• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

using a cast iron skillet ain't so hard!  RSS feed

 
Lloyd George
Posts: 159
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
scored two Wagners, and a Griswold at an auction last week..plus an unbranded griddle..for two bucks...
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i was reorganizing my cast iron pan collection after buying a new set of stainless steel cookware..so here is a link to the photos of my cast iron pan collection:
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/07/cast-iron-and-other-cookware-and-how-to.html
I think I have about 35 pieces now, or so, always looking for more.

I would like to see a link on caring for stainless steel..as I just bought a new set and don't really know much about using it..I also collect glass bakeware...trying to limit what I collect anymore
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 265
Location: SW Michigan
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The pitting comes from food products and byproducts of the cooking. The pan is being eating away at. Not great to cook acid foods. OR it is inclusions of impurities in the metal its self. The best you can do is sand it or metal work the metal and re season. Iron can be a somewhat hard to work and brittle metal. Just my thoughts.

Remember my more marginal friends, meth cooking is not for iron! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL, just kidding. Trailer/meth lab down the street blew up last week. It is on my mind. LOLOLOLOLOLOL.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yeah i agree that there are some foods just best not cooked in your cast iron..as I just posted on my blog
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
i bought a set of stainless this week to use for cooking high acid foods, fish, tomato sauce foods and soups to save the finish on my cast iron collection.
Also took a chance on washing my cast iron all up this week as it is on display in my kitchen when not in use so it gets dusty..and it worked fine washing it with mostly just hot water and a small dab of dish soap and barely washing the surface enough to get off any dust..the seasoning was still intact on every piece, the bottoms of the griddles were a bit less seasoned so I had to really dry those extra well to keep them from rusting.

I had always been afraid to wash the cast iron but it was surprising how little affect it had on the finish and they are nice, clean and seasoned and all ready to grab and use again, without dust.

Still trying to figure out how to properly use the stainless steel before I grab a pan and ruin it, but I think I have enough informed knowledge now to safely begin to use it this week.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5955
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
377
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Daniel Morse wrote:The pitting comes from food products and byproducts of the cooking. The pan is being eating away at. Not great to cook acid foods. OR it is inclusions of impurities in the metal its self. The best you can do is sand it or metal work the metal and re season. Iron can be a somewhat hard to work and brittle metal. Just my thoughts.

Remember my more marginal friends, meth cooking is not for iron! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL, just kidding. Trailer/meth lab down the street blew up last week. It is on my mind. LOLOLOLOLOLOL.


I cook foods in the same three or four iron skillets every day and cook anything including tomato sauces (there is no reaction in a seasoned pan), fruit/jam , soups, breads, refried beans, vegetables and I dont have pitting. I did warp my favorite skillet cooking butternut squash in it on the wood stove. I think the cavity in the squash made a hot spot. Right now what we call the egg pan could use a cleaning by fire but I'll have to wait for winter and the wood stove. I love iron.
(we have the occasional meth lab blow in the area too...downside to living in a less populated area, I guess
 
Patrick Thornson
Posts: 147
Location: Zone Five, B.C., Western Canada.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made corn tortillas last night and was annoyed to see lots of black debris sticking to my tortillas. (No, not burning patches.)
I just have some flaking happening. Is this a sign my cast iron needs a good soaking of oil??
 
Keith Williams
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was inspired by Paul's article on cast iron and came up with some theories about what cast iron seasoning could be made up of. I posted my theory at http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/12c42u/what_is_cast_iron_seasoning_really_made_of/

The short version is that I think cast iron seasoning might be a mixture of polymerization and saponification (oils turning into soaps) and possibly the saponificated oils being turned into grease (soap and oil mixtures).
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 265
Location: SW Michigan
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was at a sale last month. A antique dealer was killed for drug money over the summer. I knew him. He had an amazing collection of cast iron all rusty I found behind a pile of stuff. I asked how much they wanted for it. The guy who was directing the sale acted as if I was trying to cheet him. All this old but mostly good cast iron sat there. I was so angry I told him and the clerk to forget it. I was not really interested anymore. In all the years I bought and haggled with these people I get treated like this. Whatever.

I know the old stuff is getting pricey. But worth being a jerk over??

