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using a cast iron skillet ain't so hard!

Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
lhunt wrote:
great topic. i have a griswold 8. i want more cast iron. i know griswold and wagner are the two best. what about others like sperry & favorite piqua ware?
If you have access to any of that really old ironware for a reasonable price it is by far the best.  It is thinner, lighter weight and doesn't require as much heat as Lodge but......because those brands are collectors items they tend to be pricey.  If you want new stuff that is the best quality then look to Franch made ironware or Lodge.  If you want light weight cookware that isn't ironware but has the same qualities then de Buyer is a good choice but it too is very expensive.  Those pans are made from low carbon steel and have similar qualities to ironware but are very lightweight.  I have Griswold pans (my favorite) Wagner, and a collection of de Buyer steel.  I love the de Buyer too but as an example I have a very nice authentic low carbon steel wok but I prefer my monstrously heavy Lodge 14" cast iron wok.  


"When there is no life in the soil it is just dirt."
"MagicDave"
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Dave Bennett wrote:
I love the de Buyer too but as an example I have a very nice authentic low carbon steel wok but I prefer my monstrously heavy Lodge 14" cast iron wok.  


Gives me an idea. I can get (we have one) steel woks with a flat bottom .... authentic in the steel but not shape. They are relatively cheap at less than $20.... I think I will cut one down to a frypan to see how it works. The handle(s) are riveted on and could be moved down. I would use low carbon steel carriage bolts. I don't really need another pan, but I am interested to know how it would work.... Just decided to use both handles to keep it from tipping over when empty.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
Len wrote:
Gives me an idea. I can get (we have one) steel woks with a flat bottom .... authentic in the steel but not shape. They are relatively cheap at less than $20.... I think I will cut one down to a frypan to see how it works. The handle(s) are riveted on and could be moved down. I would use low carbon steel carriage bolts. I don't really need another pan, but I am interested to know how it would work.... Just decided to use both handles to keep it from tipping over when empty.
Great idea.  Let us all know how it works out.
Loren Hunt


Joined: Jul 20, 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - Zone 5B
thanks Len. i found a sperry and a larger favorite at a shop. my research shows they both closed shop in the 1930s. i guess that upon inpection if they arent cracked, pitted or warped and have a nice smooth surface they should be fine. i'd love to hear more feedback though before i go back and potentially buy.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14985
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
My cast iron article appears in the sep/oct 2011 issue of countryside magazine.


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Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2538
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  62
paul wheaton wrote:
My cast iron article appears in the sep/oct 2011 issue of countryside magazine.


Surprised you didn't hyperlink the cast iron! Maybe the auto-link you had set up had a hiccup or something!

Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
Dave Muckle


Joined: Jun 07, 2011
Posts: 4
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
Well, you all convinced me to try it, so - after measuring the pan I use the most, I bid  on, and won, a somewhat-classic Griswold pan with about the same bottom-area.

This one has been cooked on, and most of the center of the pan felt pretty slick.   Thing is, while the pan was/is black, it's not a horror-story of crud and/or rust... in fact, it looked just like I would expect a cast-iron pan to look after I had used it for a good while.    Now I'm both a bit adventurous, and a bit conservative... and a few other things...  but I don't see the need to bake this thing in a self-cleaning oven, use soap and water or anything that would cause me to have to go through the myriad of steps just to re-season it again.   I mean, I guess some people feel better about getting a new-to-them used cast-iron pan totally clean, as if it's a fresh start on a sanitary surface, but I don't have quite as many hold-ups about food (I've worked in restaurant kitchens when I was younger, and I think the image of the cast-iron pan on the horse's tail-end for a dusty, dirty trail ride that Paul put up here: http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp  speaks plenty about what can be eaten on without causing ten different plagues).

At least i hope it does.

Anyway, I went with boiling water in it for a bit, then placing a mix of some olive oil (I know, I read not to cook with olive oil... but it's here and it's handy) and the fat off of bacon in it to re-coat the surfaces while the pan was still hot.  I sorta used the  oils/fats and multiple bunched-up paper-towels to "polish" the surface over and over to help bring up more of the older cooking stains, but the paper-towel was the most abrasive thing I used in it.   

So am I taking too many chances here, or do some of you buy old cast-iron cookware without knowing the owner and just pretty much get right to using it  (instead of the in-depth cleaning so many cast-iron topics seem to get into)?

