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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by otterhound, Mar 25, 2018.
I know who Zasu Pitts is, so thanks for reminding me how old I am.
Your post reminded me of a scene from an early episode of "Happy Days". Richie, Ralph, and Pottsie are looking at a Playboy magazine. One of them opens the centerfold, and Pottsie says: "Wouldn't you like to see a tight sweater on THAT!"
As for skillets and dutch ovens, I think some people are more in love with the process than the results. I'll maintain that an enameled cast iron utensil has all the positive attributes of heat distribution and retention, without the maintenance issues. And you don't necessarily have to spend Le Creuset money to get it either.
I got a round griddle at a Mexican food place (perfect for warming tortillas) and I've had a 12" frying pan for years. I use stainless steel for everything else. I don't eat animals other then poultry and seafood.
Once you have seasoned a pan the first time, I find the daily maintenance is extremely fast and easy. I just scrub it with a nylon brush and water, then wipe it out with a paper towel. Then pour a little oil in the pan, spread it around,
put on the stove for maybe a minute to dry the outside. I suppose that is slightly more hassle than washing a non-stick pan, but I've been doing it for so long I don't really notice it.
My wife brought home a 12" x 4" deep cast iron skillet from Williams and Sonoma yesterday. We oiled it up last night and will cook fish in it tonight. The price was $25.00 and she had a 20% off coupon. That's not unreasonable for a skillet that weighs more than my dog and is about the cheapest thing she's brought home from there in a long time... Either that or she's being about as truthful about the price of the skillet as I am about the price of guitars.
Wash, dry on the stove, wipe on oil (type of oil is like arguing about tonewood, pick what you have), heat the pan with oil almost to smoking, turn the heat off and let it cool down like stored in the oven on the racks so it's out of the way. When you use it later, wipe out excess oil with a paper towel, heat it up, pat of butter, start cooking.
*** The two different oils work to make it non-stick. Season with oil, use butter before cooking ***
Coarse salt and paper towel can be used to scrub out after use, rinse with water, leave on/in the stove.
Keep it all low stress. If it needs washing, just wash (!) and do the quick steps above. I've seen some crazy seasoning recipes that turn it into an all-day affair. You don't need that.
The pan collectors have a cut-off date around the 30s/40s (I think) where prior cast iron pans were as smooth as machined and thin and light. Very nice surfaces. Later castings turned to the rough type we see all around today. I didn't get why that was the case, other than mold sand differences and maybe fashion -- certainly could blame high volume manufacturing...
I started doing clean up a little differently as a result of a mistake. I used to put water in the pan, heat it, and use a brush or spatula or fork with paper towel just to break things loose and remove what needed removal. One night I fell asleep after eating, awoke, and sauntered off to bed leaving the grease in the pan to congeal. The next morning I used a spatula to clean out almost all of it, and then just used a paper towel or a rage to wipe down the inside and remove any particles while redistributing the grease to add to the coat. I liked the result.
Since I did that, I wondered why I did not do it before, and I can tell the pan is blackening a little faster (it is a relatively new combo fryer pan). The exception is if I get a little cooked on brown matter in there from meat and it needs a little more attention, I have been using cold water and a plastic or silicon spatula to break it loose and then just wipe it. I am taking less seasoning out.
Dutch oven cook off. Blue berry cobbler against peach cobbler
I’m drooling at the thought
My ex-girlfriend back in the 90's had a set of cast iron cooking wear. I did her a favor one evening after dinner and soaked her skillet in the sink overnight to loosen up the food. It turned orange. I do not recommend this.
I like cow.
guitarzan, I do that as well. A metal spatula can work really well to scrape the pan clean, especially if anything sticks at all. If you've ever seen fry cooks scrape cleaning their
grills in old school restaurant kitchens it's pretty much the same idea.
One trick to having things not stick is the same as on a grill. You have to cook the food until it sears enough so it dries out and releases. I.e., if you try to turn something over to soon,
it might stick, but if you wait until is carbonizes a little bit, it doesn't stick at all. I'm trying to think of a good guitar playing analogy....have your solo notes ring out legato a bit longer, rather
than shredding so fast that none of the notes register?
Bully for you!
Thanks for the detailed reply.
That might have worked in my previous life, but I've given up animal based products. My cardiologist recommended it and it seems to be helping my cholesterol levels.
I don't like spray on coatings that require you to use wood or plastic implements, but at least for me, lard isn't a good alternative.
Hard anodized aluminum cookware has been around for 50 years. No need for nasty cast iron or Teflon...
You can't get as good a sear in aluminum, it doesn't contain enough heat.
Vegetable oil seems to work fine on our cast iron stuff. Rapeseed oil is the default cooking oil in my corner of the world, when you don't want a specific taste in your food.
Up till WWII, cast iron cookware was mostly hand made. From the sand mould to pouring the molten iron into the sand cast, that wasn't always consistent, so then they milled them down smooth and ground them, to try and keep them all close to the same, and they were polished to a mirror finish after all that. It made for a much lighter and incredibly smooth finish.
After WWII much of the operation went to automation from the sand cast to the pouring of the iron and the finish. They stopped the milling, grinding, and polishing, because the machine poured the same exact amount into the same exact mould every time. So every item came out the same each time. Another thing that changed is the metal compound used in the automation machines had to be a little more porous and had a different heat range to be able to stay at liquid form a little longer for the automation, than by poured one pan at a time by hand.
So in the 1940s the fabrication method changed and the metal compound changed to help the new fabrication change. It did make for a more consistent, and more durable product, but an old handmade one that's held up over 100 years that's smoother than any Teflon pan is just a thing of artwork.
Aluminum is toxic to humans . It is very reactive . It has also been found in the form of deposits in the brains of Altzheimers victims post mortum . Antacids and many deodorants contain aluminum . I find the potential risk a bad choice when there are simple options .
No, they won't. They will react with any exposed unseasoned iron.