Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Let's talk about cast iron.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Reno, Nv
    Posts
    3,632

    Let's talk about cast iron.

    Stacey and I were at a peddlers fair a few weeks ago and there was a lot...I mean a lot!!! of cast iron cook wear. I went through our inventory last night having used a dutch oven for a stew the night before. Holy rusted metal Batman!! This stuff is about as expensive as gold!! So I took a look at the labels on my "collection". Griswold #8 dutch oven, 1115 series in beautiful shape, some ROT POC 4qt that I rarely use, 3 old Weavers including a 12" grill pan. For whatever reason, I have no idea where this stuff came from...yard sales, friends, wherever. Then the history of both companies, then the prices. Are you kidding me!!?? My Griswold sells for $200 on eBay??
    So what's in your cast iron stockpile and more importantly...how do you care for it!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    I have a few. Gotta go see who made them
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    13,363
    I don't have any old stuff. I've got a Lodge 10" dutch oven, 12" skillet, and a few other generic's from Harbor freight laying around.

    All I ever do is rinse them out with hot water (no soap) and a stainless scrubbie. Then put it back on the stove and heat it up a bit to dry, and then give it a nice coating of canola oil then put it away.

    If you do burn something on it good and need to really go to town, I reseason by coating it with crisco and putting it a hot oven for a while. Look up 'cast iron seasoning' and you'll find a bunch of info.

    I use mine all the time. Totally non-stick and works great.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    I've got my grandma's and mom's collections which is pretty extensive, but I only use one of the skillets. Not sure who the makers are, but they are pretty old.

    As to how to care for it...I just wipe it out with a paper towel or damp towel if needed. It's cured beyond my years and as far as I know, soap has never touched it... Don't tell my wife, she'd think she would be poisoned by something cooked long ago.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,998
    We have several pieces from various manufacturers. Some of them are true antiques based on age. We have several styles of muffin pans that we use for cornbread. I've also made cornbread in the skillets, but I like muffins or sticks better.

    As we collected the pieces, we washed (see note below) and scraped them as needed, then rubbed them with canola oil immediately and placed them in a 300 oven upside down with a cookie sheet below to catch the drips. Heat for an hour, then let cool.

    Ongoing care is the same all around: Don't wash with soap and hot water! Wipe with paper towels to remove excess oil and crumbs. Leave them be until ready to use again.

    Incidentally, and this is nothing new for most of you I'm sure, when I make cornbread I put oil in the skillet or muffin pan - enough to fill the bottoms - then place them in the oven as it pre-heats. Leave them in the oven until you can smell the oil. In the meantime, mix your cornmeal as desired. Pour mix into the pans. If you let the pans get hot enough, the cornbread will appear half cooked before you return the pan to the oven. Yummy!!!

    Serving suggestion? Anything goes with cornbread!!!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Independence, Kentucky
    Posts
    1,355
    We have a couple of pieces and my bride has two corn stick molds that her grandfather made when he worked in a foundry, they are family treasures and work flawlessly and get used on a regular basis. You cant beat cast iron and the older the better.
    I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Reno, Nv
    Posts
    3,632
    Bill brought up cornbread. Does anyone here really notice a taste or flavor difference? I have noticed more even heating thus better simmering and searing. But are flavors better and how do you gauge it?
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,701
    Plain cast:
    GSW 6" made in canada sometime in the late 1800's earl 1900's? Found it in an old cabin and replaced the burned off wooden handle with a turned piece of avocado wood. Really nice little pan.
    A 6" Griswold and a 10 1/2" griswold fry pans. Both of these are really nice but have metal handles which is good for oven, bad for hands
    A lodge 10" fry pan and a ?" turkey frier. The turkey frier is fine for its use, the fry pan has these circles ground in the bottom and is really rough, never did like it
    A old Canadian made dutch oven (in the garage, can't remember make), really nice piece though.

    The older cast is generally smoother. If I'm looking at used iron, I'm feeling it and seeing how smooth it is. If its rough its just hard to get it to not stick no matter how well you season it. Its also often lighter/thinner so its more reactive to heat.

    There is a lot of on seasoning, enough to drive you if you try to figure it all out.
    The short version is that you need to put down really thin oil coats and get them hot enough long enough to polymerize. Its just like using oil to build finish on wood. It takes a LOT of coats, they all have to be REALLY THIN and they need to FULLY CURE before adding the next coat. I've had good luck with Crisco, the Linseed oil method, Lard, etc... as long as I followed the above guidelines. The worst mistake most folks make is to put a thick layer of oil on and then cook the pan which then cures into a gelatinous mass that does no good at all. Having the pan hot when you spread on the grease helps with the thin layer. Don't get it so hot that all of the oil cooks off (hot enough to smoke a little is ok, especially on the earlier coats as it will lay down a bit of carbon which is harder than the oil polymers).
    Food nerds discussing seasoning here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785489#6614031

    Once they're seasoned well and looking good I just rinse them out and give them a quick wipe down with a lightly oiled rag after each use (we keep a paper towel in the lard can for this). Don't get them to hot with the wrong kind of oil in them or you can end up with the gummy mess issue again which can mean stripping and re-seasoning (sometimes can get it off otherwise, but not always).

