Cast Iron Cooking

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Kirchensfan, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know of the festival and would love to attend some day .
    Throw in some sourwood honey and you have perfection .
     
  2. Johntodd

    Johntodd Tele-Meister

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    Love that cast iron! I try to convert people, I love it so much.

    Hey, where can I get a cast iron wok? Gotta link?
     
  3. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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  4. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    the problem with most woks is that they don't work to their full potential at home. if you go to an Asian restaurant, you'll see their woks are set into an open burner that cranks out massive amounts of heat (in the tens of thousands of BTU's.) this heats up the whole wok, not just a small spot on the bottom like a home stove would. i haven't been impressed with any woks i've tried at home, and i think a skillet works better on flat burners. just something to think about.

    by the way, a few people have mentioned that you shouldn't cook acidic stuff in cast iron. i disagree (kind of), and do it fairly regularly, but there are a few things to keep in mind. first, the cast iron needs to have a decent layer of seasoning on it. i wouldn't cook anything acidic in a brand new pan, even if it was factory seasoned.

    second, long-simmering stuff isn't a great idea, because the acids from the food will eat away at the seasoning and let rust form after it's cleaned out (although it can be scrubbed and reseasoned, so it's not the end of the world.) quick-cooking stuff, like a few tomato slices, some salmon with lemon or a quick marinara sauce is fine though: i cook stuff like that all the time, and it doesn't really affect my seasoning much. for long-simmering stuff, ceramic coated cast iron pans and Dutch ovens are definitely a better idea.

    it's just important not to let acidic foods sit in the cast iron too long, and to clean it well afterwards (no dish soap though.) acidic foods will leech out a higher amount of iron than other foods, but this is only a problem if you're one of the extremely rare individuals that has an overabundance of iron in their bodies, in which case you probably already know to avoid cast iron cookware. on the flipside of that, cast iron cookware can be a good thing to use for people who have iron deficiencies.

    [thanks to Alton Brown, Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen for teaching me WAY more about cast iron than i ever thought i'd know :D]
     
  5. Kirchensfan

    Kirchensfan Telefied Ad Free Member

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  6. Markdett

    Markdett Tele-Meister

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    I use cast iron frequently. I have 8', 10", 12" and 18" skillets, a 3 qt pot, and 2 dutch ovens. I use mine on a glass top electric range, or over propane stove or wood coals.
    The Dutch ovens get used mostly with charcoal, for cobblers, stews and such when camping. A little tip, use Crisco, rather than bacon grease to season. Less chance of the Crisco turning rancid. I have also found that when cooking cornbread, using Crisco makes the bread stick less than vegetable oil does. One other tip, if excessive smoke is an issue when seasoning, season in the grill or smoker outside.
     
  7. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

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    most fats shouldn't go rancid if the pan is seasoned properly. as long as the heat is high enough and you heat it for the proper amount of time, the fat polymerizes and changes its chemical composition and shouldn't go rancid. all of those old cast iron pans that have been handed down for generations were mostly seasoned with lard or suet decades ago and they've got the best seasoning!
     
  8. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I have a friend who did have a website (haven't looked) called Chuck wagon Charley. He cooks everything in cast iron on a campfire including baking cakes in a dutch oven.

    My Mom has cast iron skillets and dutch ovens that are 60 years old. We all want then when she passes. No one wants any money or stocks just the cast iron. It is a funny joke among the siblings and Mom.
     
  9. Jimmyspaz

    Jimmyspaz Tele-Holic

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    I have my late mothers 9 and 12 inch cast iron skillets. The only frying pans I use. As far as I know she got them as wedding presents in 1932, still as good today. Our daughter is getting married next week and we are giving her a cast iron set, she will be able to pass that on too.
     
  10. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    Question for you cast iron users:

    I have a 12 inch skillet that I bought years ago that has a machined cooking surface. Otherwise it looks like any other cast iron pan. Is this type of surface any better or worse than the non-machined surface (with cast textured surface) in terms of food sticking to it?
     
  11. reverbbb

    reverbbb Friend of Leo's

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    I love cast iron. I brought cast iron to a yearly camp out a few years back. Now, all the camping buddies insist in cast iron for everything except the flame cooked steaks.

    I have found a lot of great and unusual cast iron at estate sales and thrift stores. Most recently, I found a Wagner/Griswold #10 Dutch Oven for $9 at a thrift store.
     
  12. xMercury69x

    xMercury69x Friend of Leo's

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    Cast Iron + Gas range = Awesomeness

    It's not the only way to go, mind, but it's pretty great. I still have the first cast iron skillet I bought. It's in pristine condition and it's at least 25 years old.
     
  13. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My mix of old Wagner Ware, Griswold, and Lodge.
     
  14. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's a nice assemblage of cast iron cookware.

    When I go to a house that has little or no cast iron in the kitchen, the first things I conclude is that they don't cook much or they have a lot to learn about cooking implements.
     
  15. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Have you been in the home outlet recently?

    I've noticed that the outlet has a split billboard up around Tullahoma that advertises Big Green Egg accessories. I infer that they are making the cast iron grates for the BGE grills, which is a nice accessory for a kamado grill. I've been meaning to go see for myself, but recent trips through there have been at late hours or Sunday when it's not open.

    I've bought some good stuff at the home outlet, and the slight cosmetic blemishes are inconsequential. Lodge has expanded in the outlet business to outlet malls, and I know it has one in an outlet mall in Commerce, GA, up I 85 to the NE of Atlanta.
     
  16. Westerly Sunn

    Westerly Sunn Poster Extraordinaire

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    The new stuff, as with so many other products, is produced more cheaply; hence the lack of machining with which the old stuff was refined and which, in my opinion made the old cookware perform better; i.e. less prone to sticking...
     
  17. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am curious for you to expound on this comment. What type casting or injection (MIM) do you know them to be using versus the old days? What machining?
     
  18. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was wondering the same things .
    Cast iron becomes non-stick through use and seasoning regardless of how smooth the cooking surface is .
    What happens is that the pores in the cast iron fill with oil , etc , it becomes very black , smooth and non-stick .
    Who would have thought that cooking with cast iron would have similarities with applying a finish on Telecasters ?
     
  19. reverbbb

    reverbbb Friend of Leo's

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    I think what Westerly Sunn is talking about: is how many of the import pans still have the sand casting roughness on the cooking surface. While the older USA castings have the cooking surface touched up. I have some pans that you can see the circular polishing marks. While others have a roughness. The rougher pans are not as easy to use with your spatula. The refined surfaces are easier to move an egg around without breaking the yellow.

    [​IMG]

    The old griddle on the left has the cooking surface nearly polished. The Chinese import covered pan in the lower right has a very rough surface inside. Nearly rougher than the outside.
     
  20. Kirchensfan

    Kirchensfan Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I received my 12" Lodge square grill pan yesterday. Great steaks last night.
     
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