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Old 07-13-2007, 12:25 AM   #1
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Cast iron

I have one of my Mom's old cast iron pans and I love it. I would like to purchase some more cast iron. There seems to be such a variety now, enameled, preseasoned, Lodge, Rachel Ray etc. Can anyone tell me the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
Thanks for your help

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Old 07-13-2007, 06:47 AM   #2
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If you like the one from your Mom you might want to stick with that type.
The enameled is preferred for cooking acidic (eg tomato) based foods, but can be considerably more expensive and more subject to damage from high heat and chipping. If you check the posts at this site you'll see that another bloke and I have had problems with preseasoned cast iron. I prefer to season naked smoothly machined cast iron myself.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:23 AM   #3
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Lodge and Rachael Ray are brands of cast iron, not actual types of pans.

Naked cast iron is excellent stuff, but needs to be seasoned (not a big deal). Acidic foods can eat away at the metal unless you have a strong seasoning.

Pre-seasoned cast iron is the next step up. It is seasoned for you. It is actually seasoned the exact same way that you would season a pan at home so (and this is just my opinion) I think there is another issue justplainbill and the other person might be having with their pans. I do not think it is because they were pre-seasoned.

Enameled cast iron is great stuff. You have all the great properties of cast iron (great heat retention, even heating, etc.), but you don't need to worry about seasoning. This is the most expensive option though.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:12 AM   #4
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I think I've responded to this same subject a hundred times but here goes: Lodge black cast iron needs to be seasoned, it's easy and necessary. The more you use your Lodge the better it gets. Cooking foods in your cast iron pan in the oven does wonders for it as well as for the food and the fat that is in your pan helps to season it while it's cooking. You can't use soap on your black cast iron or you will have to season it again. No need to use soap. Just scrub with a nylon brush and hot water, dry thoroughly, place it on your burner on high for about one minute while laying a thin coat of Crisco on it with a paper towel. Leave it on the burner til it cools completely and you have the perfectly seasoned pan every time you use it. (The first seasoning takes about 1 hour in a 350 oven. I have 7 pieces of Lodge black cast iron and love it. The new Lodge pans are pre-seasoned and that's what you'll find in stores now so no need to worry about seasoning.

I have about 32 pieces of LeCreuset enameled cast iron. These pots and pans are awesome as are the baking dishes, etc. No seasoning is required and you don't ever keep more than a low/medium heat while cooking. No need to -this cookware holds the heat extremely well.
You can use acidic foods like vinegar, tomatoes, lemons etc. in an enameled cast iron pan with no problems. And you need to use soap to wash these pans. All of my cookware with the exception of 2 Farberware pans, are cast iron and nothing cookes better than cast iron whether it's enameled or black raw. And if you're going to buy black, go with Lodge. This is what they do and they do it better than anyone else.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
vetese77
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:47 AM   #6
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it is best to buy the really good stuff, Lodge and Le Crueset...best warranties, and least amount of problems ...good product good quality control.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DramaQueen
I think I've responded to this same subject a hundred times but here goes: Lodge black cast iron needs to be seasoned, it's easy and necessary. The more you use your Lodge the better it gets. Cooking foods in your cast iron pan in the oven does wonders for it as well as for the food and the fat that is in your pan helps to season it while it's cooking. You can't use soap on your black cast iron or you will have to season it again. No need to use soap. Just scrub with a nylon brush and hot water, dry thoroughly, place it on your burner on high for about one minute while laying a thin coat of Crisco on it with a paper towel. Leave it on the burner til it cools completely and you have the perfectly seasoned pan every time you use it. (The first seasoning takes about 1 hour in a 350 oven. I have 7 pieces of Lodge black cast iron and love it. The new Lodge pans are pre-seasoned and that's what you'll find in stores now so no need to worry about seasoning.

I have about 32 pieces of LeCreuset enameled cast iron. These pots and pans are awesome as are the baking dishes, etc. No seasoning is required and you don't ever keep more than a low/medium heat while cooking. No need to -this cookware holds the heat extremely well.
You can use acidic foods like vinegar, tomatoes, lemons etc. in an enameled cast iron pan with no problems. And you need to use soap to wash these pans. All of my cookware with the exception of 2 Farberware pans, are cast iron and nothing cookes better than cast iron whether it's enameled or black raw. And if you're going to buy black, go with Lodge. This is what they do and they do it better than anyone else.
IMHO they can't hold a candle to Griswold
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:23 PM   #8
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While I agree with Dramaqueen about the beauty of Cast Iron's excellent cooking properties, I prefer cooking with a tri-ply stainless when I'm going to make some sort of pan-sauce after cooking the protien as I feel the meats leave more bits around on the bottom of the pan for deglazing...
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
IMHO they can't hold a candle to Griswold
Why? What is it about Griswold that you find so much better than Lodge or other brands?
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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I LOVE both of my cast iron pans.

One is a 10" classic old, well seasoned black cast iron. No idea of brand. Use it all the time.

The other one is a 8qt Mario Batali Italian Kitchen brand coated enamel. It is at a price point below Le Creuset and very good quality and value for the money IMO. I looked at the Rachel Ray and Ikea versions but found the quality poor. Looking forward to fall for some great braised dishes which is what I usually use this one for.
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