Cast iron skillett

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Squire
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by Squire » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:10 am

Chris I used a metal adapter ring which cradled the round bottom of the wok while still allowing contact with the heat source. You are correct though, absent the ring a traditionally shaped wok needs a flattened bottom to work on an electric range. The one I use now is a sort of a hybred between a wok and a slope sided sauce pan.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by ShadowsDad » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:32 am

I know this will be heresy, but for most modern western style ranges a flat bottomed fry pan works better than a wok. The only thing I use a wok for today is when I use the bamboo steamer.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by brothers » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:21 am

I was feeling somehow defensive and inadequate because neither my wife nor I, and neither set of our parents, ever owned a wok. Never felt a need for one. Now our dark secret is out. :oops:
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by CMur12 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:05 pm

brothers wrote:I was feeling somehow defensive and inadequate because neither my wife nor I, and neither set of our parents, ever owned a wok. Never felt a need for one. Now our dark secret is out. :oops:
May you live in shame and infamy! :P

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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by Sam » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:50 am

Bacon turned out great. But scrambled eggs sorta stuck and I had brown crusdpy pieces in it. Probably should have cut heat down? With the bacon I only had it on 4 or 5 out of the ten settings

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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by Squire » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:44 am

That's correct Sam, a little less heat should work. Cast Iron distributes heat evenly but also holds it longer than other materials.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by kronos9 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:03 am

For scrambled eggs, try heating the skillet first, then adding some oil, then the eggs. Prevents most sticking. Anything that does stick is easily wiped out with water and a sponge or mild scrubby.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by ThePossum » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:39 am

Sorry to chime in so late. Wife and I have some cast iron cookware. Hangs on the wall in the pantry, on the wall in the dining room, on several book racks that I have converted to hold a few CI griddles and waffle irons.

Most are vintage Griswold or Wagner CI pieces. For the most part I got all of them at antique stores or flea markets with a few purchased from other CI cookware collectors. Most of them needed to be cleaned up as then had baked on, cooked on, gunk and some minor rust for years of use and misuse. Did all the cleaning from soaking in a lye bath to remove the gunk to vinegar and water to get rid of the minor rust.

Seasoned each piece using Crisco or recently PAM cooking spray. Following techniques that are time after time proven to produce a well seasoned skillet, dutch oven, etc. Used high heat in the range of 500 F. About 1 hr preheat before applying first coat of "oil". Then repeated this procedure 3 more times. One word of caution about the amount of oil you use to season. It does not need to be much. I wipe it on and then wipe it off. You do not want it to shine when you put the piece back into the oven. Once seasoned I was told to fry some bacon in it. That helped to build up even more seasoning. Also great idea to bake some cornbread in the CI pan.

As for using and cleaning the pan after use there are some thoughts out there which were also mentioned in this thread that are just not true. First off, using soap to clean a CI pan. You can do it. Of course do not use something like Dawn Power Dissolver as that will definitely take off some of the seasoning. Quite often I will have pan sauce from the dish I have just prepared that will be a bit sticky when it comes time to clean up. Most times a short soak in hot water coupled with a nylon scrubby will do the trick to clean up the pan but once in awhile there is something that is really "burned" on. Yes, even experience cooks let things go too long on the stove. :) For the most part a simple rinse or soak with hot water and the nylon or in some cases a stainless steel scrubby will do the trick to get burned on or stuck on food.

As for cooking acidic things in CI. I would not make all day tomato sauce in a CI dutch oven or sauce pan but I do quite often make lasagna for just my wife and I in a CI bread pan and I also prepare pasta dishes that require some tomato for the sauce which I make in a CI skillet. So don't be afraid to use CI to cook Italian food or some other dish that has acidic foods in it.

One last thing that I want to cover. I have to remind my wife of this all the time. When you are done cleaning your CI pan please be sure to put it back on the heat for just a minute or so to get it very warm. Then spray PAM on it. No make that all over it. And take a big handful of wadded up paper towel and wipe the skillet down. Wipe it down really good. It should not be shiny but have a soft patina look to it. All you are doing is adding just a bit more oil to the seasoning. Keeping the CI pan seasoned is an on going thing.

