"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-01-2008, 03:24 PM   #1
Head Chef
 
elaine l's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,098
Cast iron skillet

I have decided that I MUST have a cast iron pan but I have no idea what to look for when purchasing one. I saw a few this past weekend, some considerably more expensive than others. Is there a brand that is best? After I do buy one, then what? I know I must season it somehow. Just not sure how to go about it. I also looked in a store that had used ones. They seemed "dirty" looking, on the bottom at least.

Okay, eagerly awaiting your replies!

elaine l is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 03:31 PM   #2
Chief Eating Officer
 
GB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA,Massachusetts
Posts: 25,518
Lodge is probably the best on the market for new right now. It is pretty inexpensive too. You can also get it pre-seasoned, so you don't need to do anything to it before use other than a quick wash. It will also come with instructions on how to take care of it.
__________________
You know you can't resist clicking
this link. Your eyes will thank you. VISUAL BLISS
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 03:36 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 16,229
Yes, Lodge is pretty easy to find. I've seen it at two of our area restaurant supply stores and at Wal-Mart. I think I've also seen Lodge pieces at Linens 'n Things.

My cast-iron skillets area all very old ones I purchased at yard/garage, etc. sales. I bought one from an 84-year-old friend who'd had it for a very long time. The skillet is over 100-years-old and is seasoned so beautifully it's practically nonstick.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 03:51 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,515
Lodge Manufacturing

You can "window shop" here! Shop around locally for the best price on what you like!
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,766
Ok. You are serious about cast iron. There are three brands available to you, but only one comercially available as the other two are out of business. They are, in order of quality:
1. Griswold - went out of business in the 1950's
2. Wagner - went out of business in the 1990's
3. Lodge - still makes fine cast iron pans and pots.

The first two can only be had at garage sales, yard sales, or as inherited from deceased relatives (if they are still living, they won't give you their pans). Lodge is still produced and is of high quality. What makes it slightly less desirable is the grainy cooking surface cause by the sand casting techniques they use to cast their cookwear. Teh pits eventually even out into a smooth cooking surface through normal use, but it takes a year or two.

Both the Griswold and Wagner used sand-casting techniques as well, but somehow got a nice, smooth finish on the cooking surface that made seasoning easier. Also, Griswold used thinner cast iron in their pans which made them easier to manage as they are much lighter in physical weight than are either the Lodge or Wagner C.I.

All of these pans will outperform most any other frying pans on the market, except for specialty pans like a sautuse, or saucier. For browning and searing meats, they are unequaled and are a in class of their own. When used properly, they will last several lifetimes, which makes them as cherished for sentimental reasons as for their exceptional cooking performance.

Griswold can often be found at garage sales because few people understand the superiority of this cookwear over the cheap, readily available non-stick cookwear they see covering the displays at department stores. Most people by junk that has to be thrown away every two years or so.

There are those around here that will argue with my belief that cast-iron is the perfect cookwear for most things. This my advise to you, and I will stick to it.

Let it be said though, that good stainless steel comes in a close second.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
Cook
 
VitaWright's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 94
I totally agree with Goodweed. I never even looked at Lodge when purchasing my cast iron. I was patient and found a number of Griswold and Wagner pans at thrift stores and on eBay. If you wait and find used ones you will not be sorry. You may also want to join the forum at the Wagner and Griswold Society (WAGS for short). Those people are the most knowledgeable on the interenet and will help you select the best iron for your needs.
VitaWright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 04:59 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
elaine l's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,098
Thanks everyone.

Griswold was the brand of the used ones I saw. They were priced around $70 which I thought to be too high. I was in a consignment shop in a tourist area which may account for the price. I have a friend that actually grab hers at her local dump. I don't think I will be that lucky.
elaine l is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 05:04 PM   #8
Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Northeast Georgia
Posts: 82
The Lodge cast iron now comes seasoned from the factory if you buy a new product. All you have to do is rinse it with hot water and get started cooking. I would suggest that you put it in the oven once and slowly raised the temp on it and let it warm at 350 or so for a little while.

Fortunately, I have a Lodge outlet about 30 minutes from my home. I recently bought a bunch of items there, and they have a lot of nice factory seconds for about %50 off that cook just as good as the firsts.

