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Discussion Starter #1
Forget politics.

Any folks use cast iron for cooking?
Want to share experiences, tips, tricks?

Of course as I wrote in the "COVID Bread" topic, I bake in cast iron:
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But I have a pretty good collection of skillets that I use.
Will share later what I know of the cast iron stuff.
Wife does not enjoy my cast skillets, but I am tired buying the non-stick junk (be it even "diamond" - all the same, short-lived junk).

Here is a good starter read:
https://getpocket.com/explore/item/...is-cast-iron-skillet?utm_source=pocket-newtab
 

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Been using the stuff for years. Well seasoned and it is mostly non-stick if used correctly. Pretty hard to take a pan backpacking though.
 

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I love cast Iron, have 3 at home and 2 at the Camp, regular frying pans.
The bigger one is a hand full, Also have a dutch oven have not used it much.

Did a fair amount to cooking over a fire on a grate in a cast iron.

I look at Garage sales last couple I got for 2 or 3 $$

At least the scrapings are iron not something not as good in the gut.

In College I made a good fish boil in mine Salmon, tomatoes , onions, spices , cover simmer.

For me there is not a better pan out there.

GG
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Cast iron. A better skillet has yet to be invented. As I type this, there are two sitting on my stove. I probably own at least a dozen different pans and a good number of them are more than 50 years old. If you buy a new pan, there are several steps that must be taken before it can be used. Numerous youtube videos on sanding and seasoning to get the perfect, mostly non stick, finish.
 

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They are good for frying but not for wet cooking acid foods. It will give a metallic taste if left in for any length of time. Also destroys the stick proof seasoning. You just cant sear a steak the same way in any modern fry pan. I have a pair of flat skillets for my pancakes but do prefer a quality teflon pan for eggs.

Most of the cast iron pans I see are sand cast with unmachined bottoms. Worthless!
 

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They are good for frying but not for wet cooking acid foods. It will give a metallic taste if left in for any length of time. Also destroys the stick proof seasoning. You just cant sear a steak the same way in any modern fry pan. I have a pair of flat skillets for my pancakes but do prefer a quality teflon pan for eggs.

Most of the cast iron pans I see are sand cast with unmachined bottoms. Worthless!
I went after my Lodge pan's bottom with a file to take down uneven areas so it would fit flat on the stove. Much better now. My wife initially didn't think much of it but after she got used to using it decided she likes it better than our other fry pans. It gets daily use.

Unfortunately about once a year I forget it's on the stove and burn off the coating, then have to recoat it which takes a few days of regular use. Annoying and it makes my wife think I have Alzheimers. Nope, always been like this!
 

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ever since my wife chased me out of the house with one of those frying pans, they went to the salvation army
 

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I went after my Lodge pan's bottom with a file to take down uneven areas so it would fit flat on the stove. Much better now. My wife initially didn't think much of it but after she got used to using it decided she likes it better than our other fry pans. It gets daily use.

Unfortunately about once a year I forget it's on the stove and burn off the coating, then have to recoat it which takes a few days of regular use. Annoying and it makes my wife think I have Alzheimers. Nope, always been like this!
It was the roughness of the internal bottom that I objected to. It would be gross indeed if the outside bottom needed leveling to sit on the burner but the examples are there!
 

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I can offer like shoes,, breaking in Cast pans is not fun.
Look for 10yr old + pans at garage sales, they are 1/4 the price and already broke in.
I have had like 8-10 now and the 6 dollar old ones beat the 45 dollar new ones hands down.
some have out lived 2 or 3 cooks.... the new ones are fine,, for the grand kids.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My first experience was negative - with Lodge.
Returned.

Then I went for a dirt cheap price of Black Friday in Menards and got me a set of 3.
Cheap, Chinese made "whatever".
The cleaning part took some figuring out.
Now days, we are doing this - https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Cast-Iron-Skillet
A little 1-2 egg skillet seems very popular in the mornings.

Then picked up a big one in some hidden back clearance isle, some dept store.
Heavy, BUT long, hollow handle helps by staying cool.
My favorite piece for most all breakfast frying stuff.
Need a pic - later.

All of the above came "pre-seasoned" - but from China this means nothing.
But just being generous with cooking oil takes care of it.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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It was the roughness of the internal bottom that I objected to.
This is where an orbital sander comes in handy. Start with 80 grit and work down to 320. Once is is baby bottom smooth, start the seasoning process. I like using Crisco and a paper towel on the stove top, but I have seasoned one in a 500 degree oven too.
 

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It was the roughness of the internal bottom that I objected to. It would be gross indeed if the outside bottom needed leveling to sit on the burner but the examples are there!
I did work it over with steel wool. Been using it now since 2006 so it's broken in.
 

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Favorite way is to Sous Vide cook the main Meat dish then seer in avocado oil in a cast iron skillet. If you’ve never tried sous vide cooking I’d highly recommend it. Basically using water as a conductor of heat. Its how high end restaurants cook your food. Easy.
 

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PS- you need oil with a high smoke point. Avocado oil is the highest.
 

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Bought ALClad D5 non-stick by accident, makes the best eggs, omlets and pancakes; junk is junk. Use an ALClad stainless steel pan - it's the best fryer and does not break my wrist - good stainless steel stuff. I agree with Trin, big cast iron stuff is out when backpacking, bring one small pot for boiling water, use sticks and rocks with fish-on over the fire - boiled fish is ok too.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Whatever this piece is made of (labeled "Food Network"), I consider it cast iron and use as such. Nice cool handle.
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Big and heavy, no-name, nice cool handles. My standard pancake/french toast maker. Good unit for a large family.
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Little 1-2 egg thing - well used. Bigger pieces from this 3-unit set are not used as much. Hot handles are a drag.
20200822_100419.jpg
 

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I have been cooking on CI for years and find it is the best surface I have for most things. I have been fortunate to inherit some nice pieces from both sides of my family. For example, I have a frying pan from my dad's mom and one from my great grandmother on my mom's side. As old as they are, they are still in great condition. One of my favorite pieces was a gift from the wife of a good friend who passed away. It is a Lewis and Clark Dutch oven. My grandkids always want me to bring it to their house and make a cobbler over the fire pit.

Because I suffer from cast iron acquisition disorder, I have purchased a few pieces from the local agriculture supply store (Agri Supply). I think they are cast in India and are generally good items - albeit a bit rough as they have not been machined. I spend some quality time with the orbital sander till the cooking surface is reasonably smooth then, because I may have a bit of OCD, I use a buffer wheel and some compound to get to a near mirror polish. Given a good seasoning, they are perfect for eggs and pancakes. The only "cheap" piece I have not surfaced is my CI wok that I use on my Big Green Egg to cook stir fry.

I also use the sous vide method for steaks and pork chops to get them to temperature then sear them on a CI griddle pan over a super hot fire. Smash burgers are excellent using the sam pan.
 

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Forget politics.

Any folks use cast iron for cooking?
Want to share experiences, tips, tricks?
Reading through all the comments, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that CI can be used on induction stoves.
Heat is applied faster than gas, it is as adjustable as gas and it is more energy efficient than electric burners.
Nothing but the pot gets hot so it is much safer, especially around children.
I bought an induction "hot plate" and it has become my go-to cook surface, sitting right next to my electric range.
 

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I have a group of 80 year old cast iron. They are the best. Much lighter and smoother than current cast iron.
 

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I have around 60(my guess) pieces use 3 regularly try to pick up others when I can used no matter how bad they are they clean up just takes knowledge and time .
because of fatty liver we had to change the way we eat so it has changed the way we cook ( keto) but still use them . real butter, bacon grease, olive oil makes easy use.
 
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