I have to admit I do like some of the All Clad and stuff. The cast iron is great stuff. The stainless is good too. I still love my cast iron.
 
teprine baldo
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What about rust on your cast iron skillet? I have one and I don't use it because rust has come up. I put oil on it, I even leave some oil in it when I put it away. What am I doing wrong and is the rust safe?
thanks
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome to permies Teprine
There's lots of threads talking about seasoning rusty pans. Here's one: http://www.permies.com/t/14287/cooking/Rusty-cast-iron-pans#127372
 
Cullen Bottom
Posts: 1
Location: Sheboygan, WI
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Has anyone had any experience with cast iron pots made of aluminum? I saw a dutch oven that was made of either pure aluminum or some alloy. It was extremely light and that was why I was going to get it. The inner surface is machine-milled smooth and the outer feels exactly like a cast iron dutch oven. I was hoping someone here had used something similar to give me some pointers as to whether or not get it, or to give me tips on how to use and care for it. I may be using lye soap as my all around cleaning agent and I heard lye literally eats aluminum so that raised the question as to should I season it like it were cast iron and treat it as if it were. I was thinking I would treat it exactly the same as cast iron AND keep the lye soap away just to keep its good condition.
Well, I hope someone can help. I read the entire Cast Iron Cooking article and it didn't mention anything about the aluminum versions.

Thank you,

Cullen
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cast aluminum doesn't have any iron in it. You need to be very careful with it, acids in food will leach aluminum into your food. The jury in still out on the Aluminium/Alzheimer link.
Also I haven't seen any that will take seasoning like iron. Maybe someone has managed to do it?
Bottom line for me is any aluminum pot has to be clad in SS or porcelain. YMMV.
 
Phil Hawkins
gardener
Posts: 228
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recently (finally!) got a cast iron pan, and a matching spatula. It cost me $45 (for both, including shipping) from eBay. Based on Paul's article, I thought I may have to mill the cooking surface smooth, but it worked just fine as is.

It has been a complete joy to use thus far, and is starting to get a decent petina going.

The seller warned me that it is not recommended for glass cooktops, and I can see why - I think if you dropped it, it would crack the glass.

My one complaint (if you could call it that) is the integrated handle getting very hot, but I deliberately bought one like that because I knew buying something cheap would likely get a loose handle if it was attached rather than cast in.
Bacon.jpg
[Thumbnail for Bacon.jpg]
 
Nick Kitchener
Posts: 478
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dan Abadie wrote:...Make the mistake of putting plain vegetable oil (high in unsaturated oils) on cast iron and you will have a sticky mess that's nearly impossible to clean off.

Dan

Ahhh, thanks Dan!
I got a cast iron pan from the flea market. It was perfectly fine in fact it looked like it had never been used.
I seasoned it with canola oil and it's been a super-stick pan ever since. I have not found anything that will not stick to the pan instantly (except maybe butter!).

So, now I know not to use vegetable oil, how the heck do I get that stuff off? Oven cleaner?
 
Nick Kitchener
Posts: 478
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read some new research on Alzheimer's where they dug the plaque out of diseased brains and looked inside it just for laughs. They found that the plaque was encasing deposits of metals, mainly iron, copper, and zinc.

The researchers immediately recommended not cooking with anything made of copper, iron , or zinc. Now, I know the body is far more complicated than that but I thought I'd mention it here.

I suspect that it might be ph thing in the body. Ph is low, the metal compounds are dissolved in the blood, the PH raises, and it precipitates out. The iron, copper, and zinc is probably present in the diet rather than from the cooking equipment. JMHO.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
88
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Phil Hawkins wrote:it is not recommended for glass cooktops, and I can see why - I think if you dropped it, it would crack the glass.

I dropped my pan onto a ceramic cooktop, then being a stingy sod, kept using it. Water got into the crack and I was very lucky to only get a minor shock while holding a pot handle
Phil Hawkins wrote:My one complaint (if you could call it that) is the integrated handle getting very hot, but I deliberately bought one like that because I knew buying something cheap would likely get a loose handle if it was attached rather than cast in.

And you can just shove it straight in the oven without losing wing nuts under the stove!
 
Winni zequii
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't have too much experience with cast iron skillet although I've owned 2 for many years. Since I'm not supposed to wash them with soap how do I get the smell or the taste of, say steak or bacon, out of the pan so my Dutch pancakes don't end up smoky bacon flavored? Do I need to have different pans for these?
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Winni, I can't help but comment that smokey bacon flavor makes everything better.....