------------

As an aside, I believe I have that ideal polymerized coating on the bottom of the aluminum/teflon pan I am finally done using (no, not the cooking-surface bottom... I mean the bottom that sits on the burner).  I didn't realize what it was, but knew it was hard and slick... much slicker than what the outside-aluminum started out to be.  It never hit me that, hey, that's an ideal cooking surface, and what I'd be aiming for with a cast-iron pan.  I think it was from the layers of bacon-grease that would drip down a little after I poured out excess grease each time I cooked bacon.
Jared Gardener


Joined: Dec 06, 2010
Posts: 40
Why is it that sometimes my cast iron leaves black bits on my food? Is this burnt food caked on? How can I remedy it?
Eric Thomas


Joined: Mar 19, 2011
Posts: 54
Location: Northeast Oklahoma, Zone 6b,
Paul, saw your article in Countryside. We've been cooking on CI all our lives and inherited several nice 90+ year old pieces that still cook anything we throw at them.  The only thing I haven't seen mentioned in this forum or in your article is something my grandmother used to insist on; the pan isn't hot enough until you can't hold on to the handle! It takes a while for all that iron to really heat up. 


Learn to live, and live to learn,
Ignorance like a fire doth burn,
Little tasks make large return.
-- Bayard Taylor
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
CoyoteWay wrote:
Paul, saw your article in Countryside. We've been cooking on CI all our lives and inherited several nice 90+ year old pieces that still cook anything we throw at them.  The only thing I haven't seen mentioned in this forum or in your article is something my grandmother used to insist on; the pan isn't hot enough until you can't hold on to the handle! It takes a while for all that iron to really heat up. 
I agree with heating the pan sufficiently especially with the older pans that were made with better quality iron so they are somewhat thinner and machined well too.  I do have a couple of exceptions.  My 14' Lodge wok has a pretty long handle and is a different cooking method so that much heat isn't needed and also my 8" Wagner "egg pan" never gets heated that hot for eggs.  I don't like crusty eggs.  I cook them over much lower heat so they don't become tough and chewy.
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
FermenterZym wrote:
Why is it that sometimes my cast iron leaves black bits on my food? Is this burnt food caked on? How can I remedy it?


What type of cooking oil/fat do you use? 

I would say it is bits of old oil/fat flaking off - unless you use animal fat lard/butter and wipe the pan good while it's still hot, then I'd say your burning bits of your food.
Travis Halverson


Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Posts: 91
Location: Minneapolis, MN
    
    1
Is this a bad time to get people to look at this?

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/9553_0/art-music-and-aesthetics/two-page-comic-on-pauls-cast-iron-article
Jared Gardener


Joined: Dec 06, 2010
Posts: 40
Jami McBride wrote:
What type of cooking oil/fat do you use? 

I would say it is bits of old oil/fat flaking off - unless you use animal fat lard/butter and wipe the pan good while it's still hot, then I'd say your burning bits of your food.


I cook with tallow pretty much exclusively. So you think its food?

Should I use a metal scrubber?
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
FermenterZym wrote:
I cook with tallow pretty much exclusively. So you think its food?

Should I use a metal scrubber?

It is up to you.  It won't hurt you.  It is carbonized food bits including the oils.  I just eat it
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
Carbonized or charred food isn't good for you in my opinion     to each his own.

I always recommend metal utensils and scrub pads (without added soaps).  Add a bit of tallow and warm your pan, then scrub away, when your pad stops catching on charred bits and slides easily wipe your pan clean with PT.  Perfect!
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
I use a "brush" made from split bamboo to clean my iron.
Jami McBride
volunteer

Joined: Aug 29, 2009
Posts: 1779
    
  10
That sounds like a great tool Dave.
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
They are pretty easy to make and last for a very long time.  It is actually best to split up the bamboo into "smallish" strips while it is still green poke a hole through the flat near the end of each slat and tie them into a bundle much like a whisk broom.  Then I take a hammer and smash the ends about an inch in width.  Hang it up until it is completely dry and it will last for years.  It will keep wearing away shorter as your scrub the iron surface.  I bought something similar years ago that was made from willow or some other skinny tree branches tied in a bundle and decided to make one out of bamboo.
Pedro VanGogh


