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Old 12-29-2008, 07:04 PM   #1
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Newbie cook with some Cast Iron questions:

So I just bought a 10 pc. Anolon Advanced non-stick set and, a 10 inch All Clad SS pan.
Ive been hearing/reading about Cast iron everywhere but because I am quite new to all this, I dont really know where the CI excels as opposed to SS, Anodized Aluminum, etc.

So in what areas would you recommend I try a CI skillet?
They are so cheap so I figured i'd try one; any particular brand to look at?
Can someone explain the seasoning process?

Thanks!

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Old 12-29-2008, 08:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kwitel
So in what areas would you recommend I try a CI skillet?
They are so cheap so I figured i'd try one; any particular brand to look at?
Can someone explain the seasoning process?

I use cast iron daily. It can be used for anything --It excels at heat retention.
I like Lodge Brand...Made in the USA...There is a lot of stuff out there that is imported.
Follow the directions that Lodge provides for seasoning. It's simple and easy.

Have Fun & Enjoy!
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:31 PM   #3
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Wondering if anyone uses cast iron on a glass top stove? And if so what type of results compared to gas or electric burners?
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:26 AM   #4
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Kwitel... if you search you will find alot of useful discussion for Cast Iron cookware on this site.

I would recommend starting out with a medium sized skillet like a size 8 use it often and it may quickly become indispensable.

CI is great for any high heat cooking that would damage your non-stick cookware. It is a great tool for frying anything, for searing and browning meats. It is also nice because you can take it from the stove top to the oven so you can brown and roast in the same pan. You can also use it on a grill or campfire. Unlike your other cookware It is virtually impossible to destroy.

If you are going to buy new go with Lodge (avoid made in china stuff). I prefer the older pans with the machined finish inside you can get these on ebay or at flea markets etc. Wagner and Griswold are the name brands for the old stuff but I have some non marked pans that are great quality too and will be cheaper.. just inspect the casting there are great variations in quality. I need to take pictures and post the two I am restoring right now because they are a great example. They look very similar at first glance and are both unbranded but one is a really nice pan and the other is quite poor casting.

Dont get frustrated with cast iron if it does not cooperate at first. It takes awhile to get your seasoning perfect. Be patient and use it often. At first use it for fattier dishes to build up the seasoning then it will be all purpose. Avoid acidic foods use your AC for that stuff. Good Luck
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:30 AM   #5
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I agree about using Cast Iron, especially for a skillet. After it gets seasoned, it becomes natural non stick. It also adds some good flavor IMHO.

AC

I don't know about the glass top stove, I do not have an electric stove.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:34 AM   #6
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I have two very old China pans, 8 & 10". They have a smooth cooking surface which works great, I even use them directly on the grill. I bought a Lodge square grill pan that I can't stand, but the regular pans are pretty good. Don't trust the Lodge "pre-seasoniong" though. You still need to season the pan yourself.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2cookin View Post
Wondering if anyone uses cast iron on a glass top stove? And if so what type of results compared to gas or electric burners?
Yes. All the time. Works great.
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:13 AM   #8
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I bought a Lodge square grill pan that I can't stand,
I 'borrowed' mums a few years ago.... We had a rocky start but are starting to become one. I will never try to cook fish on it again though that turned out poorly.

for awhile I avoided it and used my LC enamel one instead but I have returned to the lodge now and found it to be great for some things as long as I am patient with it.

What is your problem with the grill pan?
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #9
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What is your problem with the grill pan?
The "grates" are very thin and pointed so you get very little contact with the food. And it's a pain to clean. I used it once....maybe twice. I'd give it to someone that wanted it, it just takes up space.

I just fire up one of my grills. Down ye' ol' road, I plan on a 48 inch'er with a grill.
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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Related Question:

I've got a kind of related question to the cast iron question. I've got two cast iron pans that belonged to my grandmother. They are older than I am and quite well seasoned. Unfortunately, the exterior of the pan has been covered in this kind of... substance, I can't really identify it... but it has an unpleasant tendency of catching fire whenever I try to use it. It's not rust. It's black. Can anyone identify it and (hopefully) tell me how to get rid of it? I'd hate to have to abandon these pans.
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