    We also have a couple of enameled Le Creuset pans. We DO NOT use the plain cast iron for much that is real acidic as that eats off the coating and removes the polymer nonstick (quick dishes are ok, but baking anything acidic like a tomato dish for several hours is sad pan making). The enamel coated cast is however great for that sort of thing.
    The two we have are:
    http://cookware.lecreuset.com/cookwa...02_41069_10015 (ours is a lot older but the same design, reportedly the frying pan is now nicer actually)
    This is absolutely a great piece of cookware. We use it for soups, stews, curries, etc.. all the time. You can saute veggies, etc.. in the frying pan and dump them into the pot. Cuts down on dishes as well that way
    http://cookware.lecreuset.com/cookwa...02_10140_21056 (again a much older version, but same rough size/design)
    This is our go-to pot for oven based stews and soups and bigger batches of similar on the stovetop. This works especially well for drier slow cooked stews.

    Before you freak out on the Le Creuset prices, you can often find them at 50% or so off if you shop around and wait for sales or even less at yard sales, etc. (the list prices are a little eye watering). Some of the cheaper enameled cast has a bad habit of flaking off or chipping in use which sort of ruins the whole point (not all do, lodge is supposedly okish unless you get a lemon, and there are a lot of euro brands I don't know well that end up being sold under various names that are supposed to be ok). Either Le Crueset or Staub are definitely good if you just want something that works, Staub seems to be slightly prouder of their stuff for no apparent value add I can see... If you're going off brand things I'd look for are smooth enamel, even looking coating, check a bunch of pans for any chips (especially around the top/lid where they'll show up first) and if you see anything that looks bad move on to another brand.

    edit: my old dutch oven was made by Findlay from Canada.
    Last edited by Ryan Mooney; 12-13-2013 at 10:04 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Reno, Nv
    Posts
    3,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post

    Before you freak out on the Le Creuset prices, you can often find them at 50% or so off if you shop around and wait for sales or even less at yard sales, etc. (the list prices are a little eye watering). Some of the cheaper enameled cast has a bad habit of flaking off or chipping in use which sort of ruins the whole point (not all do, lodge is supposedly okish unless you get a lemon, and there are a lot of euro brands I don't know well that end up being sold under various names that are supposed to be ok). Either Le Crueset or Staub are definitely good if you just want something that works, Staub seems to be slightly prouder of their stuff for no apparent value add I can see... If you're going off brand things I'd look for are smooth enamel, even looking coating, check a bunch of pans for any chips (especially around the top/lid where they'll show up first) and if you see anything that looks bad move on to another brand.

    edit: my old dutch oven was made by Findlay from Canada.
    It's funny you mention that Ryan. We did our bell ringing thing for SA as we have for the last 13 years outside of Macys. We get there early and we shop like crazy, the Christmas sales rock!!! Martha Stewart Le Crueset 8qt style stew pots for $60? Well, early Christmas present!! I really think Le Crueset is over priced, although Martha I am a fan of not!! The girl does sponsor some good cookwear and a Macy's door buster...Sold!!! I'm going to try this dutch oven out on a provincial stew...a really good test since it braises for 5 hours!! I hate scrubbing pots and pans so we will see what we see!!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,701
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Burr View Post
    Martha Stewart Le Crueset 8qt style stew pots for $60? Well, early Christmas present!! I really think Le Crueset is over priced, although Martha I am a fan of not!! The girl does sponsor some good cookwear and a Macy's door buster...Sold!!! I'm going to try this dutch oven out on a provincial stew...a really good test since it braises for 5 hours!! I hate scrubbing pots and pans so we will see what we see!!
    Hrm.. Were they Martha Stewart Le Creuset, or Le Creuset "style" by Martha Stewart?

    I've heard decidedly mixed reviews about the original Martha Stewart enameled Cast Iron - they were one that a lot of folks called out as being bad for chipping and flaking. Would be interested to hear how well they hold up for you after a few months of use, hope you got a good one! If it does hold up I can bet small dollars you'll love it, especially for things like the provincal stews!

Similar Threads

  1. Cast iron stove for a shop
    By Dan Mosley in forum Old Iron
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-03-2011, 12:05 AM
  2. How to treat a cast iron table saw top?
    By Dawson Mossman in forum New Tools
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 01-15-2009, 05:20 PM
  3. Waxing cast iron table tops????
    By Lary Grassmeier in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-18-2008, 08:21 PM
  4. Polishing a cast iron top
    By Jeff Horton in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-04-2007, 10:38 PM
  5. FS: AMT Cast Iron Rabbet Plane
    By Doug Shepard in forum Old Ads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-20-2007, 09:14 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •