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Old 10-08-2006, 12:20 AM   #11
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Great information . I have several cast iron skillets and a dutch pot. I have had the hardest time figuring out how to take care of it but now I know how. Thanks again.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:33 AM   #12
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Thanks to everyone for the information in this thread. I have just seasoned an old cast iron skillet which I am 'rescuing'. Basically when the oven was on, I coated the skillet with oil and baked it. I have used it a couple of times and have noticed that tomatos mark the surface. Should I just keep coating and baking? Also, I cannot find crisco here in New Zealand can anyone tell me what it is made of so I can look for a substitute. Thanks so much.
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:48 AM   #13
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You can use vegetable oil.
Don't cook tomatoes in cast iron.
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Old 10-08-2006, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
You can use vegetable oil.
Don't cook tomatoes in cast iron.
Actually no acidic foods should be cooked in cast iron.

You will enjoy your cast iron pieces once they are fully seasoned. One of mine is seasoned so well that it performs like Teflon. I love it.
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:41 PM   #15
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Can I use tin foil in the bottom of my oven when seasoning my cast iron skillets so when the crisco drips it will drip on the tin foil?
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine1967
Can I use tin foil in the bottom of my oven when seasoning my cast iron skillets so when the crisco drips it will drip on the tin foil?
Highly recommended, to make clean-up easier. It will drip during the seasoning process.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:03 PM   #17
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Thank you very much !!
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
Actually no acidic foods should be cooked in cast iron.
Well, all food is acidic (baking soda and egg whites being the two common exceptions). Some just more than others. Here's a chart of foods and their pH. http://www.food-info.net/uk/qa/qa-fp65.htm The lower the number, the more acidic it is.

You can cook tomatoes briefly in cast iron. Long simmered dishes can have an off flavor or color result as well as some issues with the patina of the pan.

Red wine is not good in cast iron at all.The tannins react quickly and become unpleasant.

But chili and baked beans are all tomatoey dishes that are cooked famously in cast iron. Usually well seasoned cast iron.

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Old 10-08-2006, 04:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thymeless
Well, all food is acidic (baking soda and egg whites being the two common exceptions). Some just more than others. Here's a chart of foods and their pH. http://www.food-info.net/uk/qa/qa-fp65.htm The lower the number, the more acidic it is.

You can cook tomatoes briefly in cast iron. Long simmered dishes can have an off flavor or color result as well as some issues with the patina of the pan.

Red wine is not good in cast iron at all.The tannins react quickly and become unpleasant.

But chili and baked beans are all tomatoey dishes that are cooked famously in cast iron. Usually well seasoned cast iron.

thymeless

The pH scale runs from 1-14 with 7 being neutral. Numbers lower than 7 indicate acids and numbers above 7 indicate alkalies. What you have to consider is that acidity comes in different strengths with corrosive acids down at the numeric bottom of the scale and things that are mildly acidic with numbers near 7.

Foods between say 5 and 7 are not really an issue as far as their acidity is concerned. Strongly acidic foods would be below 5.

So I guess folks have been a little imprecise in their language but the point made about tomato in cast iron is a good one.
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Old 10-13-2006, 02:55 PM   #20
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Something I haven't seen mentioned is the technique of using kosher salt and a bit of oil to clean your cast iron. It's an abrasive of sorts, and does a great job of sopping up / scraping off whatever bits o' stuff are stuck to the cast iron. The only time I will use soap on cast iron is when I'm planning to re-season the pan.

Whenever I get a pan that is really, really crudded up I either put it in the BBQ grill (heat cranked all the way up) or spray it with oven cleaner and use a soft wire brush (bronze) to clean it up. I've used this to restore very very old pans with no problems.

Oh - and I don't use the cast iron for any tomato-based dishes. I've also heard that the acidity will cause some icky flavors (or metals!) to leach into the food.
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