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Old 07-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #11
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There are definite differences in cast iron quality. Unfortunatley, the high-end (read that as high quality) pans quit being made in the 1950's. The brand name was Griswold. They can be found in thrift stores, and garage sales, as people generally don't understand the quality of the pans, and are fairly uneducated about how versatile, useful, and durable cast iron is.

The Lodge pans you find in every hardware store, and big box store are good pans. They work well, and when seasoned, are nearly as slippery as the best non-stick, but unlike non-stick, will last a few lifetimes. Unfortunately, they are heavy. I have seasoned my pans, both in the oven, and on the charcoal grill. I purchased all of my pans before pre-seasoned pans were available.

From watching others though, the pre-seasoned pans need more seasoning to make them perform well.

Maybe a little information might help you. Seasoning refers to a patina of oil that is baked into the base metal (cast iron), that serves to separate the metal from contact with air, and all other substances. It forms a hermetic seal. This protects the metal, keeps acidic, or alkali food from attacking the metal, protects against oxidation, and prevents the metal ions from leaching into foods, giving them a metallic taste. It also make the pan's cooking surface very slick, and virtually stick free.

The seasoning is durable, and if damaged, can be re-applied by simply reheating the pan to bake more oil into it. Teflon, and other non-stick surfaces, when damaged, can't be repaired. The pan becomes worthless.

Disadvantages of cast iron include poor thermal conductivity, heavy, slow to react to temperature changes, hot spots in the pan.

Advantages - very durable, nearly stick free, when seasoned and used properly, oven proof, fire proof, barbecue proof, can be used on any kind of stove, over any kind of fire, great thermal mass, best for getting very hot to sear meat, pan fry chicken, and other such uses, great for making sauces, stews etc., very good versatility, inexpensive.

I believe that I am not alone when I state that cast iron gives you the most value for the dollar.

So, go ahead and season your pan a bit more, or cook some fatty emat in it, such as bacon, hamburger, a couple of pork chops, or fry some french fries in oil. When done, was under hot water with a plastic brush to remove any food debris. Whipe in out with a paper towel, and rub a tsp. of oil onto the inside surface. Put in away until your ready to use it again.

Once you get used to it, your cast iron pots and pans will become your go-to cooking vessels.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #12
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Not cooking related but Sparrowgrass I have a shirt that has the Things just haven't been the same quote on it. I wore it to the grocery and was CONFRONTED by an angry woman who told me she hoped I didn't have a sister as she would be insulted by it. I took it all with a smile and replied "I don't, but if I did she'd have to get over it" I thought at that point the woman was going to hit me. LOL
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:38 AM   #13
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This came from a bicycling forum I belong to. I've never heard of this method but seems like it'll work...

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Pro tip re seasoning cast-iron or rolled-steel cookware: If you've access to a commercial deep fryer (perhaps a friend in food service), pitching them in the fryer seasons them just great. If your pans are brand-new, make sure to remove any manufacturer's coating first, so you don't contaminate the deep-fry oil.
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Old 09-21-2018, 04:22 PM   #14
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One thing that was mentioned in the original post is "black stuff" coming off the pan. In my experience thats normal and part of the cast iron experience. It's nothing to be concerned about. I wash my pans in hot water (no soap of course) and have a few devices (one is actually chain-mail) for scrubbing that removes anything stuck-on (not usually a skillet problem, but my griddle will get some stuff cooked hard on it for instance). I then put the pan back on a burner to heat it dry. Any droplets of water left gets wiped off with a paper towel, and that paper towel always has some blackish residue from the pan on it.