There are a few other manufacturers of cast iron, but Lodge is the domestic choice. The other stuff is made in China.
camp_cookie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2008, 05:12 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 25,129
I have three cast-iron skillets and a Dutch oven; I've had them for so long, I don't remember where I got them, but I don't think they cost very much - maybe $30-40 for the whole set. They don't have a brand name on them. Sometime last year, I bought a Lodge grill pan at the local feed-n-seed store for about $30.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 07:31 AM   #10
Senior Cook
 
DrThunder88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Metro Detroit
Posts: 473
I'll pile on a recommendation for Lodge as well if you're going to buy new. There are some junky China-manufactured skillets out there. I've got a cheapo 12-inch from Meijer (Lake and Trail-brand, I believe) that is terribly cast. I used to think it was impossible to screw up a cast iron skillet, but that manufacturer managed to do it. I also just got an exterior enameled 12-inch Tramontina skillet (labeled "saute pan", but this thing weighs over 9 pounds!) that seems very well made in China.
DrThunder88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 07:39 AM   #11
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,465
I bought a preseasoned Lodge Logic 12" cast iron skillet at Wal-Mart for $15. That's $5 less than a kitchen store. With this item, you can start cooking right away as it comes seasoned. I would recommed cooking some fatty items or frying at first to build up the seasoning. I fry bacon in it.

That's an inexpensive was to get into cast iron cooking. You can give it a try and if you don't like it, your investment is minor.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 08:20 AM   #12
Executive Chef
 
Corey123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: East Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,881
Yeah, it costs almost double that when ordered from Lodge's website or elsewhere.
Corey123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 10:34 AM   #13
Head Chef
 
Chopstix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,323
Mine I got from Ikea for about $30 I think. It's an elegant shallow sided skillet that I absolutely love. I seasoned it once and it is totally nonstick now. It's excellent for making crepes, frying eggs, browning meats, weighing down panini, etc.
__________________
'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
Chopstix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 02:46 PM   #14
Head Chef
 
elaine l's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,098
Well I finally got my cast iron pans. A friend gave me three of them (all different sizes) so now I am ready to play. Would I be able to make a deep dish pizza in it?
elaine l is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 02:53 PM   #15
Head Chef
 
DramaQueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,347
Nearly all of my cookware is cast iron. I have about 20 pieces of LeCreuset and 15 pieces of Lodge. I love my Lodge cast iron and would never think of buying anything else. They make the best of the black cast iron IMHO. My daughter, in an effort to save money, bought another brand and wound up throwing them away after a couple of years. Now she's into Lodge too and loves them. It is truly a quality product, made by a company that knows how to make quality products. I know this is crazy, but I prefer the unseasoned pans so I can season them myself, but they are almost impossible to find now.
__________________
Visit my blogsite: Chew On This
DramaQueen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 02:55 PM   #16
Head Chef
 
DramaQueen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,347
Quote:
Originally Posted by elaine l View Post
Well I finally got my cast iron pans. A friend gave me three of them (all different sizes) so now I am ready to play. Would I be able to make a deep dish pizza in it?
I don't see why not. I use my 10 in. skillet to roast chickens and they turn out fantastic. So why not give pizza a try??
__________________
Visit my blogsite: Chew On This
DramaQueen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 04:02 PM   #17
Head Chef
 
elaine l's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,098
Thanks for the reply. I think I will give it a try!
elaine l is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 05:36 PM   #18
Sous Chef
 
Aria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 620
Elaine, You will have fun cooking with cast iron. The more you use them...the better they perform.

Bought mine at garage sales. I have l large ,one small . one dutch oven, and one pancake grill. ALL WORK SUPER.
Aria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2008, 06:21 PM   #19
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 10,766
Deep-dish pizza comes out amazing in cast iron, just like cornbread does. Just make sure your oven is hot, 450 to 500 if you can. Though I have made many pizzas over the years, my first attempt in my largest cast iron pan was done on the Webber Kettle. Now that was some great pizza, with a slightly smoky flavor from the chracoal and wood, light on the wood. Yum!

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2008, 04:40 AM   #20
Assistant Cook
 
Jcas's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 43
You will love your cast iron, i brought two really old skillets (1922) and cleaned them up and seasoned them, i just love using them.
Jcas is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.