One thing that I forgot to mention. Someone said that CI cookware heats evenly. Well it has been my experience that unless you have a CI skillet that is no bigger than actual burner on your stove or range it will not heat evenly. Because of its heat retention abilities the center of the pan will always be hotter than the areas toward the outside of the pan. Keep that in mind a when you fry things you may need to move the ingredient around somewhat. Or better yet, like when I make waffles, I will put the waffle iron on low and heat it up slowly so that I can get a more even heating of the iron. One other thing, CI will retain heat so it will keep cooking even after you have taken away the flame. Just keep that in mind when cooking delicate ingredients.

As for those out there who are just looking to get into CI cookware I suggest that you go with Lodge to begin with. Their current stuff is not what it used to be back in the day. It is not machined as much like the vintage Lodge but it will most certainly be fine for cooking just about anything you wish. For further info on CI cookware I suggest the following site Wagner & Griswold Society which is a website and forum dedicated to CI collecting. Some great folks there and a load of info as well.

Thanks for letting me rant guys.
Last edited by ThePossum on Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by ThePossum » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:44 am

kronos9 wrote:For scrambled eggs, try heating the skillet first, then adding some oil, then the eggs. Prevents most sticking. Anything that does stick is easily wiped out with water and a sponge or mild scrubby.
I have the same problem, or should I say my wife has the same problem with scrambled eggs and cheese. Some of the stuff sticks to the bottom of the CI pan. Fortunately it does not come up when she serves the eggs. And it does come off very easily if she puts a bit of warm water in the skillet and lets it stand a bit while we eat. I agree with you that it most likely is the heat factor.

Have tried this only once but will be doing it again soon. Instead of preheating the skillet I just put my ingredients in a cold skillet. Then set the heat on my gas range at medium low and stir the eggs until done to my liking. Does take a bit longer or so one would think but considering the time to heat the skillet the wait for the eggs is not much longer.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by dosco » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:07 am

ThePossum wrote: Following techniques that are time after time proven to produce a well seasoned skillet, dutch oven, etc. Used high heat in the range of 500 F. About 1 hr preheat before applying first coat of "oil". Then repeated this procedure 3 more times.
Yes!

I'd suggest that one do this outdoors using a grill (I've used my gas grill for this). The SO may not appreciate the smell or (sometimes) smoke that is generated during this process.
As for using and cleaning the pan after use there are some thoughts out there which were also mentioned in this thread that are just not true. First off, using soap to clean a CI pan. You can do it.
Yes to this as well!

If one uses a small amount of detergent and a non-abrasive pad (I use the combo sponge+scrubby) and a gentle hand the seasoning should remain intact. I have a 8" skillet that I use on a daily basis, and have had it for about 20 years. I routinely was it with some detergent and water, with no ill effect on the seasoning.

GENTLE is the key word here. Vigorous scrubbing with an abrasive pad = bad.
One last thing that I want to cover. I have to remind my wife of this all the time. When you are done cleaning your CI pan please be sure to put it back on the heat for just a minute or so to get it very warm. Then spray PAM on it. No make that all over it. And take a big handful of wadded up paper towel and wipe the skillet down. Wipe it down really good. It should not be shiny but have a soft patina look to it. All you are doing is adding just a bit more oil to the seasoning. Keeping the CI pan seasoned is an on going thing. [/quote}

I always dry mine after washing but don't always apply a film of oil...I apply oil about 50% of the time. For me the important piece is keeping it dry, but YMMV and all that.
One thing that I forgot to mention. Someone said that CI cookware heats evenly. Well it has been my experience that unless you have a CI skillet that is no bigger than actual burner on your stove or range it will not heat evenly. Because of its heat retention abilities the center of the pan will always be hotter than the areas toward the outside of the pan.
Yes!

My wife decided to purchase a titanium griddle from The Pampered Chef. I argued with her, she won (of course), and we got the griddle. It is far more conductive of heat than the CI. We only use it for pancakes, but I have to say that its thermodynamic properties are simply outstanding.

