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 Post subject: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:50 pm 
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Location: Galveston, Texas
I have used cast iron in the past and loved it. Then i drifted away from it. I moved a few times and i think most of it got put with my camping equipment and lost again.
When we bought our house...most of the stuff was left behind. It sounds better than it actually was in reality.

But, I remembered there was cast iron stuff. It was all brand new and not even seasoned. It wasn't until i started really cooking every meal again, which was directly related to cooking vegan. Everything gets crisp and delicious. I have a skillet of every style and size. I'll never turn my back on you again, my cast iron boyfriend.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:00 pm 
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I'm scared stiff of cast iron. I have a tiny pan (probably only really good for cooking eggs, I'm not really sure why I even have it) and a regular size skillet but... yeah. When we get settled into our house, I will start experimenting. I think I'll begin with deep frying some doughnuts. Yeah.

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:55 pm 
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It is delightful to cook on.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:43 pm 
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my SIL found us a really old one from back when they made them really well. i cant remember the company name damnit!

i made my husband clean the shiitake out of it because i was convinced it had like 80 years worth of bacon grease on it.

i love using it though im still getting used to how the heat is different than my crappy non stick pan. cooking tofu in it is the best!

plus more iron in your diet!

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:59 pm 
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Griswold? Or Wagner? These are famous vintage cast iron brands. I had a Griswold once - it was great.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:32 pm 
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Location: Blue Mountains, Australia.
Don't drop your cast iron pans on your lovely ceramic tiled floors. I know from experience. :(

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:15 am 
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I actually dislike times when I can't use my cast iron (i.e., when I just need a small saucepan, something I don't have a cast iron version of). I have a cast iron big skillet, dutch oven (for stews) and a grill pan. I used to have this sort of warming grill pan that I gave away before I moved because it would be the sort of thing that would be best for a gas stove and I've never lived anywhere that has one and it was just awkward on coil element stove I had and then I moved here where I have a ceramic cooktop. Anyway, cast iron is totally awesome for crisping tofu and taters and whatnot.

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:39 pm 
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Has Isa on speed dial

Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:37 pm
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Location: Galveston, Texas
It is totally okay to use them on a ceramic cook top. That is what I have. The only preventative step you have to take is to lift the pan and not drag it. It will scratch the surface. Otherwise, there is no down side.

I have a teeny tiny little skillet that is the size of an average pancake, and that is my go to choice for most times when i am only cooking for myself.
They are pretty and shiny and feel substantial. I love me some cast iron. I ignore my other skillets that keep trying to get my attention.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:33 pm 
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Location: Denverish
Been dying to get some cast iron. I've been hoping to run across some in a thrift store for years but haven't had any luck. I've been stalking the Lodge LCC3 Cooker Combo on amazon lately.

It costs $35 and it's a deep skillet and a shallow skillet that combine to make a 3 quart dutch oven. Seems kinda perfect cause my boyfriend wants a dutch oven and I really want some cast iron. I'm just worried it'll be too small to be all that useful. What do you guys think?


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:43 pm 
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I use cast iron on my smoothtop all the time, And I drag it. I just make sure everything is really clean so I'm not cooking food particles under the bottom. And I'm really careful not to bang the skillet down on the surface.

Make sure your skillet isn't warped if you're using it on a smoothop, it won't heat quite as evenly. (but it'll still work)


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Cast iron skillets are the best for browning anything. I used to not realize that if things start to stick in them, to leave them alone, and I did not get the best browning effects. Now I know better: if anything sticks to the cast iron, just leave it there for a few more min. and when it is toasty and browned on the outside it will release itself. This knowledge adds to my love of my cast iron pans.

I have one huge, old antique skillet that is the piece I most often use. Great for chicago style pizza- start cooking the crust on the stovetop while you're topping the pizza and after about 10 min of stovetop, transfer it to the oven. Its the only method by which I have made a deep dish that does not have a soggy bottom, probably due to cooking it from below before baking so the sauce cannot seep in.

I also have a set of three skillets: extra small, small and medium. My mil gave them to me two christmases ago. I like them, but I can tell the old one is made way better. Plus the new ones are old mountain brand, which is annoying because the bottom is not flat at all because it is an image of a mountain with the words old mountain on it. I don't know why they would do that, cause it takes away from the structural integrety and even cooking of the pans. On the plus side, a 6 hole muffin tin was included in the set, sans mountains on it, and that works the best. I never use it either though, since I don't have other muffin tins and I'm not only making 6 muffins at once usually.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:46 pm 
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I've read so many horror stories about not using cast iron on a smooth cooktop, so I haven't used my pan in about 9 months. And you guys are telling me it's actually okay? Like, for real, okay? I'm totally nervous about that, because I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, and I'm terrified that I'll lose my grip and drop it right on the (rental home) cooktop. But maybe, just maybe, I'll give it a shot one of these days.