I've never used anything but tap water while the pan is hot and a paper/cloth towel and never had a problem with lingering flavors. I would guess it has something to do with the "deglazing" effect of room temp water in a hot pan. If the pan is smoking a lot, might be safer to let it cool slightly before adding the water.
 
Loren Hunt
Posts: 45
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - Zone 5B
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any report on the new Wagner pans?
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2113
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
190
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been using cast iron on a glasstop cooker for years. You just need to be gentle setting down the pans. Someday I'd like an induction cooktop...iron pans are good for that.
 
Matt Carroll
Posts: 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey, I found a group as into their spatulas (and cast iron) as I am!

The best spatula I've found is an OXO unit ("Good Grips Flexible Spatula") that has a strangely limited distribution. Even OXO's website has never shown it. One supermarket chain in my area stocks it in their kitchen gadget section - not Kohls, not Target, not Williams Sonoma, not Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc, etc. Nobody else.

After figuring out how great it was and getting worried I'd have to go without if I broke it, and how it's "barely for sale" I went back to the grocery and bought enough that I now own (and use the heck out of) four of these puppies!



Thankfully (I just discovered) Amazon does list it. $8 and eligible for free shipping!

This flexible, stainless spatula is way more flexible than any other spatula I've seen - even more than the dedicated fish turners I've looked at.

The curve on the end of the blade combined with the superb flexibility makes it an ideal pan scraper too - both for the flat bottom and gently curved sides of frying pans or cast iron skillets.

The blade is thin enough that it's in effect it's sharp enough to cut most anything in a skillet that you'd need to. Stainless is relatively soft and it's not truly sharp though - I've never seen a scratch in my seasoned finish even from a brutal round of making ground beef into taco meat.

Also, it's not small like a cookie spatula - it's good-sized so it's very effective for omelets and pancakes, etc. (It still makes for a pretty darn good cookie spatula too, actually.)

-Matt

P.S. These spatulas and my Edlund tongs are my two favorite cooking utensils. I have the 12" and 16" plain, stainless steel ones. They are by far, far the best, most universally useful and durable tongs out there. Thankfully they too are on Amazon these days. Used to be hard to find.
 
Matt Carroll
Posts: 7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In a nutshell, here's the best guidance I can give on cast iron based on my own reading (some here!) and experience (I was not a cast iron fan for a long time).

Bacon grease is my favorite oil, by far, and I've tried a good 80-90% of the oils I've seen recommended. (It may be interesting if you don't know, but the manufacturers I'm aware of used soybean oil as their "pre-seasong" finish.)

A very small dip of my finger into the grease (small, dedicated container for cast iron seasoning) gets sufficient amount of grease to slowly, thinly (which is ideal) coat the entire pan (top, bottom, rim and handle) without overdoing it. The rate at which the fat melts off my finger onto the pan is just perfect. And the smell is much nicer than any plain oil too. Mmmm.

Further, I think the impurities naturally in the bacon grease lend themselves to a stronger finish in their final form as carbon. Last, the time and temperature of the oven can be much less this way IME. I turn the over on for 1 hour at 450ºF with the feshly coated pan in the oven cold. I shut it off after an hour and leave the pan in until cool - usually overnight. I've almost never had to repeat the bake cycle since doing it this way.

Using too much oil is extremely easy to do. For example, coating a pan with a few drips (or dime or quarter-sized spot) of vegetable oil, then wiping it down thoroughly with a clean paper towel (or three clean paper towels) is guaranteed to be way too much oil. More than likely it will run and create a thick layer somewhere inconvenient that becomes very sticky instead of drying hard.

Using too much oil can work in theory I think, but it will take an insane amount of curing time in a hot oven - maybe 24 hours or longer at 450-500ºF - to get through the long sticky-phase. Even if you don't end up with that much, it will still take you longer to finish the seasoning in the oven and require a higher temperature than if you use bacon grease as described.

If you have a pan with a finish that you're unsatisfied with, I would set you over to the max temp is will go (usually 500ºF or higher), leave the pan in there for at least an hour, maybe a few - burn the old coating down to carbon. You can wash this off and start clean with the bacon grease method. After 1 or maybe 2 seasonings it should be pretty non-stick and keep getting better with use. Keep it out of the sink religiously until it's pitch black and shiny, then it will even be able to resist light washing.

