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Cast iron cookware

Old 05-18-20, 02:04 PM
  #76  
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Just circling back here. I got one of the carbon steel Lodge pans, and I LLLLOVE it. I am definitely going to be getting larger one also. I can’t see any reason to own a cast-iron pan when these exist. I need to look if there’s a sauté pan too. I’ve been making the Good Eats Reloaded scrambled eggs almost daily

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Old 05-18-20, 02:23 PM
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Plenty of cast iron here. The Wagner Ware frying pan and skillet in the front row we've had for over 40 years and use for all kinds of cooking. The Lodge Dutch oven in the back row is more recent, mostly used to bake sourdough bread.

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Old 05-18-20, 03:59 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Plenty of cast iron here. The Wagner Ware frying pan and skillet in the front row we've had for over 40 years and use for all kinds of cooking. The Lodge Dutch oven in the back row is more recent, mostly used to bake sourdough bread.

Ooh, Ooh, been struggling to make decent sourdough bread. Have created and maintained good starter, my bread tastes OK, but does not look right. Any detailed recipe and procedures you can point to?
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Old 05-20-20, 08:31 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Depends on the type of cooking. Same as with woks.

When cooking melange meal, whether with a wok, braseiro or hibachi grill, a heat source that's smaller than the pan is useful for searing in the hot center while keeping the rest warm along the outer/upper edges of the pan.

In restaurants larger meal prep areas most have gone to larger flat cooking surfaces, heated only by smaller flames in some sections, leaving the rest warm. But for home cooking or smaller group meals, the traditional large rounded pans are still useful with small heat sources.

I've always kept one huge pan of some kind or another for this type of cooking, but I'm about to get rid of one I've had for almost 20 years. It's never been a good design, basically a misguided attempt at updating and improving a wok, which didn't need to be improved. It's the size of a wok, but Teflon coated, with a flat bottom the size of the largest burner, and sloped edges that are too steep to actually hold stuff for warming without scorching -- veggies, rice, etc. And it inexplicably has ridged detents to hold a huge domed cover, which serves no real purpose.

Now that I describe its faults, I'm wondering why I didn't get rid of it year ago. It takes up way too much space.

And these types of cookers never work properly with electric ranges, which is all I have in my apartment. Electric ranges need those pans with thick aluminum discs bonded to evenly distribute heat, and more conventional shallow skillets. It's almost impossible to use a wok or braseiro type pan on electric ranges.
Ever use one of these 70’s electric woks? They have a flat bottom, but they work better than they have any right to. When I was in a small apartment with an electric range I used my mom’s old counter top model, it was pretty great. Have a heat selector with actual degree F markings was an excellent feature.

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Old 05-20-20, 09:29 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
Ever use one of these 70’s electric woks? They have a flat bottom, but they work better than they have any right to. When I was in a small apartment with an electric range I used my mom’s old counter top model, it was pretty great. Have a heat selector with actual degree F markings was an excellent feature.

https://www.ebay.com/c/1324934793
Unfortunately my kitchen is so small there's no room for most cooking doodads, other than the stove and microwave. I had a huge crock pot and got rid of it because it was too awkward in a small kitchen. I got a couple of smaller crock pots. And I'm getting rid of most larger cookware -- I already threw out that huge sorta-wok I mentioned earlier.

I'm about to get rid of most of my stainless steel pans (Revereware, I think). I've recently tried a couple of ceramic coated skillets and they're much better than any stainless steel or Teflon coated skillet I've tried. Even if the ceramic coating turns out to be as fragile as most non-stick coatings, the skillets cost only $10-$12. I can afford to replace those every year or so if necessary. Fair trade off for the superior performance. They cook better with or without butter, olive oil or coconut oil. Just depends on whether I want crisp fried texture or not.

I'm tempted to discard my old toaster too. I might use it once a month.

I'm still trying to decide whether I really need two bread machines -- one Oster, one West Bend -- but they work very differently. One is great for quick breads using only baking powder instead of yeast; the other is good only for yeast bread, but is really good at that. So I'm keeping both for now.
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Old 05-21-20, 09:05 AM
  #81  
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I bought a cheap ceramic frying pan for like $10 to see what the hype is about, mine is terrible. My wife uses it because she read teflon is dangerous for women, but eggs stick terribly, even with enough fat (usually bacon grease) they should be swimming. I'm sure there are better ones out there.
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Old 05-21-20, 12:15 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I bought a cheap ceramic frying pan for like $10 to see what the hype is about, mine is terrible. My wife uses it because she read teflon is dangerous for women, but eggs stick terribly, even with enough fat (usually bacon grease) they should be swimming. I'm sure there are better ones out there.
Nothing wrong with teflon if you keep the temperature moderate. Browning butter is fine and olive oil shouldn't get too hot either, but oils and fats for high heat like peanut oil and ghee should not be on teflon when used for their heat.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:32 PM
  #83  
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cast iron and carbon steel

