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Old 04-26-2011, 11:14 PM   #1
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Cast Iron

Looking to buy some cast iron for camping trips this summer. Any suggestions on what essentials to get? Also, any recommendations on brands? Since this is for camping and will probably get treated pretty harshly, is it worth spending extra to get Lodge, or do some of the more affordable brands match up well enough?

Thanks in Advance.

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by CampCook99 View Post
Looking to buy some cast iron for camping trips this summer. Any suggestions on what essentials to get? Also, any recommendations on brands? Since this is for camping and will probably get treated pretty harshly, is it worth spending extra to get Lodge, or do some of the more affordable brands match up well enough?

Thanks in Advance.
I think the best bet is Lodge if you want to be sure to have it around next year. I have CI camping pots and pans that have been around for 30 years.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:40 AM   #3
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Welcome to DC.

Josie
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:20 AM   #4
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I also "echo" Josie - WELCOME to DC!! :)

But, to add to your question, keep in mind that you can ruin a cast iron skillet in a nano-second by tossing it into a sink full of dishwasher. My DH,....O-I-could-kill-him did this to one of my BEST, most used CI "go to it" pan that was perfectly seasoned & "ready to go" at a moments notice...he used it, then tossed it into the sink dirty.
Granted, it was salvageable, but, it "kicked my butt" scraping off the rust, & getting it back iinto workable order.
Cast iron skillet = dependable cookware...ignorant man wanting to fry some eggs = cast iron killer!! (in MY case anyhow)...still, a part of me wants to bang him a "good one" over the head for wrecking my pan as he carelessly did...*sighs*....but, hey, ...on the bright side today, I did get to see a DOUBLE rainbow! LOL :)
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear that, M_Merlot, but I did laugh. That is the nice thing about CI is you really don't/shouldn't "wash" them. I just wipe mine out and it's good to go.

I strongly suggest Lodge. I'd get 1 or 2 dutch ovens in the 12-14" range and a regular fry pan, say 10-12" or so.

If they do get rusty, I just poured some kosher salt in the pan and rubbed it down. Then rub w/crisco and into my smoker at about 250 for about 3hrs or so, wipe off excess oil and it's ready to go. Takes alot of cooks to get it "just right".
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:38 AM   #6
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Check the thrift stores. Old cast iron is better--it has a smoother finish and is easier to season. I bought a couple not long ago for $10 each. The other advantage of older CI is that it seems to be lighter--a good thing for my poor wrists.

You can pay big bucks for vintage cast iron, if you are a collector. No need to do that for camping gear, just look for one that is smooth surfaced.

If you were a scout, you probably know that rubbing some soap on the outside of pots and pans makes it easier to get the soot off. If you don't want to do that, just get some old pillow cases to put your cooking gear in--keeps that black stuff off of everything.

And when you get home, be sure your CI is really, really dry-don't store it in the basement or garage. It will rust for sure, no matter how seasoned it is.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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Lodge isn't that expensive.

And it's almost impossible to ruin cast iron.

Soap doesn't hurt well seasoned cast iron. I use it all the time.

Cast iron isn't Waterford China!

I agree that thrift shops and estate sales are good places to hunt for used CI skillets.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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Check the thrift stores. Old cast iron is better--it has a smoother finish and is easier to season
.
+1
That is where I got every one of mine. That and yardsales.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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Just curious, but why are you looking for cast iron for camping? I am not saying that is a bad choice, but depending on what you are after there may be better choices. Are you car camping or hiking? Cast iron is about the heaviest cookware you can get. If weight is not an issue then it is great stuff. There are some decent camping cookware products out there now which are very light and very strong. If weight is an issue then those might make more sense.

If you are sold on cast iron then I echo e others who said Lodge. They make the best cast iron these days. There is better vintage stuff out there, but you will pay more.
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:53 AM   #10
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I got most of mine at yard sales. It's too heavy for me to use now, but I'll hang to it. You never know when you might have to cook over an open fire.
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