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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by dosco » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:07 am

ShadowsDad wrote:I know this will be heresy, but for most modern western style ranges a flat bottomed fry pan works better than a wok. The only thing I use a wok for today is when I use the bamboo steamer.
I use our wok for stir fry, but it's more popular with my kids for making popcorn. In particular, kettle corn.

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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by ThePossum » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:06 am

Dave,

I would not use the outdoor grill or anything but my oven to season the CI. Too easy to go overboard on the heat. Much easier to control in the oven and you get a much more even temp and heat. Understand the smoke that you seem to get. I have not had a problem with smoke while seasoning and it is not necessary to get the pan that hot. Oils like Crisco and PAM seem to have a much higher smoke point.

Nice to hear that you know how to take care of your precious CI skillet. I am impressed.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by GA Russell » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:02 pm

This evening I was looking at some Kindle eBook cookbooks, and I came across one for cast iron skillets.

So that got me looking. If you have a Kindle, Amazon has a huge number of cookbooks for cast iron skillets, most of which are $2.99 or less.

I found three which are currently free:

Top 50 Delicious Healthy Recipes
http://www.amazon.com/Cast-iron-cookboo ... 00U7FAWVK/

Cast Iron Brunch and Breakfast recipes
http://www.amazon.com/Cast-Iron-Recipes ... 00UKLMDGI/

21 Easy Cast Iron Skillet Recipes
http://www.amazon.com/Cast-Iron-Cookboo ... 00UUFPONI/
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by mrscruff » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:17 pm

Get yourself a cast iron skillet. Season it properly and wash it properly, a lifetime investment. Great for anything.

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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by GA Russell » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:32 pm

If I may return to the subject of woks for just a moment, I thought I would browse the internet this evening, and I found a site which apparently supplies restaurants, and also sells to the public at very attractive prices.

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/2695/as ... 7AodjhAAQw

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/town-34 ... 34702.html

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/2695/as ... ating_desc

This store does not sell flat bottom woks, but they assure me that the ring should not damage the top of my stove. I suppose that if the rings did, they wouldn't keep selling them for decades.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by ThePossum » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:02 am

When I got my first couple CI pieces I bought a couple CI cookbooks. Got some great ideas for dishes from them. But after talking with some of my fellow CI collectors found that you can prepare just about anything in CI cookware. CI cookware can be used on the stove top, in the oven and broiler. Just would not put them on a campfire for very long as that would get them too hot and eventually ruin them.

But there are CI dutch ovens with legs on them and rimmed lids. Called camp ovens they allow you to get some charcoal going and sit the dutch oven on the charcoal and also place some charcoal on the lid to simulate baking. Have never tried it but have had some meals prepared that way and the result was great.

So only your imagination can limit you when you cook with CI. There are some limits though. You are not going to bake a layer cake in CI because I know of no CI baking pans that would be around anymore or if so affordable. But you can find at some flea markets CI bundt pans (they are heavy), also Griswold made two cake molds. One of a lamb and another of a rabbit. I have made just about anything that can be fried or baked in CI. Have not done anything that requires a sauce pan as I do not have any CI sauce pans and there were no too many of made or available as collectors pieces now a days.

Hope all who have responded to this thread do take a chance and buy a piece of CI cookware and give it a run. You will find that it is a versatile piece of equipment for your kitchen.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by GA Russell » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:46 pm

I came across something the other day which is new to me, but perhaps is well known to you cast iron experts. It's a stainless steel chainmail patch, to scrub your cast iron skillet with.

http://www.amazon.com/Hudson-Cleaner-St ... n+scrubber
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by Squire » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:51 pm

Another clever solution for a non existent problem.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by Kyle76 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:43 pm

Squire wrote:Another clever solution for a non existent problem.
It's got 451 reviews on Amazon, Squire, so a lot of folks are using it.
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Re: Cast iron skillett

Post by brothers » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:19 pm

I would. Sounds like a good invention.
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