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Author Topic: Cast iron, anyone?  (Read 2057 times)
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zemry

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« on: Oct 10, 2017, 10:41AM »

Does anyone else enjoy cooking with cast iron?
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 10, 2017, 10:53AM »

I prefer it for everything -- even eggs.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 10, 2017, 11:06AM »

Does anyone else enjoy cooking with cast iron?

Now THERE'S someone I haven't seen around here in quite some time!!

Howdy Sir!!



Eric
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 10, 2017, 01:55PM »

Hey Zem! Long time.

The VERY best stews are made in our cast iron dutch oven...some cubed buffalo meat, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery, a couple of bay leaves, salt & pepper, a bit of stock...man, now you've made me hungry!
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 10, 2017, 02:33PM »

WE have a cast iron dutch oven. That sucker weighs 15 lbs. empty. Great for chili.
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Stan

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 12, 2017, 08:02AM »

ZEMRY!

I cook just about everything in cast iron.  I have a set of Lodge that I built over a few years, for probably $300.  I'll end up leaving it to my sons, because it lasts forever.  I use it on a stovetop, camp fire, wood-fired oven, grill, and portable induction burner.

I prefer black cast to enameled, as the enamel will eventually chip. 
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 12, 2017, 09:10AM »

Cast iron cookwear is always packed for camping trips. I also love it for food I deem worth it. Mostly true homemade meals. Not if Im just going to bung together hamburger helper but definitely if were doing breakfast burritos from scratch!
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 12, 2017, 09:40AM »

Love mine. Just had a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 12, 2017, 10:00AM »

Yep, we've got several pieces of cast iron, dutch ovens, griddle and three sizes of frying pan.  The dutch ovens are useful for baking bread.
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 12, 2017, 10:43AM »

... but definitely if were doing breakfast burritos from scratch!
Is there any other way to do them?

I used to have a couple of really old (75+ years) pans that had awesome smooth surfaces.  Not sure where they have gone (I think my sisters spirited them away), but they were great.  I tried a Lodge a few years back, but the surface was so rough I found it difficult to get as nice a season on it.  Gave up.

I have a couple of enameled dutch ovens that I use for pot roasts and cabbage 'n' ham.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 12, 2017, 10:58AM »

I love cast iron, but my wife insisted on glass top cooking surfaces. And they are worthless imo. Too sensitive!

I am campaigning for us to go with a gas stove when we downsize and buy our next place.

While I can use my cast iron skillets on the glass top I have to be very careful.
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 12, 2017, 11:02AM »

I love the way cast iron takes up heat from out glass top induction cooktop.  But try as I may, I cannot seem to season these things effectively. 

I remember my mom cooking eggs in iron.  I think the secret was lots of bacon first, the float the eggs on the bacon grease.  Sure was yummy!  But I'm not willing to go that way any more. 
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 12, 2017, 11:29AM »

Cast iron's good but how about thin carbon steel, properly seasoned wok, over a wok burner set to the "ten foot flame" setting?  Your food is cooked in about 5 seconds and will get that good wok hei flavor!
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 12, 2017, 11:51AM »

We've made the switch to enameled cast iron - Le Creuset or even better Staub.  We have a couple of pots (e.g., "Dutch oven") and a couple of frying pans in different sizes.  Easy maintenance, and with proper moderately gentle care no enamel chipping whatsoever.  Great results for many different recipes! 
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 12, 2017, 12:49PM »

But try as I may, I cannot seem to season these things effectively. 

My guidelines on cast iron care to maintain a non-stick surface on a cast iron pan:
 - Don't use dishwash liquid to clean it - just clean hot water. (Use dishwash liquid on the outside if you need to.)
 - If something is burnt / stuck onto the surface, warm up the pan and maybe add some oil to loosen / soften it before scraping it off.
 - Use utensils with a sharp, straight stainless steel edge to prevent stuff from sticking (the one I use is actually a BBQ tool).
 - Minimise cooking food where water accumulates in the bottom of the pan. Cast iron pans should be used for cooking which sizzles - not simmers.  If you need to simmer something use a pan made from a different material.
 - After washing and drying, smear a thin layer of spray-on canola oil over the cooking surface
and...
 - DON'T LET ANYONE USE OR CLEAN IT WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE ABOVE.

Happy cooking.
Dave
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 12, 2017, 12:53PM »

My guidelines on cast iron care to maintain a non-stick surface on a cast iron pan:
 - Don't use dishwash liquid to clean it - just clean hot water. (Use dishwash liquid on the outside if you need to.)
 - If something is burnt / stuck onto the surface, warm up the pan and maybe add some oil to loosen / soften it before scraping it off.
 - Use utensils with a sharp, straight stainless steel edge to prevent stuff from sticking (the one I use is actually a BBQ tool).
 - Minimise cooking food where water accumulates in the bottom of the pan. Cast iron pans should be used for cooking which sizzles - not simmers.  If you need to simmer something use a pan made from a different material.
 - After washing and drying, smear a thin layer of spray-on canola oil over the cooking surface
and...
 - DON'T LET ANYONE USE OR CLEAN IT WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE ABOVE.

Happy cooking.
Dave

There's some orthodoxy in there that I'm not sure holds up in the modern world.

-I use dish soap on my seasoned cast iron, and it's absolutely fine.  The thing about never using soap comes from the time when soap contained lye, and the lye would dissolve the pan's finish.  That doesn't happen with Dawn.
-Water in the bottom of the pan is how cast dutch ovens work, and I've got several small pots that simmer just fine.
-If stuff is sticking to your pan, you should either use more fat or re-season the pan.  I have to really work to get something to stick to cast.
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 12, 2017, 01:09PM »

There's some orthodoxy in there that I'm not sure holds up in the modern world.

Maybe I should have qualified it in that this is how I've kept a cheap (~25% of the cost of a Le Creuset) pan working for 12 + years so far.
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 12, 2017, 05:16PM »

WE have a cast iron dutch oven. That sucker weighs 15 lbs. empty. Great for chili.


One time I had a pot of chili cooling on the stove and was in the other room and the dog jumped up and pulled the whole thing onto the kitchen floor. Biggest mess I ever saw in my life. There was chili on the ceiling even.
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 12, 2017, 08:44PM »

- DON'T LET ANYONE USE OR CLEAN IT WHO DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE ABOVE.

Happy cooking.
Dave

Years ago when I was sharing a place with a roommate, I came home one day to discover my nicely seasoned cast iron skillet in the dishwasher....after the cycle had run.

 >:(
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 23, 2017, 02:25PM »

Does anyone else enjoy cooking with cast iron?
----

I do. I have four of them and use them mostly for corn bread or fried eggs. You can't beat cornbread done in a cast iron skillet. I use 100% masa harina, no wheat flour in my recipe.

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