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:50 pm 
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I use enameled cast iron now, but I have used regular cast iron on my smoothtop in the past. I have a big heavy skillet, and I'm just very careful with it.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:05 am 
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Oh, that reminds me, does enamelled cast iron still give you iron in your food when you cook with it? This may seem like a dumb question, just curious. I forgot when listing my cast iron skillets and muffin pan that I also have an enamelled cast iron pot, about 8 inches deep by 12 inches diameter which makes everything I cook in it, stove top or oven, taste divine. It would be nice if it had the same benefits as cast iron that isn't enamelled.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:43 am 
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If the enamelling is intact, it won't impart any iron into your food. For some this is a benefit and others it's a fault.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:02 am 
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I found a small cast iron skillet for 5 bucks at a flea market last week- my first one! It took a bit of work to clean and season, and a bit of practice getting used to (especially as I had no idea if I had seasoned it right), but I already love it. I'm looking forward to getting rid of the rest of my crappy non stick.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:57 am 
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Yeah, I use my dutch oven, skillet and grill pan all the time on my flat ceramic cooktop stove. It's fine. One of my elements (my largest) has a scratch in the surface but it's really minor and I'm not even sure the cast iron caused it--I don't think it did.

Yeah, I just got rid of that one cast iron long grill pan before I moved because I just couldn't see using it on the cooktop before I'd moved in but now I realize I probably could have so maybe didn't need to get rid of it. Anyway, it was a handy thing and I'm sure whoever picked it up at the Ontario SPCA thrift shop I donated to appreciated it!

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:33 pm 
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Have any of you successfully refurbished (?) or re-seasoned (?) a cast iron skillet? I majorly messed mine up by boiling water in it. (It was used numerous times to boil pasta. I know that's a no no.) I've tried following the directions on lodgemfg.com but the pan just seems ruined.


Last edited by NicoleH on Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:35 pm 
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quagga wrote:
Griswold? Or Wagner? These are famous vintage cast iron brands. I had a Griswold once - it was great.



Griswold! thank you!
that's the one!

i wish we had a giant one. the one we have is awesome but i want an even bigger one.

i also now have an enameled Lodge dutch oven that i love love love. i guess somehow its cast iron but then it's got an enamel coating so you don thave to season it and you wash it like normal?
i dunno but i love it

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:41 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
i also now have an enameled Lodge dutch oven that i love love love. i guess somehow its cast iron but then it's got an enamel coating so you don thave to season it and you wash it like normal?
i dunno but i love it


Yes, that's the principle of enameled cast iron! No seasoning, but the non-stick quality is different. I love mine. I've lost the seasoning on traditional cast iron before, and I have a bad habit of washing cast iron with soap and water.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:39 pm 
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yeah ive noticed it conducts heat differently so im trying to get used to the cast iron and also the dutch oven. it seems to get brown stuff at the bottom.

mmm flavor!

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:49 pm 
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I have a lodge skillet and a big enameled dutch oven. I love them so much. I've finally got a good seasoning on the skillet, but I have to watch it and baby it because my partner likes to soak it in soapy water if I don't clean it right away. I want a cast iron griddle now that we have a great gas stove. Most of all I want a cast iron dutch oven, the camping kind. I want to put that sucker in a fire and bake a cake with coals. I'm always on the look out at goodwill and on craigslist for old cast iron.

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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:49 am 
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NicoleH wrote:
Have any of you successfully refurbished (?) or re-seasoned (?) a cast iron skillet? I majorly messed mine up by boiling water in it. (It was used numerous times to boil pasta. I know that's a no no.) I've tried following the directions on lodgemfg.com but the pan just seems ruined.


Ruined how? Too sticky? It takes a few uses for the non-stick finish to be completely done after re-seasoning, it seems. The second hand skillet I bought recently, I completely scrubbed with steel wool, covered in oil inside and out, and baked for 2 hours at 400F. It was still a bit sticky the first few times I used it, but now it's fine!


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:31 am 
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Location: Galveston, Texas
I agree with the post above mine. You just need to re season it. I don't have a self cleaning oven, but I have read that oiling the pan inside and out and running thru the oven cycle works. I just bake mine while baking other foods.


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 Post subject: Re: cast iron skillets = love
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:03 pm 
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Location: Blue Mountains, Australia.
I bought 5 cast iron skillets of various sizes this morning. I had intended to buy just two but they were half price and I couldn't resist. They're Camp Chef brand - it just seems impossible now to buy cast iron that's not made in China.

I've tried to learn as much as I can about cast iron since I got home and found these two things very helpful:

http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOYfAMVJWg4

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