I have used cast iron on and off for years. About a year ago I took my palm sander and sanded the cooking surface to smooth it out. Needless to say, it made a mess. After washing and seasoning the pan, it cooks better than it did before. It is also easier to clean. I recently purchased a carbon steel pan, Matfer Bourgeat (I had to look it up). I like this pan too. It is certainly easier to handle and control the heat. But last night I heated the cast iron pan in the gas grill, got it good and hot, and cooked a pair of filets. They get such a great sear that you can't get on a grill. I don't know if I'll ever grill them again.
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Old 05-25-20, 01:33 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Just circling back here. I got one of the carbon steel Lodge pans, and I LLLLOVE it. I am definitely going to be getting larger one also. I can’t see any reason to own a cast-iron pan when these exist. I need to look if there’s a sauté pan too. I’ve been making the Good Eats Reloaded scrambled eggs almost daily
Those aren't bad. That would be my next choice but I'm pretty used to the heating properties of the thicker cast iron which is probably more forgiving for those of us not as attentive always to what's on the stove. The stamped pans are a little quicker cooking I believe . . . Just don't be coating them with Teflon and I'm alright with them.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:16 PM
  #85  
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So just saw this post as I've been spending most of my time on the Touring group. I have read some of the posts here and got excited to post so I skipped a few pages...I hope this hasn't been talked about yet but forgive me if I end up posting old info.

If you get a cast iron anything new for cooking it helps to season the pan before you use it. Seasoning just helps the pan get used to having food cook and not stick and is similar to using a teflon coated pan or pot. I have broken in various pans by seasoning them and once you do that the cast iron pan will be your best friend! Professional cooks, of which I am one, swear by them and covet them once they get someone else to buy them for the restaurant.

To season pans all you need is some coarse salt and oil, which ever you like. Some people warm the pan up and if I remember it usually works better if you do this. Once you have the pan warmed up you basically sprinkle the coarse salt onto the warm surface and put in a little bit of oil as long as it can be eaten by you or those you're cooking for. You then take a strong paper towel or cloth and rub the coarse salt/oil mixture into the cooking surface for a while, maybe two to five minutes. Never put your cast iron into a dishwasher and don't use anything other than dish soap and water to clean it and it will last your family for generations.

I don't have any experience with bike camping with cast iron but I swear by cast iron cooking. It's tough, you can abuse it by using metal utensils when cooking and nothing toxic will get into your food provided the cast iron is free of anything harmful.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:52 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
So just saw this post as I've been spending most of my time on the Touring group. I have read some of the posts here and got excited to post so I skipped a few pages...I hope this hasn't been talked about yet but forgive me if I end up posting old info.

If you get a cast iron anything new for cooking it helps to season the pan before you use it. Seasoning just helps the pan get used to having food cook and not stick and is similar to using a teflon coated pan or pot. I have broken in various pans by seasoning them and once you do that the cast iron pan will be your best friend! Professional cooks, of which I am one, swear by them and covet them once they get someone else to buy them for the restaurant.

To season pans all you need is some coarse salt and oil, which ever you like. Some people warm the pan up and if I remember it usually works better if you do this. Once you have the pan warmed up you basically sprinkle the coarse salt onto the warm surface and put in a little bit of oil as long as it can be eaten by you or those you're cooking for. You then take a strong paper towel or cloth and rub the coarse salt/oil mixture into the cooking surface for a while, maybe two to five minutes. Never put your cast iron into a dishwasher and don't use anything other than dish soap and water to clean it and it will last your family for generations.

I don't have any experience with bike camping with cast iron but I swear by cast iron cooking. It's tough, you can abuse it by using metal utensils when cooking and nothing toxic will get into your food provided the cast iron is free of anything harmful.

The Kosher or Sea Salt is the best way to clean the burnt on gunk on a skillet.

To season, add a little bit of oil (Canola, Grapeseed, or Avocado work best), wipe as much off with a paper towel, and put upside down in a 500 degree oven for an hour or so.
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Old 05-26-20, 10:03 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Chrisp72 View Post
To season pans all you need is some coarse salt and oil, which ever you like. Some people warm the pan up and if I remember it usually works better if you do this. Once you have the pan warmed up you basically sprinkle the coarse salt onto the warm surface and put in a little bit of oil as long as it can be eaten by you or those you're cooking for. You then take a strong paper towel or cloth and rub the coarse salt/oil mixture into the cooking surface for a while, maybe two to five minutes.
I've seen about coarse salt as an abrasive for cleaning, but IIRC the Alton Brown recommendation for seasoning (which I always thought confirmed the general consensus) was to wipe with crisco or other solid fat, and bake hot and upside down, dripping onto a sheet pan
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Old 05-26-20, 02:20 PM
  #88  
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The one thing i don’t like about cast iron is it’s limited response to changes in temperature. i’ve only used gas stoves and for that a few pans for different reasons…i looked at carbon steel pans which are thinner and lighter than cast iron, also more responsive to temperature changes. Personally for my general use i use All-Clad stainless steel. Since i grew up using and understanding copper/stainless that's what i use for sauté, sauce and stock pot and for roasting a stainless.
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Old 05-27-20, 07:35 AM
  #89  
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I use mainly copper bottomed stainless too, Calaphon; some anodized aluminum, mainly for braising. My cooking style has, over time, changed to more slow cook than pan-sear. Probably due to the fact that I got tired of setting off the goddam smoke alarm.

