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Old 04-24-2006, 08:04 PM   #1
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Cast Iron Skillet

do you own a cast iron skillet? I've never had one but it seems some people swear by them. I'm thinking of investing in one. What brand is yours? What are your likes & dislikes about it? I want all the dirty details! Thanks!

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Old 04-24-2006, 08:13 PM   #2
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Get one Cora. The investment is small. There are probably the least expensive cookware out there. Lodge is the most popular name in the US. You can get a 10" skillet for about $15-$20. Or if you look at yard sales you can often find old cast iron for a buck or two.

The drawbacks are:
They are very heavy. This is also one of the reasons they are so great, but if you have arthritis or trouble lifting heavy things then cast iron is not for you.

The require a little bit of care. They need to be seasoned and kept dry. These are easy things to do, but if you are the type of person who likes to leave pans lying around and not really take care of them then again cast iron is not for you.

Other than those two possible downsides, cast iron is a great material for cooking. It holds onto the heat and distributes it evenly. I would highly recommend adding a piece to your cooking arsenal!
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Old 04-24-2006, 08:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Get one Cora. The investment is small. There are probably the least expensive cookware out there. Lodge is the most popular name in the US. You can get a 10" skillet for about $15-$20. Or if you look at yard sales you can often find old cast iron for a buck or two.

The drawbacks are:
They are very heavy. This is also one of the reasons they are so great, but if you have arthritis or trouble lifting heavy things then cast iron is not for you.

The require a little bit of care. They need to be seasoned and kept dry. These are easy things to do, but if you are the type of person who likes to leave pans lying around and not really take care of them then again cast iron is not for you.

Other than those two possible downsides, cast iron is a great material for cooking. It holds onto the heat and distributes it evenly. I would highly recommend adding a piece to your cooking arsenal!
I agree with GB! My mom always said the best cast iron skillets were the old ones "Griswold or Griswald". She grew up using them and I've inhereted hers and dads and love using them. They make the best fried chicken.

Be sure if you get one not to leave it soaking in water because it will develop rust. I'm pretty sure there is another discussion on this subject on the forum somewhere and it tells how to season the pans and what to do if you happen to get rust on them.

By the way you can pick up the Griswold at fleamarkets, antique stores and sometimes at estate sales.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:44 AM   #4
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A good cast iron skillet is one of the best cooking vessels in the world.

Get one. Like GB says, they are cheap. And last forever.

These days, I'd recommend a Lodge brand.
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:59 AM   #5
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Definitely get one, or two, or three - lol!! There's little to nothing one can't cook in cast iron.

And I agree that Lodge is the best. Here's a link to their website which shows everything in their current line: http://www.lodgemfg.com/ Their online prices seem high, as well as the shipping (because of the weight), but I picked up both my Lodge pans at Wal-Mart for between $20-$25 each.

I started out with their grill skillet, which has ridges in it that make lovely "grill marks" on meat, fish, etc. Had so much fun with that, that I then picked up a large plain skillet which, helpfully, has a small handle opposite the regular one to help carry it (again, due to weight).

Lodge now puts out a "pre-seasoned" line (for more $$, of course), but seasoning the pans yourself is SO simple, I'd go for the regular line & just do it yourself. While you do have to be a bit careful with cast iron (it does break if dropped), it last's forever & can & has been literally passed down through generations of families.
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:43 AM   #6
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I just went down to the kitchen to see how many pieces I have......6.....ranging from an 8 inch skillet to a 5 quart dutch oven. I have 2 Wagners, 2 Lodges and 2 that are not marked with a makers name. Personally, I do not feel the maker makes any difference, cast iron is cast iron, whatcha all think about the makers?? I looked to see which ones I use the most and it is the Wagners. I usually keep two cast iron skillets on the stove top at all times. Too heavy to move to the cabinet, and I use them almost every day. If they need cleaned with soap and water, dry them with a bit of heat on the stove top to make sure they are dry.
I would not be without them, highly recommend them.
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:06 AM   #7
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CORAZON, I could not even put a price tag on mine. My husband and I were both fortunate to inherit ours from our Grandmothers. We were both close to them. In our restraunt all of our skills and training came from days of hanging on there skirts.. to learn all there was about down home cooking. I have a comal that is 46 years old. (older than me) As well, as a dutch oven--makes the best upsidedown cakes in the world.
I emplore you to purchase one and explore the new tastes you will aquire using this item. We have ours on display at home (above the stove), and on each burner at the grill. Good Luck. Mine, no longer have the markings of a name brand. Only the engravings of the years of use. They last longer than us, and get better with age....
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:29 AM   #8
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Thanks everybody! Twist my arm!
What kinds of things do you find your cast iron exceptional at doing? What meals do you make using it? Or is it basically an everything pan? Does the seasoning make like a homemade nonstick?
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:35 AM   #9
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I make all my meals in mine. I do own a set of Wolfgang Puck ( exceptional set) main uses for Wolfie are the steaming of foods. and boiling my jars for canning.. Big deep pot. Hey, I just thought of something.. If it is put in jars.. why do we call it canning?
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:37 AM   #10
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Actually, I do think the manufacturer does make a difference. Perhaps not between major well-known brands (although I don't know of any others besides Lodge), but there's definitely a difference between well-made cast-iron & cheaply-made cast iron.

For instance, while shopping at CostCo I came across a complete set of cast-iron skillets for a very reasonable price. Upon picking them up, however, I was absolutely flabbergasted at how lightweight they were. I don't remember the brand name, but "Made in China" was stamped on the bottom of each piece. Sorry, but I could tell right off that they wouldn't hold a candle to my Lodge pieces.

Unless you're buying an old well-used antique piece that's well-weighted but doesn't have a hallmark, do stick with the tried & true American brands. There are definitely cheapies out there that are probably giving cast iron a bad name.
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