"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-15-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
vilasman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 323
Cast Iron observations & questions

First I want to attest to several things that I have read here.
1 Cast Iron really is as non stick as calphalon or analon if you treat it right.
2 Treating it right includes seasoning it, which is throughly discussed else where, but I am finding that repeatedly cooking bacon on it helps both in seasoning it and if you taste the metallic of the pan, cooking bacon will fix that
3 You never wash the pan. Primarily you drain the excess oil off while the pan is still hot. You just leave whats left. I have it on good authority from a CIA trained Chef that the oil won't go rancid. Now the wash the pan with salt instead of soap works. I you get gunk in your pan sprinkle it with salt like you would ajax and lightly scrub. Well right now I am alternating cooking bacon on a C. I. pizza pan and a 2 burner grill pan. Both live in the oven. I clean the fat off the grill pan when I think it will start over flowing to the bottom of the oven. The pizza pan when it looks like what I am going to cook next will be swimming in fat and the 2 burner is full of fat and the 2 other grill pans and 3 other regular pans are too small or to buried away.
But, point being, I can rub almost anything out of the bacon pans with my finger and salt. Occasionally I have to take a butter knife to a grill pan but even then it's not a fight.

Questions
1 occasionally I cook fish or chicken in the oven. For now I use a different pan cause I didn't know how the flavors would work together. Now can I do fish or chicken on the bacon pans?
2. My CI wok, can cook bacon in it to season it and not totally jack up the flavors of asian food ?
3. Since the grill side of my pan is always up and the griddle side down I am noticing that the coating on that side is flaking off . Should I be concerned about that? If I flip it there's all that bacon fat.

__________________

__________________
vilasman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 02:40 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,392
First I want to attest to several things that I have read here.
1 Cast Iron really is as non stick as calphalon or analon if you treat it right. I Agree


2 Treating it right includes seasoning it, which is throughly discussed else where, but I am finding that repeatedly cooking bacon on it helps both in seasoning it and if you taste the metallic of the pan, cooking bacon will fix that I Agree.


3 You never wash the pan. I Disagree. I always wash Cast iron. From a quick rinse/wipe out of a corn bread skillet to being as aggressive as I need to be to clean it. Up to and including mild soapy water, and a plastic scrubby.

Primarily you drain the excess oil off while the pan is still hot. You just leave whats left. I have it on good authority from a CIA trained Chef that the oil won't go rancid. I Question this. I’m thinking oil that has been cooked in, and left un-refrigerated will go rancid with time. If you use the pan the next day maybe not…days later…Hmmmmm!

Now the wash the pan with salt instead of soap works. I you get gunk in your pan sprinkle it with salt like you would ajax and lightly scrub. Well right now I am alternating cooking bacon on a C. I. pizza pan and a 2 burner grill pan. Both live in the oven. I clean the fat off the grill pan when I think it will start over flowing to the bottom of the oven. The pizza pan when it looks like what I am going to cook next will be swimming in fat and the 2 burner is full of fat and the 2 other grill pans and 3 other regular pans are too small or to buried away.
But, point being, I can rub almost anything out of the bacon pans with my finger and salt. Occasionally I have to take a butter knife to a grill pan but even then it's not a fight. Like I said, I wash after every use.

Questions
1 occasionally I cook fish or chicken in the oven. For now I use a different pan cause I didn't know how the flavors would work together. Now can I do fish or chicken on the bacon pans? Yes. If you are concerned about flavors mixing…Wash the pan after each use.


2. My CI wok, can cook bacon in it to season it and not totally jack up the flavors of asian food ? Yes, if the pan is clean when you begin your Asian cooking


3. Since the grill side of my pan is always up and the griddle side down I am noticing that the coating on that side is flaking off . Should I be concerned about that? Somewhat! You are burning the seasoning off. Try cooking on the griddle side more often.


If I flip it there's all that bacon fat.
__________________

__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 02:57 PM   #3
Head Chef
 
Chopstix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,323
I don't wash after every use. It depends. If my CI skillet was used for frying egg, just wiping it up with a paper towel and re-oiling suffices. If I browned chicken in it, I rinse it with hot water while the CI pan is hot. If there's still gunk, I scrub it lightly with my sponge with whatever little residual soap is in the sponge. Rinse then re-oil.

