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Old 02-28-2012, 12:08 PM   #31
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You can often find Griswold and Wagner Cast Iron on Ebay, or at garage sales, cheep. My favorite Griswold was given to me by an antique shop because the owner was impressed that I new the pan's quality. He'd had it on display in his shop for better than a year and couldn't get $20 for it. The other Griswold pans came to me cheaply. I paid $30 to my boss who was renting his home to an acquaintance of mine. I was helping the family move into the home and noticed three nice Griswold pans in perfect condition sitting in the entryway of the house. I asked him if he would sell them. I even told him that they were collector's items and offered to look up the value on the internet. He sold them to me for $30 on the spot. That's where I got the 5 1/2 inch pan, and another ten inch, and a twelve inch pan. I kept the smallest of the three, and sold the other two pans to my professional chef son for $20 buck. He was thrilled to get them.

As far as seasoning, if you're lucky, you just have to rub with oil or shortening, inside and out, and place in a 350' oven for a half hour or so. I prefer to fire up the grill and place the pans over the hot charcoal and let them cook for a half hour, re-rub them with oil and repeat. It really bakes in the fat to a smooth, slick, and hard surface. It also keeps me from smoking up the house.

IF the pan is in rough shape, and rusty, simply hit it with a wire brush, or fine sandpaper. I've cleaned up badly rusted pans with a wire wheel attached to my drill. Then season as described above. You may have to put three or four layers of seasoning on the bare metal to get that really good seasoning that is so prized. But once it's there, it's so easy to maintain. And it gets better every time you use the pan.

A common rule of thumb is to not cook acidic ingredients in cast iron as the food will take on a metallic flavor. My pans are now seasoned well enough that I cook acidic foods, like marinara sauce, pineapple sweet and sour sauce, and other dishes like that, with abandon, never having to worry about the food acids reacting with the metal. The actual metal is hermetically sealed by the polymerized fat and keeps the acids, or alkalies from ever touching the metal.

I've even been known to take my pans camping, and scour them with sand and running cold water. We did that all the time with such pans when I was in boy scouts so many, long, years ago.

Lodge pans are great pans too, but take longer to get that really great finish due to the rougher casting of the metal. The inside texture is more grainy than is the inside surfaces of either the Griswold or wagner pans. It still works the same way though.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:17 PM   #32
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The bumpiness of my pre-seasoned Lodge pans was very noticeable at first, but it became less bumpy as the carbon layer filled in between the tiny bumps.

I really cleaned my old pan thoroughly and still had trouble seasoning it. Also, there are at least 4 different methods of seasoning I've come across. After cleaning it again and trying to season it, I said to heck with that. A small lodge pan costs around $15. I must have spent at least $10 and a lot of time trying to get it seasoned correctly.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:50 PM   #33
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The bumpiness of my pre-seasoned Lodge pans was very noticeable at first, but it became less bumpy as the carbon layer filled in between the tiny bumps.

I really cleaned my old pan thoroughly and still had trouble seasoning it. Also, there are at least 4 different methods of seasoning I've come across. After cleaning it again and trying to season it, I said to heck with that. A small lodge pan costs around $15. I must have spent at least $10 and a lot of time trying to get it seasoned correctly.
Lodge cannot hold a candle to Griswold or Wagner.
Windy from Michigan explained the whole story pretty well although I'm not sure about 'hermetically sealed'.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:53 PM   #34
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I don't know that any seasoning method works as well anywhere else as it does over an open wood fire.

But that might be the same principle that makes everything cooked outdoors on a pit fire in a Dutch oven taste better than anywhere else. And it helps to have had a long day working or playing while the cook worked. The heartiest of meat breakfasts comes of a Dutch oven with thick sirloins that was set over natural coals that burned down in a hole and then had more coals piled on top and the whole thing buried deep enough that the smoke couldn't escape. It can be left for hours without overcooking, even overnight. And it makes the best biscuits on top of the ground with most of the fire on top of the lid. I've sure eaten a bunch of Bisquick and canned peach cobbler in the brush.

You can do the whole meal for a lot of people if you have the right kind.

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Old 02-29-2012, 02:30 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC View Post
I don't know that any seasoning method works as well anywhere else as it does over an open wood fire.

But that might be the same principle that makes everything cooked outdoors on a pit fire in a Dutch oven taste better than anywhere else. And it helps to have had a long day working or playing while the cook worked. The heartiest of meat breakfasts comes of a Dutch oven with thick sirloins that was set over natural coals that burned down in a hole and then had more coals piled on top and the whole thing buried deep enough that the smoke couldn't escape. It can be left for hours without overcooking, even overnight. And it makes the best biscuits on top of the ground with most of the fire on top of the lid. I've sure eaten a bunch of Bisquick and canned peach cobbler in the brush.

You can do the whole meal for a lot of people if you have the right kind.

Impressive Dutch Oven Stack! WOW!
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:39 PM   #36
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So I'm hunting around for new pans. I'm thinking cast iron with a stainless steel stockpot. Thoughts?
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:19 PM   #37
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My De Buyer pans just got here...I'll let you know!
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #38
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Yes cast iron is best for me... when I can afford it! But my Staub Cocotte does the trick everytime I make a carbonnade.

I also have a double griddle made of the same material. I use it more for outdoor
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:35 PM   #39
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Yes cast iron is best for me... when I can afford it! But my Staub Cocotte does the trick everytime I make a carbonnade.

I also have a double griddle made of the same material. I use it more for outdoor
I'm curious, where do you live that CI is expensive? In the US it is probably the cheapest cookware available, especially if you do a little Saturday morning shopping at estate sales
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:50 PM   #40
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I'm curious, where do you live that CI is expensive? In the US it is probably the cheapest cookware available, especially if you do a little Saturday morning shopping at estate sales
I think the poster was talking about enameled CI.
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