I have two really old cast iron skillets. I rarely use the big one anymore but this little one shown below gets used for eggs and cornbread. If I ever get a house with a kitchen designed for a cook (I had a chance to buy one once and I do not care to recount the painful tale of why we didn't buy it; regret, regret, regret) my ideal kitchen would included an industrial strength exhaust hood over a cooking surface that has both electric and gas. My mate and I have different visions of what a kitchen should be. For her it's an entertainment space that you cook in and for me its a place to cook food that guests can hang out and offer advice. "Maybe we should call the Fire Department?" "You don't expect me to eat that do you?"

Anyway, my skillets are from my paternal grandmother. They are at least 70 years old and are probably much older.

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Old 05-27-20, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
my ideal kitchen would included an industrial strength exhaust hood over a cooking surface that has both electric and gas.
Does such a beast exist? Or do you mean such a big hood that it handles side-by-side electric and gas ranges?

Why would you ever want electric?
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Old 05-27-20, 11:13 AM
  #91  
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Inductive is faster, better control & more efficient than gas. I'd still want one outdoor high BTU burner for things like a wok.
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Old 05-27-20, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Does such a beast exist? Or do you mean such a big hood that it handles side-by-side electric and gas ranges?

Why would you ever want electric?
I cook a lot of rice and I prefer not to use a steamer. Pancakes, omelets, gumbos, tomato and other sauces are all things I prefer on electric. There's more I'm sure. The only thing for gas, for me, is something like @noisebeam says. Gas is great for a wok. I'd also like to be able to cook with charcoal inside. However, I need a divorce before that will happen...
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Old 05-27-20, 12:32 PM
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And boiling noodle water is better on electric, too, I think. Less pause in the boil.
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Old 05-28-20, 12:41 AM
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So for those of you who wish to enter the cast iron arena I have a recommendation for you that may apply to those in Canada and in my home province of Ontario. Canadian Tire has a sale on for a 12" Lagostina cast iron pan for Canadian $29.99...they normally sell at the store for 100. I just bought one and they're pre seasoned so no worries. Its a big pan for touring but for home use it can't be beat. I plan on christening it with a batch of carmelized onions as I love to smother burgers with them.

As for seasoning I guess as they say there's more than one way to skin a cat. Alton Brown has his way and I've been taught mine. I would think they do the same things but I wouldn't feel too bad getting over ruled by Alton. He knows much more than me and I'm sure has a research department behind him.
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Old 05-28-20, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Inductive is faster, better control & more efficient than gas.
induction is better for an energy efficient future!. personally when cooking i just prefer the focus/creative connection to gas and copper/stainless while using techniques i learned in my years of growing up and learning about cooking and eating healthy food.

building a wonderful risotto in a very efficient copper risotto pan ftw!!!



eta.....and since all i use now can’t be used with induction i would go to carbon steel instead of cast iron and/or a good stainless set whenever i have to switch.
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Old 05-28-20, 06:35 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
I cook a lot of rice and I prefer not to use a steamer. Pancakes, omelets, gumbos, tomato and other sauces are all things I prefer on electric. There's more I'm sure. The only thing for gas, for me, is something like @noisebeam says. Gas is great for a wok. I'd also like to be able to cook with charcoal inside. However, I need a divorce before that will happen...
I always wondered, if I have a propane stove in my house, why can't I use a propane grill in the house?
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Old 05-28-20, 08:31 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
I always wondered, if I have a propane stove in my house, why can't I use a propane grill in the house?
Lived in Asia some years ago, and we had a small indoor dual-burner propane stove. Had a couple of safety features that really minimized the risk of propane in the house if the flame went out. But it was still best used near an open window. Wasn't really a safety risk, from an inhaling standpoint, at least IMO. Though hours' long cooking might alter that. Can't say what the contemporary units are like, but back then 40-some years ago, everyone did it. Having gas piped to the home and having a formal built-in stove unit was something the "estates" up the mountain did, but hardly anyone did more than a hibachi grill for outside and a single- or dual-burner propane stove indoors. Cooked a lot of meals on a mid-sized traditional wok, on that thing. Worked well.
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