I have a few specialized cast iron pans that dont get used a lot. When they sit for a long time they will start to show a little rust (may not be seasoned enough yet but works fine for cooking). I spray them with vegetable oil cooking spray for storage, then wipe off excess oil with a paper towel...always a dark residue on the paper towel after this.
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Old 09-21-2018, 06:49 PM   #15
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One thing that was mentioned in the original post is "black stuff" coming off the pan. In my experience thats normal and part of the cast iron experience. It's nothing to be concerned about. I wash my pans in hot water (no soap of course) and have a few devices (one is actually chain-mail) for scrubbing that removes anything stuck-on (not usually a skillet problem, but my griddle will get some stuff cooked hard on it for instance). I then put the pan back on a burner to heat it dry. Any droplets of water left gets wiped off with a paper towel, and that paper towel always has some blackish residue from the pan on it.


I have a few specialized cast iron pans that dont get used a lot. When they sit for a long time they will start to show a little rust (may not be seasoned enough yet but works fine for cooking). I spray them with vegetable oil cooking spray for storage, then wipe off excess oil with a paper towel...always a dark residue on the paper towel after this.
I have two CI skillets I use regularly. No problem with black bits ever. Usually can just rinse it with hot water and a blue scrubby sponge. I use soap when needed. That blue sponge is all I use to clean on the worst burned on stuff. I sometimes boil water in the skillet to loosen up the tough stuff.

I suggest you season your other pans more. I've never seen rust from a pan sitting idle.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:54 AM   #16
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You are correct, the pans I am referring to are not seasoned as well as they could be. But I dont use them often enough for them to become seasoned very well and I'm not going through the manual seasoning process for these rarely used pans (these are deep sided, square with ridged bottom and they came with a top presser plate for making sandwiches). So, for what I use them for, a light coating of vegetable oil for storage and some fat during cooking works fine. My pans are kept in a garage cabinet under where I have a 6 burner range out there...and where I do most of this kind of cooking to keep the smoke and vapors etc out of the house (My range hood is one of those recirculating ones, not good for big frying inside). The garage is climate controlled to some degree, but not as perfect on the humidity level as inside the house...so that may play a role in how they keep too.


I wasn't really referring to black bits; more like a black or dark residue if you wipe the pan with a paper towel. Do you not pick up anything on a clean paper towel if you wipe your pans?


The boil water thing is a good idea, it would speed up cleaning. I usually let mine sit with hot water for a while, which is probably not a good idea becasue if I forget about it for a few days, the appearance of rust shows, but scrubs right away. (I also have a big farm sink with drainboards in my garage...thats how it can be forgotten for a while)


Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:21 AM   #17
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...I wasn't really referring to black bits; more like a black or dark residue if you wipe the pan with a paper towel. Do you not pick up anything on a clean paper towel if you wipe your pans?...
After I clean a pan, I toss it on the stove and heat it up to dry off the water. When it's near smoking hot, I wipe it with a little oil and continue to heat it to smoking then wipe it out with a paper towel. That towel will have some dark residue of oil.
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Old 09-29-2018, 12:35 PM   #18
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After I clean a pan, I toss it on the stove and heat it up to dry off the water. When it's near smoking hot, I wipe it with a little oil and continue to heat it to smoking then wipe it out with a paper towel. That towel will have some dark residue of oil.
Me too... +1


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Old 09-29-2018, 12:54 PM   #19
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Ha, ha! That's almost identical to what I wrote



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I then put the pan back on a burner to heat it dry. Any droplets of water left gets wiped off with a paper towel, and that paper towel always has some blackish residue from the pan on it.

Except I dont take mine to smoking hot...unless I walk away and forget it on the burner


I'm doing that more and more in my old age
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:38 PM   #20
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Ha, ha! That's almost identical to what I wrote

Except I dont take mine to smoking hot...unless I walk away and forget it on the burner

I'm doing that more and more in my old age
I season a cast iron skillet on the stove top and in the oven, but it doesn't retain it's non-stick properties unless I fry something in oil. Frying lots of bacon doesn't do it, but frying chicken or something else in oil does. When I season just using the regular methods, my scouring out the pan with just hot water, then cold water strips off the new thinly built up carbon. After frying with 1/4" of oil a couple of times... afterwards, the water beads right off after scrubbing it with water only, and continues to do so. I was getting frustrated before I discovered that.
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