Joined: Aug 11, 2011
Posts: 5
My only concern with cast iron is the recently published studies on the carcinogenic properties of heating oil past the smoking point, and also re-using oil. It seems to me that the "seasoning" of cast iron might hold carcinogens that are being released into the food. Any thoughts on this?
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
Pedro VanGogh wrote:
My only concern with cast iron is the recently published studies on the carcinogenic properties of heating oil past the smoking point, and also re-using oil. It seems to me that the "seasoning" of cast iron might hold carcinogens that are being released into the food. Any thoughts on this?
You could use Palm Oil.  It has a very high smoke point (425 degrees F) so it is possible to heat the iron pan very hot without "smoking" the oil.  If you are aware of the source of the oil.  I would recommend that if you chose to use Palm Oil make sure that it comes from Africa and not Southeast Asia.  The producers in Africa essentially harvest the Palm Fruit from wild trees and it is not an issue of deforestation or endangering species.  I buy mine from Tropical Traditions and it is the Virgin Oil so it is red in color and does have a distinct flavor but you could buy the Palm Oil Shortening which looks like hydrogenated oil but is not.  The reason that it is solid is because the liquid component of Palm Oil has been removed by mechanical means.  That would give you both a cooking oil that has a very high smoke point plus extremely healthy shortening for making your biscuits. 
Peace.
Alex Ojeda
volunteer

Joined: Oct 20, 2010
Posts: 290
    
  24
I was happy to find my lodge logic at my favorite local hardware store and bought it when I saw it was made in AMERICA!  Massive plus.

I never realized that it was rough until I read this article.  I loved it so much that I went back and bought the one that is a Dutch oven with a frying pan lid.

They are fantastic!  I use any oil or fat that is a naturally occurring oil.  Olive oil, animal fats, etc. (not corn or other GMO crops regardless of their being labelled organic.  Even organic farmers can't be sure that GMO pollen hasn't blown in - personal boycott). Most things will cook well on low enough heat that won't cause the oils to smoke.  Eggs work best on very low heat. Steaks should be grilled or baked anyway.  Ground beef is best cooked at it's rarest anyway and the outside always browns nicely without cranking it up to HI.

I cook tika massala and spaghetti sauce in my pans all the time, but I don't leave them in the pan long enough to start reacting with it.  I know it's reacting the second they touch, but it doesn't seem to affect the flavor until it's been in there for over an hour or more.  For me I refuse to cook in anything else.

I clean my skillets when they get really nasty with glucose soap (just a touch of Bronners) and a stainless scrubber.  I rub it lightly enough to get real crud out and no harder.  For regular cleanings, I just use water and my home grown loofas.  These loofas will last FOREVER!  They are hard and scrubby when they are dry and soft and absorbent-ish when they are wet.  I highly recommend growing them, or at least buying them instead of synthetic scrubby sponges.  I've been going strong with only loofas and stainless scrubbers for about a year now and don't remember any issues.

Anything that lasts forever and / or can be grown is alright with me!

I haven't ever tried to master seasoning since my cleaning, light scrubbing and immediate heating and oiling has worked like a charm.

Hey, I've found cast iron in the trash before.  Look through the trash when people move!
Dave Bennett


Joined: Jun 25, 2011
Posts: 641
sunshine ax wrote:
I was happy to find my lodge logic at my favorite local hardware store and bought it when I saw it was made in AMERICA!  Massive plus.

I never realized that it was rough until I read this article.  I loved it so much that I went back and bought the one that is a Dutch oven with a frying pan lid.

They are fantastic!  I use any oil or fat that is a naturally occurring oil.  Olive oil, animal fats, etc. (not corn or other GMO crops regardless of their being labelled organic.  Even organic farmers can't be sure that GMO pollen hasn't blown in - personal boycott). Most things will cook well on low enough heat that won't cause the oils to smoke.  Eggs work best on very low heat. Steaks should be grilled or baked anyway.  Ground beef is best cooked at it's rarest anyway and the outside always browns nicely without cranking it up to HI.

I cook tika massala and spaghetti sauce in my pans all the time, but I don't leave them in the pan long enough to start reacting with it.  I know it's reacting the second they touch, but it doesn't seem to affect the flavor until it's been in there for over an hour or more.  For me I refuse to cook in anything else.

