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Old 06-21-2012, 02:34 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by gadzooks View Post
I gave away my cast iron grill pan, which is what I recommend for grill pans, and currently use a carbon steel pan, the thick heavy type, not black steel, for searing meat. Finish in the broiler, same pan. Carbon steel seasons like cast iron, and each pan develops its own personality, depending of what you mostly sear and broil in it. Cows...very nice. Good for pigs, too.
Sounds good to me!

Not so sure how good it is for cows and pigs, but probably pretty good for people who like cows and pigs. :)
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:44 PM   #22
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Sounds good to me!

Not so sure how good it is for cows and pigs, but probably pretty good for people who like cows and pigs. :)
Well, good for cooking them. And those nice, heavy carbon steel pans are pretty much indestructible. I haven't warped or cracked one yet. Search for them on Ebay. You'll find DeBuyer and also Paderno/World Cuisine, along with some very nice pans by Vollrath. Be sure and look at the thickness of the pans, the listing should say. You don't want black steel, it's thinner, and great for saute and flambe because it heats fast and evenly and is light, but can warp at searing temperatures. I noted an off-brand carbon steel set, two pans, a 9.5" and 11", together for $17.99+$6.85 s&h. Looks pretty good, and the listing says they are suitable for searing pans. Carbon steel is also suitable for induction cooktops.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:58 PM   #23
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Currently my cooking gear is in storage but when I get moved and back into acquisition mode I'll look into carbon steel.

What about stainless steel? I understand that stainless steel can be carbon steel with chromium added. (The matter gets very technically complicated after that). I know some pans are stainless steel. I have stainless steel tableware that is practically indestructible, although of course I don't cook on it.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:47 PM   #24
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You don't season stainless steel. I don't think you even can. So it never really becomes non-stick, the way cast iron and carbon steel/black steel do. Stainless steel also is a poor heat conductor. It conducts heat unevenly, that is why so much ss cookware is made with aluminum cladding or aluminum or copper core. I got rid of much of my stainless steel, kept saucepans and stockpots and an AllClad saute I use for poaching eggs. I also just picked up an old Vollrath ss 14"x2-1/2" deep saute I want to try for paella on the bbq. It came from a thrift store, and I thought I would chance the $8.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:58 PM   #25
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TYVM gadzooks for your interesting comments. I have much to learn, and I hope that I have much time to learn so.

Meanwhile I know that the cast iron works for sure. Got it, done it, used it for years, and it's the medieval non-stick technology that still works today, even after all that science and industry has thrown at it. Cast iron is still a leading contender, still alive and well today, and likely to continue into the future.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #26
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I have a well seasoned Lodge square cast iron grill pan and use it for grilling and toasting bread. Yes it's heavy but worth leaving on the back burner to use often and you can put away your toaster. When it gets REALLY greasy, paper towels and hot water clean it without much effort.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:39 PM   #27
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Cast Iron all the way :)
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:34 AM   #28
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I have a cast iron Le Creuset griddle pan. Pissed off though because my luscious tuna steaks stuck to it. I oiled the steaks, not the pan (mistake) and they duly stuck. Doh.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:07 AM   #29
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i've got 4 cast iron victor's.had 'em for years.hardly ever washed them....just wiped them out.nothing sticks & they smell fab warming up!!!.
gravy is right about oiling....oil cast iron & oil the food for non stick.
having said that,as i have said in other posts,i really do think hard anodised aluminium is hard to beat.my other pans are hard anodised.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #30
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We were using a cast iron grill pan, but ended up ditching it and have now bought a Jamie Oliver Tefal grill pan, with the non stick coating.

We have not cooked with it yet, but are hoping it will be better to cook chicken and fish on and also far easier to clean
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:58 AM   #31
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I have 4 cast iron pieces. 2 are Griswold cast iron pans. a 10" from the late 1800's and a 8" from the 1930's. They are head and shoulders above my more modern Wagner pieces. Smoother interior finish and a little lighter/thinner. (in a good way) That being said, I have no issue using my smaller Wagner pan or my double sided griddle, which are new(er). I also have 2 carbon steel pans which are excellent also. The only SS pan my wife and I still use is a large 14" pan for rice dishes such as risotto, etc. Cleaning CI is simple, wipe it out with a paper towel while it's still warm/hot, lightly coat with oil if necessary. I haven't had a non-stick pan in my kitchen in 10 years. Got tired of buying them every year along with concerned with ingesting the coating. (it had to go somewhere???)
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:44 AM   #32
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I use the George Foreman Lean, Mean Grillin' Machine to grill meat, poultry, and fish. I also use it to make waffles. They come in different sizes for different sized families, and if you get the G5 with interchangeable plates you can just toss the dirty plates in the dishwasher.

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Old 12-30-2013, 07:38 PM   #33
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I prefer ci or ss so much that sometimes I think non-stick is just a scam.

BTW, what is the point of the ridges in a grill pan (and please don't say it's to reduce the wonderful and healthful fat)?
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:30 PM   #34
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IMO, Both, some things you just can't do in cast iron & vice versa. If it was me and I needed only 1 pan I would go for the non stick 1st, then a cast iron. But both have there own values. For eggs, omelets and crapes you can't beat non stick. Also acidic foods will not be a problem in a non stick pan as they will in cast.
When it comes to searing a steak or high heat cooking & frying cast iron is hard to beat, but you should not u
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:10 AM   #35
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Sorry my post was cut off and I can not edit at this time. Pissed off!
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:38 AM   #36
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People are always saying that you can't cook acidic foods in cast iron. I beg to differ. my experience has been that once the pan is properly seasoned, it will cook anything, including highly acidic and alkali foods, without any problems from off flavors and leaching metal. The seasoning is a thin layer of very tough carbon (polymerized oil from high temperatures), that create a seal between the metal and the foods. It's also the part that makes a well seasoned pan nearly stick free. I have seasoned cast iron, carbon steel, and aluminum pans succesfully, and all work very well for their intended purposes.

As for the ridges on a grill pan, they simply lift the food out of the grease. This is sometimes a good things, sometimes not, depending on what's being prepared.

Another wive's tale is that searing with high heat seals in juices. It does not. Cooking to proper temperature gives juicy meats. The high heat simply develops flavor through the maillard reaction.

Cast iron and high-carbon steel are very similar in their cooking properties, with the high-carbon steel generally weighing less than its cast iron cousin. Of course the steel is less brittle than is iron. Also, steel, carbon steel, and cast iron are all pour conductors of heat, and quickly develop hot spots due to that poor conductivity. Cast iron minimizes the problem by its mass. It takes more time for that mass to heat, and thereby allows the heat to propagate through the pan more thoroughly. On the other hand, carbon-steel and stainless steel heat more quickly, and if used with a heat diffuser can be used effectively for stir fries, sauteing, and bringing liquids rapidly to a boil. Cast iron is great for frying due to its thermal mass. It stores more heat, and therefore is less prone to cooling rapidly when cold foods are added.

Cast iron can be cracked by placing a very hot pan into cold water, or pouring very cold water into a hot pan. This is caused by thermal shock. Cast iron isn't very malleable. Thermal shcok will cause steel to warp. Cast iron breaks.

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