Yes, the residual oil on the CI pan/skillet gets rancid if not used for sometime. When this happens, I rinse it with very hot water before using. Add a little new oil.

If your griddle's coating is flaking off, I think you'll have to scrape it down and re-season.
__________________
'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
Chopstix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,655
I have a wok brush (looks like bamboo slats tied together. HOT water and that brush is what I use on my cast iron and carbon steel pans. I don't always use water if what I know I will cook next is similar (bacon sausage scrapple for example) I would after fish unless I were cooking fish again right away.

Oil and grease stays in the pores of the metal so obviously will flavors.

Cast iron is a fabulous metal for many applications. But I wouldn't cook sugar in it, such as fried apples to go with pork chops.

Why are those old pans so much better than my new preseasoned one? Well, it's had 75 to 100 years of seasoning, passed down from great gramma to gramma to mom to me. (yup, got three Griswolds! spider, 10" skillet and a rondeau (what some chefs still call a "griswold"))
__________________
Robo410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2008, 03:45 PM   #5
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
Traditionally, lard was used to season the cast iron, pork fat. Bacon has a lot of pork fat in it, but also has sugars and flavorings from the curing process. I often was my cast iron with hot water and a stiff brush while the pan is still hot. It cleans up in a breeze. On the rare occasion that I do burn something to the pan, I use a stainless steel scrubby and immediately dry and rub alight coating of oil over the pan. I rarely have to re-season (have only had to re-season once in 15 years, and that was to get the smoke flavor out of a pan my daughter took camping.

Tomato and other acidic foods don't pick up a metallic flavor from my pans as the seasoning keeps the acids away from the metal. I rub a thin coating of oil on any of my pans before cooking, and virtually nothing sticks, not even burned in baked beans.

Cast iron is the only pan material I know that is durable enough to last multiple generations, even when badly abused. Even good stainless steel requires more gentle treatment than does good cast iron.

All food oils go rancid over time. But solid fats, such as lard and beef fat are more stable that their mono and polyunsaturated fats, and therefore take more time to pick up the molecules that make them rancid.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 11:54 PM   #6
Senior Cook
 
wysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 446
Send a message via MSN to wysiwyg
vilasman,
Similar to Uncle Bob, I wash my cast iron skillet every time after using it.
After I am done cooking, I pour a quart of hot water on the pan before eating, and by the time I am finished with my meal is a matter of light scrubbing it.
After cleaning and washing, I dry it, rub a light coat of oil and place a paper towel on top in case I need to store something on the cooking surface.
I season this pan twice a year with safflower or soybean oil, looks like these oils maintain the slick surface longer (I am guessing is due to higher flash point), the pan, a 12 in. Lodge, is fairly new but nothing sticks to the surface.
__________________
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are" Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
wysiwyg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 12:05 AM   #7
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Des Moines Iowa
Posts: 1,214
I have a whole battery of CI pans small to omg large including a CI wok all are seasoned and I wash every time I use them I like to put a quart or so of water in them the minute
I am done cooking and they wash with warm water real well. Treat them very well and your grand children will be using them
__________________
Cook with passion or don't cook at all
Dave Hutchins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 12:49 AM   #8
Head Chef
 
MexicoKaren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico
Posts: 1,914
I also wash my cast iron skillet - it is the same skillet my husband's mother used every day when he was growing up (and we are in our 60s, so it is VERY old). I often just pour water in it when I'm done cooking, and then swab it out, but I occasionally use soap. I re-season about every six months. In between, it is basically nonstick. Gotta love it.
__________________
Saludos, Karen
MexicoKaren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #9
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,277
Ima Washer, II

It's very important that you dry the CI very thoroughly after washing. I use the stove burner for this.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 12:59 PM   #10
Head Chef
 
sparrowgrass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Highest point in Missouri
Posts: 1,794
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.
__________________

__________________
I just haven't been the same
since that house fell on my sister.
sparrowgrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.