I clean my skillets when they get really nasty with glucose soap (just a touch of Bronners) and a stainless scrubber.  I rub it lightly enough to get real crud out and no harder.  For regular cleanings, I just use water and my home grown loofas.  These loofas will last FOREVER!  They are hard and scrubby when they are dry and soft and absorbent-ish when they are wet.  I highly recommend growing them, or at least buying them instead of synthetic scrubby sponges.  I've been going strong with only loofas and stainless scrubbers for about a year now and don't remember any issues.

Anything that lasts forever and / or can be grown is alright with me!

I haven't ever tried to master seasoning since my cleaning, light scrubbing and immediate heating and oiling has worked like a charm.

Hey, I've found cast iron in the trash before.  Look through the trash when people move!
Yes Lodge is the only ironware manufacturer left in the US as sad as that sounds it is true.  Some of my Lodge skillets are beginning to get as smooth as my older Wagner skillets but I doubt if I will live long enough to see them become as smooth and glass like as my Griswold.  The iron ore that was used was just better in those old pots and pans.  Wagner was located in Ohio and had access to that fine grained iron ore too.  Lodge has been in business since the 1890's but that fine grained iron ore is long gone.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14985
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Jocelyn shows us how to put a new seasoning layer on a funky old



Alex Ojeda
volunteer

Joined: Oct 20, 2010
Posts: 290
    
  24
Hey, I just noticed that I can't power my toaster with a campfire!

Now, I've thrown away my toaster because I've noticed that a hot skillet will make toast in a second!  My wife thinks that toast is warmed bread and I like it lightly browned and crispy.  Just count to 10 for warmed bread and 20 for crispy.

One more electric counter top space taker eliminated.

I could make some more space if I could only figure out how to use a skillet as a Vita-Mix!
Eric Rogers


Joined: Oct 09, 2011
Posts: 1
What about the layer of rust left after one has burnt off the old seasoning? In my case, I just used a cloth to brush off all of the loose oxide, then oiled and reseasoned. Is this what I should have done?
Al Loria


Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 395
Location: New York
Picked up 3 cast iron pans at this weeks flea market. Got a Griswold #3 for $15, a Wagner 10" for $5, and an unknown #8 in great shape for $4. Right now I am cleaning the Griswold and Wagner with oven cleaner (lye.) not the most permie think to use but it should get all the grunge off these pans. Got me in a plastic bag and letting them sit for at least 8 hours, maybe 24. Then plan to reseason with bacon fat.

If anyone uses lye, be careful, as I burned a hole in my wrist with a drop that got on me. I used rubber gloves but they were the surgical kind...Not good.  I will do the cleanup with those dishwashing Playtex gloves.

Seems like a good way to get them clean instead of putting in the self cleaning oven or scraping them.
                              


Joined: Oct 25, 2011
Posts: 2
I grabbed another CI pan yesterday at a thrift store for $4... it was a bit crusty but I could tell it was a smooth cooker. The bottom appeared to be Eaton's brand which probably doesn't mean much to anyone out there who isn't Canadian.

As with all the crusty iron I pick up, I gave it 40 minutes in the self clean to get the old goop off and see what I'm working with.

Well what a gem. This pan is stamped "The T. Eaton Co. Limited Housewares Department". Side by side comparison with my Griswold 8 shows that it is so close in shape that it could be from the same foundry. I believe however that it was likely cast in Canada and was meant to be a very close knock off of the Griswold, down to the handle dimensions and the font used for the size numbering. It is about 10% heavier - not noticeable in hand but it shows on the scale.

My advice to anyone looking for their first pan is to splurge on a known good one - griswold or wagner, or at least spend some time handling one at a flea market (if you can find any there). Once you see the difference and feel it in your hands you will know what you're looking for at the thrift stores and you'll soon find your collection growing.

The cooking surface is significantly different on the better pans, and on some you can even see the machining marks (My barely used wagner has very obvious machining marks - I believe griswold must have performed further polishing to achieve their super smooth surface).

Don't be snooty about brand. I have seen some unbranded pans with a stamp that says "Taiwan" which have great surfaces. They may not be quite up to griswold standard but they are going to become good cookers faster than any modern pan made from melted down engine blocks.

I have found so many (mostly smaller) pans at thrift stores that I usually pass them up now. I have been giving cast iron out to friends too, but it's getting to the point where I can't justify it unless it's a large pan under 10 bucks.

