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Old 09-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #31
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Does anyone know of a small inexpensive cast iron skillet? I searched on the Bed Bath and Beyond site and only saw Le Creuset which is pretty pricey. Please post a link to the pan you're recommending.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #32
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Le Creuset is ceramic-coated CI and not what you need for steak.

Lodge makes cheap, good quality CI skillets. You can buy them all over the place

lodge skillets - Walmart.com
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:17 PM   #33
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Here is a 6 1/2 cast iron skillet from Amazon
6 1/2 CI Skillet
You can also look at Walmart, your local hardware store, flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales to find inexpensive cast iron cookware.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:29 PM   #34
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Should I have used a nonstick pan?
No, you should have sprayed the pan with cooking spray before heating it, then you should have heated it until the cooking spray appears to melt, then added the oil and continue heating it until the oil shimmers and starts to smoke before you add the steak. Then don't touch the steak until it loosens from the bottom of the pan by itself. Turn the steak over and repeat.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:36 PM   #35
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Here is a 6 1/2 cast iron skillet from Amazon
6 1/2 CI Skillet
You can also look at Walmart, your local hardware store, flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales to find inexpensive cast iron cookware.
I think this one will work well. Are these pans hard to clean?
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #36
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Not at all. I recommend seasoning it before use. Wash the skillet with hot soapy water. Rinse well and dry it on your stove. Apply a thin coating of cooking oil to entire pan. Bring your oven up to 350 or so and place the pan in the oven, upside down for an hour. Turn the oven off and let the pan stay in the oven until cool. Once seasoned, it should be very easy to clean.They are practically indestructible. Some folks will tell you to never use soap, just hot water and a plastic or bamboo brush type scrubber. I have found that a little soap is not going to damage the seasoning in a CI pan. I would, however, not leave it to soak in hot soapy water. It should be cleaned promptly and dried thoroughly (I put it back on the heat source to dry it.) Wipe it with a thin coat of cooking oil before storing it in a dry spot. The more you use it, the more nonstick the surface will become. I am certain there will be others that will have a different view from mine. Truth is, you can do little to truly harm a CI pan.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy using cast iron.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #37
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You can usually by Lodge CI pans pre-seasoned. I have and they work great. Each tme you cook in them with fat (bacon grease, oil, butter) it adds to the seasoning. If you can't find a pre-seasoned pan Hoot's directions will get you started.

Hoot's info on cleaning and storage is also right on.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:54 PM   #38
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Does anyone know of a small inexpensive cast iron skillet? I searched on the Bed Bath and Beyond site and only saw Le Creuset which is pretty pricey. Please post a link to the pan you're recommending.
Yard, estate, and flea market sales. The old stuff is cheaper, smoother, and it never wears out. ebay has several Griz and Wag number 5's at present at less than $20.00. Older cast iron tends to be thinner than the new, an advantage for those with lifting problems.

I bought over the weekend a Griz #9 which appears to be in excellent condition for $30 shipped.(ebay) Specifically for steaks. You don't want to crowd them.

Estate and yard sales are often cheaper.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:14 PM   #39
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Yard, estate, and flea market sales. The old stuff is cheaper, smoother, and it never wears out. ebay has several Griz and Wag number 5's at present at less than $20.00. Older cast iron tends to be thinner than the new, an advantage for those with lifting problems.

I bought over the weekend a Griz #9 which appears to be in excellent condition for $30 shipped.(ebay) Specifically for steaks. You don't want to crowd them.

Estate and yard sales are often cheaper.
If you can find it on E-Bay, or in garage/yard sales, Grizwold is the king of cast iron, in my opinion. It has a smooth surface, and once seasoned (Hoot gives perfect instructions), eggs slide across the surface as with the best non-stick pans. But you can use you CI in the oven, on the grill, over very high heat, etc. If you do damage the seasoning, you just re-season to get the pan as good as new.

When I was a boy scout, we use to clean our CI pans in a stream, scouring with sand. Then we'd just dry them in the cooking fire, and rub with a bit of oil.

Now, I use a nylon scouring brush and hot water. I usually add Dawn Dishwashing soap so that any oil/grease is emulsified to avoid clogging up my kitchen drain pipes. As long as I don't scour with steel wool, or stainless steel scouring pads, the seasoning remains intact.

I have to try really hard to get food to stick to my CI pans.

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:23 PM   #40
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I've always read to season CI with shortening vs. oil, though I can't remember the specifics as to why anymore.

+1 on the Griswold recommendation. A Griswold #8 or #9 is my next cooking purchase. Hoping to snag a good one from eBay for cheap.
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