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Old 04-25-2006, 11:37 AM   #11
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Yes the seasoning makes it non stick. It will take a while to build the seasoning up so don't expect it to be non stick right from the start, but the more you use it the more the seasoning will build and the better the pan will be.

Cast iron is amazing at browning meats. They are also great for things that will cook at a low temp for a long time. But really they are great all around pans. The only thing I would not use it for is cooking acidic food for a long time, so no long cooking tomato sauces. Other than that though they are great for just about anything.
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:48 AM   #12
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I have a lodge 3.5 qt deep fryer, a 12" cast iron skillet, and a 10"LeCruset enamel coatd cast iron skillet.

I don't use the cast iron for acid based foods as they tend to have a metalic taste.

I think they are all great but they are heavy....
later
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:01 PM   #13
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Well, actually "Le Creuset" falls into an entirely different category from basic cast iron. Totally different leagues.

I haven't yet cooked any acid-based foods in my cast iron, but I just might experiment after reading an article on cast iron in the New York Times a while ago, where a chef pooh-poohed the no-acid-cooking thing & said that he makes wonderful acid-based sauces in his cast-iron all the time without any change in flavor. He claimed that once the piece is very well-seasoned, there is no metallic taste no matter what you cook in it.
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:06 PM   #14
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Well that is the key breezy, it has to be very well seasoned. If it is then the seasoning is almost like a force field protecting the metal underneith. If the seasoning is not strong enough though then you will taste the metal.
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:28 PM   #15
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You also get extra iron added to your food, right?
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:30 PM   #16
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If you can taste it in your food then yes you do get extra iron. If you don't taste it then you probably are not getting extra (or at least not much).
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:49 PM   #17
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Funny isn't it? All these years (I'm 57) & I've never looked for a brand on my cast iron. I have four pieces: The skillet I use most was given to me as a wedding gift by a co-worker of my mom's. That was in 1967. The bottom of it says: 10 1/2 INCH SKILLET. The small one has NO. 5 8 1/2 INCH in two lines on the bottom. I also use my skillet with 8 wedges - the bottom of it has CORN BREAD SKILLET in a half circle at the top & PAT. PENDING in a half circle at the bottom. The last piece is a cornstick pan that makes 7 sticks. I can't find any markings on it. It's approx 5" x10". Can't remember ever buying one - all handed down thank goodness.
I have experienced the metallic taste - I will never put spaghetti sauce in it again!
My new (to me) house has a ceramic smooth-top stove & the book says DO NOT use cast iron skillets. However, I have been told that it will not hurt anything unless you scoot it around too much & scratch the surface. I'm still afraid to try - maybe after the new wears off - I just plug up my single hot plate if I want to top-of-the-stove something in them. Does anybody out there know for sure?
Oh yeah - back to the subject - Corazon you are getting the real scoop from these great people - I don't think cornbread or fried chicken would taste as good in anything else - go for it! Glenda
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Old 04-25-2006, 01:20 PM   #18
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You know, that's exactly why I did NOT buy a smooth-top range when we bought a new one 9 years ago.

They had the instruction booklets for each range attached to them so buyer's could check them out more thoroughly. Every single smooth-top clearly stated that neither cast-iron nor woks were to be used on them.

Sorry - both my cast-iron pans & my wok are integral parts of my cooking enjoyment that I value far more highly than easy range-top cleaning.
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Old 04-25-2006, 01:47 PM   #19
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I use my cast iron skillets on my ceramic top stove all the time, like nearly daily. I also use my steel wok on my ceramic stove. The stove came with the house I bought and I'd sooner cut off my arm than not use my cast iron.

No problems whatsoever. Works perfectly. I have done so for 8 years, now. I have one very small scratch on the surface, but don't even remember how that happened. I have had way more trouble with burned on sugar.

It suspect it has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with scratching and breaking of the ceramic surface. Some mfrs warranty for breakage.

My cast iron is very well seasoned and I can't distinguish any taste when I cook with wine, but when I cook with tomatoes or vinegar I can taste the iron. Also, it has colored the food.
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Old 04-25-2006, 02:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Well that is the key breezy, it has to be very well seasoned. If it is then the seasoning is almost like a force field protecting the metal underneith. If the seasoning is not strong enough though then you will taste the metal.
'lol, do i have to say "sheilds up" when i start cooking with my pan?

cora, i have a lodge cast iron "grill" pan, and a very old cast iron pan my mom passed down to me. i use them for things that require searing, then finishing in the oven like thicks steaks and such.

i did a little research on my lunch hour, and found out that there are newer production techniques that allow for the creation of a lighter weight cast iron.here is a little info: http://www.productionmachining.com/a...s/030302.htmli

also, i wouldn't put it past the chinese to have shaved a few millimeters off the pan's thickness, again reducing weight.

since heat transfers through dense metals more evenly, i would think the heavier cast iron pans would be better for cooking. but the trade off is weight and mobility.
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