The more of us who know what we're looking for, the better - once these things get thrown to the curb and eventually scrapped, they'll never come back. I'd rather blow $10 on a pan and pass it to a friend (with good instructions) and know it's going to be appreciated than pass it by and risk it disappearing forever.

I believe that there should be laws forbidding scrapping of cast iron pans and bicycles
              


Joined: Nov 10, 2011
Posts: 2
Hi everyone.  I am new to this forum but find it and the article wonderful and love the discussion.  I am 73 and have had a 12 inch cast iron skillit on my stove all my adult life.  I also have a lot of other sizes and they are all like friends to me. Honestly, as far as seasoning, I always started by cleaning well and wiping down with whatever fat was available, probably shortening in those days, and put in the oven on a medium heat over night.  I never really thought about it much, and knew it would season up more with use. It (they) did.

At first I used them on lower heat to gently increase the layers of seasoning, but I always use them the same way whether high heat or low heat.  Heat up the pan then add the fat or not and then the item to be cooked.  Hot pan, cold oil, then add food.  Nothing will stick.  Never heat up the fat/oil with the pan. 

The pan almost  never leaves the stove.  When I am through cooking, while it is still hot,  I quickly wipe out with some damp paper towels,  and wipe with some oil. I use olive oil these days, but any thin layer will do.  As it cools it is re-creating any season layer that might have been lost by cooking or wiping out with moisture.  Occasionally I have to use a few tablespoons of water to soften something crusted on and use the square end of the  pancake turner to scrape it up, then I rinse under the faucet and may even, sometimes, give a quick scrub with a scotchbrite side of the kitchen sponge, rinse, then back to the warm stove to wipe dry and add the thin swipe of oil, turn off the heat and let set.  Dinner and served hot, and the skillet is clean and protected. It becomes part of the meal making standard practice.

I never leave it in the sink and if I do have to do a quick swipe with the sponge or scraper, I do it while holding on to the handle and just set the front edge in the sink to brace it.  Same with dutch ovens etc. Most of the times it doesn't leave the stove and I don't really care how it looks to anyone else.  That's where it stays. It gets used a lot, so if anyone wants food, they will go along with it. I have stuck it in the oven if I needed the burner for something else, but be sure to swipe it with oil when not using it.

I love the idea of using the self cleaning oven for cleaning off older, crusted iron pieces.  Thanks to the creator of that idea. 

Thanks to all contributors on this.  I would never use chemically treated surfaces to cook on. Even the chemical companies have admitted that it is bad, yet they are permitted to make them.  I get it, but I don't like it. Pass on the word and pass on how easy it is to use cast iron.  Hopefully we will affect the health of the future generations. 
Casey Halone


Joined: Feb 09, 2011
Posts: 192
    
    1
Heads up, check with your friendly local military surplus store. I found my local guy had about 20 old used cast iron pans, be sure to ask, our shop had them tucked away in a weird spot. how neat is that? plus, its a good place to spend your money and keep open if you want used guns down the road!


dave brenneman


Joined: Jan 14, 2011
Posts: 38
Location: london, england
    
    1
Lynn CS wrote:Heat up the pan then add the fat or not and then the item to be cooked. Hot pan, cold oil, then add food. Nothing will stick. Never heat up the fat/oil with the pan.


I was wondering, why not heat up the oil and the pan at the same time? I'd never heard that before - it makes sense, and i have a couple ideas as to why, but I'd like to hear your thoughts before I go guessing what you meant. Thanks!


Zone 9, southern UK
Chad Ellis


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 67
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
    
  11
Hot pan cold oil.

Copied from somewhere online.

--->Advantages of cold oil to hot pan --a hot pan requires less oil to cover the surface perhaps as little as half as much. Hot oil is more viscous and immediately flows. Less oil will be also be needed to fill the micro-crevices and provide the necessary barrier between food and pan surface. In addition the reduced thermal trip to target temperature will cause the fat to deteriorate less.

www.ellisfamilyokc.com
OKC Climate
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3696
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  76
Dave, I used to be a chef and we were always told that oil/fat will burn and become toxic before a pan gets hot.
Considering animal fats have a way higher smoke-point than say, olive oil, it all depends on what you're cooking and how.
A big thing for me is that I generally cook very hot, but also have a tendency to wander off in the middle of things. If I leave my pan heating 'dry' too long, I nuke the seasoning. Bummer, but fixable.
If I was to do that with fat involved, I'd probably burn the house down!
adam krause


Joined: Nov 17, 2011
Posts: 1
what kind of oil is she using in the video?
paul wheaton wrote:Jocelyn shows us how to put a new seasoning layer on a funky old



Chad Ellis


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 67
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
    
  11
This may be old news, but there are brand new Wagner Cast Iron polished skillets and griddles available!

New Wagner Cast Iron!
Sonya Solomon


Joined: Dec 02, 2011
Posts: 1
I Am new to cast iron and after reading the article I have a few questions.

