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Old 03-20-2008, 08:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
One reason the old cast irons work better is because they were made better to begin with. The new Chinese ones are not as smooth inside as the old one.

I wash my pans with soap, dry them on the stove burner, and rub a little oil in each time.
Ditto. I hand dry, then bring pan to low-medium heat for final dry, lightly coat with peanut oil while hot, let cool and then wipe out any excess oil.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:06 AM   #12
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I was all mine after each use. The washing has done nothing to the pots and pans, I have no problem with things sticking. I was with regular dish soap, after cleaned, I put onto the stove top heat it up to dry it (not hot - hot) then while still warm I take a paper towel with oil and rub them lighty. all set for the next use. I have had them for years.

I also found some at garage sale that OMG disgusting filt. brought them lil to nothing.
took them home - hosed them down outside. took a electric drill with a wire brush and wired brushed the heck out of them. washed out good in hot sudsey water - then took it back outside on my grill and let it heat up in there and kept rubbing oil in it- you can't hurt cast iron. the one pot -dutch oven I got for 50 cents and when i saw it in a store it sold for 45.00. i think I got a bargin
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:25 PM   #13
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One thing I am noticing is that washing seems to mean 2 different things here.
Some of you are more or less using hot water, while the pan is still how, and using salt or baking soda for a cleanser but no soap under any circumstances.

Some of you are using soap on a regular basis. Now I guess if you use something less than Dawn, it dosent matter to much. I say dawn because I know Dawn will cut and clean up car motor oil cause I have used it to do it.

My two burner griddle, generally only cooks bacon, so I tend to let oil build up on it until I become afraid that it will over flow and drip to the bottom of my gas oven. Which wouldn't be healthy for the kitchen.

I have also been cooking bacon on my pizza pan. I am trying to cook the bacon flavor into the pizza pan cause bacon flavored pizza crust has a certain appeal to me.

The rest of my pans, I have been using my wok lately, hmmm, wok oil and rice wine vinegar, cooking that flavor into the wok might not be such a bad thing.

Now, for another thought, for those of you who are using soap on your pans, I can see that if you have a good seasoning on your pans, a little soap wont hurt that. But, I have to assume that it will strip any flavors, that are in the pan. Now if you have more than one pan, having a flavor in a pan isn't such a big deal.

I am not leaving my pans filthy. I am just trying to get a good seasoning on several of them that I dont mind having...... a good flavor to them.

Look at it this way... I was watching Rachel Ray this morning and she was talking about cassoulets that had been cooking stews for generations and I have also heard of woks that had generations of patina on them.

I want to start a pizza pan and a griddle and maybe a fish pan that my grandkids will look at and think... grandpa used this...
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:32 AM   #14
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Vilas man, you certainly seem to be on the right track with your cast iron. And there is something very satisfying about using important items like cookware into the next generation. I use my MIL's stainless steel pots and pans, as well as cast iron skillet. Bought in the 40s-50s, you can imagine the great quality. I love using the same pans to prepare meals for her son that she used when he was a child. Nice feeling of continuity.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:23 PM   #15
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Animal fat (bacon, butter) seems to work best.

I regularly rinse with water but also use detergent in varying degrees with a nylon/ polymer brush.

When I get a used pan I burn it out. I build a fire out back, put a grate over the fire and the pan on the grate. I wire brush the loosened stuff off. I do this not only to remove the crud but I don't know where the pan has been. I hope burning it removes contaminants.

One thing about a burn out, oil it before it gets cold, seems iron starts rusting while the item is still smoking hot.

I suspect new pans are made of recycled materials so they are not a true, raw cast iron. I'm guessing this is why they don't season well.

What is it with these new pans and the rough finishes? The last few pieces of iron ware I cared to look at seemed to have a rough almost bumpy orange peal finish on the inside bottoms.?? One thing to have a thin veneer of carbon, another to promote the capture of chunks of carbon.

Just checked the carbon steel wok. The wok gets washed with detergent and nylon/polymer brush just about every time its used. Its the nature of using sauces in hot cookery. This wok has a Nice seasoning. But 1) I don't use a flat bottom wok. If I wanted to use a pan I would use a pan. OTOH, Wife brought home a nicely built anodized aluminum piece, I may see how well it works, and 2) My burners are rated 28k BTU, may have something to do with the nice finish.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wart
What is it with these new pans and the rough finishes? The last few pieces of iron ware I cared to look at seemed to have a rough almost bumpy orange peal finish on the inside bottoms.?? One thing to have a thin veneer of carbon, another to promote the capture of chunks of carbon.
Check the country of origin...Out sourced iron from abroad tends to be very rough. That could explain what you are seeing...Buy new or old lines of American made iron if possible.
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:57 PM   #17
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Right on sparrowgrass, whenever I can find an old cooking utensil that is better than the new equivalent, costs less, and has some history, I am going to buy it. I have a new Lodge, and every time I clean it, the iron shows through on the hills, and the gunk collects in the valleys.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by vilasman View Post
I want to start a pizza pan and a griddle and maybe a fish pan that my grandkids will look at and think... grandpa used this...
This weekend I scored an old cast iron pot of my grandmothers. No way am I going to strip all of her seasoning. I will give the pot a good scrubbing and reseason lightly (it has been in storage awhile) but I am not going to strip it down to the metal. I like the idea that somehow this woman's awesome German cooking has a legacy in my pot. The skillets I acquire used from unknown souces get taken down to the metal becasue I have no idea where they have been or what they were used for.

Old cast iron is definitley the was to go... they just simply dont make them the same way. They ground the cooking surface of the old ones smooth the new ones are left rough.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:46 AM   #19
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Congrats, the old stuff is definitely better, particularly if you know the history. Grandma's grease didn't come out of my favorite skillet either. I would make a test batch of something after seasoning just to be sure that there are no off flavors. Try cornbread. Some have suggested that the butter in fat in the cornbread aids in seasoning. Haven't tried it.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:15 AM   #20
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I wash my iron skillets and pots every time I cook something that will leave behind a specific taste. I use soap and a dish cloth or plastic scrubber. Then I dry on top of the stove, add a little oil or pam while pan is still very warm and use a paper towel to lightly rub in over surface and dry excess oil. I store them in the bottom of my oven to insure dry air.

With that said . . . Older pans were made better because I have a much older skillet that this process works fine for but my newer one that is now about 8 years old, it continues to stick pretty badly with some food.
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