy very quick. not recommended for use on cast iron....

>>the size
larger pans can be used on smaller burners. heat spreads / conducts throughout the bottom area (and up the sides) of the pan. this takes time - and cast iron heats slower than (for example) aluminum - so do allow the pan sufficient time to heat up properly.
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WCS Gorilla



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Central Louisiana

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi folks!

First I thank you all for your comments.

I'm still in awe of what happened this morning.

With the discussion of 'another needed pan to replace bad one, and, 'I might have to go stainless steel', and maybe others that I forgot, at this moment:

She who sits across from me at dinner called me this morning, "Come on, we're going to Walmart."

Going to the 'getting-skinnier-all-the-time" kitchen section, I saw a pan. She looked a tme and said, "you really want a Wearever?" (Spock eyebrow and all) I put it back. We meandered through the clearance aisle ... and there it was! (Ahhhhhhhhhhhh -- angelic music) Here is what was on the shelf:

http://www.amazon.com/Tramontina-Gourmet-Premium-Stainless-Tri-Ply/dp/B00A0RH69G/ref=sr_1_fkmr3_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1364407929&sr=8-2-fkmr3&keywords=tramontina+gourmet+tri-ply+10+inch+saute+pan

Clearance price? $21.00 !!!!!!!! Also a Nordicware flat steel uni-cover for most 10-inch pans ... I have one that works on my Lodge 10 1/4-inch pan and my Lodge 10-inch Chefs pan. So now, I have two! ($4.50).

So, for $25.50, I have a tri-ply, just like allclad, pan and lid!

I shall write up my first use. I use the over-medium heat, hot pan, cold oil, after watching a water drop dance method. I am now armed with both s/s and CI.

"Worst Cooks, watch out!"
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tramontina has a good reputation - definite steal!
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WCS Gorilla



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Central Louisiana

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:02 am    Post subject: re:cast iron selection ideas Reply with quote

Hi folks!

Yes, indeed, "Worst Cooks" look out!

I am quite happy with tonight's meal of 2-per-pkg 'simmer in water' sausage; and the local store's cut up and packaged red and green bell pepper and onion. (Yes, the use of my knife for cutting will start soon, right now, it beats a frozen pizza!)

I think I got the method down pat. Yes, boys and girls, hot oil at just the right time and temp will shimmer. Might get away with setting burner at less than "5", too. The onions cooked better than in the previous anolon pan. They were hot and cooked, but this time I get them BROWN. I made a little sauce from all the onion bits, too, unlike before.

So, now I have my 'dry' cast iron pan, and my 'wet' s/s pan. Now, I can cook all that other stuff that I might not want to cook in cast iron, for fear of messing up the seasoning. Now, I have at least two pans that are not "going to go bad on me", i.e. teflon.

Yes, it WAS a STEAL!! One site had this same pan for $79.98!!!

Lastly, on "Worst Cooks", I'm pulling for Alina, Bobby Flay's 'Mad Scientist'.
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