1. Is there a difference between how to care for regular cast iron and enamaeled cast iron? I have some of both types made by lodge. (I know realize this isn't as good as the old school stuff but I already have it.) Do I season and clean enameled cast iron the same way as described in the article? The enameled cast iron skillet I have ( https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefront/product1_new.asp?menu=color&idProduct=4103 ) has black rough enamel and is not white and smooth like the enameled dutch oven. Any suggestions on how to work with this?

2. Any more info on coconut oil and cast iron? Someone brought this up earlier but have not heard if there was an answer. I primarily use coconut oil as my oil of choice since there are lots of new healt benefits discovered about it AND it is much more stable at higher temperatures than olive oil. (It is solid at room temp.)

3. I am trying to figure out the best cooking techniques. I am having problems with sticking on both the enameled and non-enameled surfaces. For example, if I sautee veggies, I warm the oil and add minced garlic and shallots and then the veggies. I almost always end up with kinda burnt garlic and shallots on the bottom of the pan. And when I make scrambled eggs, I always end up with a hard cooked layer of egg on the bottom that needs a little soaking to remove.

Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Bruce Torrey


Joined: Dec 17, 2011
Posts: 1
Ok, it took me a long time to figure out how to make a post. I hope I am in the right place.

I cleaned up an old skillet using the "oven cleaning" method. At first I was very excited, but as I wiped the old rust off, I could see there was still some very noticeable rough spots on the cooking surface. Now I'm not sure what to do. It doesn't seem right to try to season it while it is like this. Should I take some steel wool to the cooking surface? Or, should I give it another cleaning in the oven? Or, should I season it bumps and all?

Any help on this would be appreciated so I can move along on the project. Thanks.
Jacob Woltman


Joined: Jan 16, 2012
Posts: 1
Location: N. Carolina, zone 7
Chad Ellis wrote:This may be old news, but there are brand new Wagner Cast Iron polished skillets and griddles available!

New Wagner Cast Iron!


Anyone have any info on these? Paul?
Chad Ellis


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 67
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
    
  11
Jacob,

I will be ordering one in the next month or so. I will give a full report here.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4523
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
173
Just want to tell you all how much my son loves using cast iron. Especially when it means he's allowed to fire up the barbeque!



It's not easy to get hold of the right kind of spatula, so we improvised by using a stainless steel wok-stirrer and straightening the edge with a grind stone. Seems to work well.



What is a Mother Tree ?
Eric Markov


Joined: Jul 12, 2012
Posts: 96
Location: Bay Area CA zone 9
    
    2
Just a quick defense for Lodge Cast Iron.

I've actually found the rough surface to be an advantage. I have used smooth Wagner's and also smooth Chinese cast iron woks.

The rough surface makes it easier to obtain a uniform seasoning coat, so you get a much more uniform black seasoning coat than you do on a smooth pan.

On the smooth pans, I experienced, every now and then the seasoning would flake off in parts, leaving a small area that food would stick to.
(After extended usage, the Lodge's look much nicer than the Wagners, because of this)

Also when cooking using the rough surface; the oil is "captured" by the rough indentations so the oil is more uniformly applied over the whole surface.

On the slicker pans, the oil would just slide around as a puddle and not really oil the entire surface.

After using both for an extended time, we kept the rough Lodge and sent the slicker ones on to Goodwill.


Butter we found is actually a much better lubricant when cooking than oil.

Just a little butter, less than a teaspoon, will make your eggs slide like they are on an air-hockey table.

The only real problem sometimes with sticking, is if you let the oil start to burn, it does turn into a sticky goo that will stick to all your food. So you can't heat your oil up too much. If you do, you'll need to either burn it off (more seasoning) or you can scrub it off with a rough sponge while running hot water over the pan in the sink.









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