Last thought is on people's snobbishness against rough-cast iron like the Lodge stuff. I wanted a griddle for pancackes and eggs. Simply due to good availability(no other cast iron is for sale locally) I picked up the Lodge Round Griddle. If you can imagine it, that rough-cast iron griddle is now my favorite omlete pan - it was so smooth after just one seasoning and a few rounds of cooking that it works exactly like those cheesy teflon coated pans you used to see in TV commercials. If you like the extra-smooth polished pans, that's fine. But it might be your seasoning method that's keeping you from also liking rough-cast!

-Matt
 
Lyvia Dequincey
Posts: 45
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use my cast iron skillet for eggs in olive oil every day, and I'm so glad to have learned more about it. It's a Calphalon.

It started out sticking a bit the first week, and I handwashed it with water and soap the first few times, but then I got lazy. Now I let it cool as I eat and then wipe it out with a paper towel. Early on, I had paper towel bits, but that got better too. I haven't washed it in three months now. I'm guessing that germs won't survive in hot oil, and it doesn't seem to go rancid as I remove/replace most of it daily. It sounds like olive oil is a bad choice for pans not used daily, so I will have to consider something else for the dutch oven, if I haul that out for Thanksgiving.

My husband used it for tilapia fish last night. If there is a lot of residue, I add more oil, reheat and scrape, then wipe with paper towel. All without actually moving the pan from its usual burner. Quick and easy. I might use soap and water again if there was an odor, or I might just let it pass.

After reading, I might use the metal spatula more, but I hate the scraping noise it makes. Maybe a little daily steel wool will have the same effect.

I prefer to add both oil and eggs to a cold pan, otherwise the edges of the eggs get overcooked (to my taste). Halfway through, I fold over any thin parts of the egg white to prevent that. Plus, I use oregano instead of pepper, since I can grow it and black pepper is a suspected carcinogen. (Family history makes me overcautious, plus I like oregano.) I tried adding a bit of spinach to my eggs, but there is likely a better green to use. Any suggestions?

Every morning, I let the dogs out, turn on the radio and the stove, add the olive oil, add the eggs. Start hot water for tea. Then rinse, wipe and refill two dog water bowls. Get plate spoon and fork, make tea. Then eggs are ready. I need to finish by turning the pan handle to the other side, so the oil will pool on the other side as it cools. Eat, surf, then scrub egg off my plate, feed the dogs, and then wipe the pan with a paper towel. The amazing thing is that my cholesterol has gone down.

Question - Are we right that germs won't survive hot oil?
 
Joe Bramblett
Posts: 48
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul Jenny wrote:You gotta be kidding ! I had no idea that non stick pans were that bad. I guess I will stop using mine. Thanks for the info. Yet another reason I love this website !


My experience with nonstick is that, used properly for the things that work best in it, it's great stuff. If I'm frying an egg or two, or stir frying some veggies, I grab the nonstick and the bamboo or plastic implements. Wipe the pan out with a paper towel or wet rag as soon as the food is done, then a quick swish-and-rinse with soapy water after it cools. If I'm frying a steak or browning a pan of ground beef, that's where I prefer cast iron, and it gets similar handling; clean it while it's still good and hot so the water flashes off pretty quickly, then wipe it out with oil and let it dry warm. When cooking on an electric range, I'll put it back on the hot-but-off burner if I had to use much water for the cleaning. At home over gas, I'll leave the burner on low for the couple minutes it takes me to wash the utensils used, then shut it off after it's re-warmed the skillet enough to drive out the moisture and let the oil soak in.

I need to find a cast iron dutch oven that will fit in my 14" round grill (Weber Lil Smokey - upright barrel shape) so I can put the leftover coals to good use after grilling steaks or whatever. All that mesquite and pecan wood keeps a good coal bed going for a while once it's settled in, and it's hard to beat biscuits or cakes from an iron dutch oven in a real wood fire. The aluminum ones have their uses, (pretty much a big, reusable version of foil grilling, IME) but they're just not the same for breads.
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Posts: 3933
Location: Zone 9b
306
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I know we've all heard Paul talk about cast iron a lot already, but here is a little guest post he did on EarlyRetirementExtreme.com on cast iron: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/guest-post-paul-wheaton-on-cast-iron-skillets.html
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2113
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
190
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cool, maybe he'll show up on Mr Money Mustache next!
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nick Kitchener wrote:I read some new research on Alzheimer's where they dug the plaque out of diseased brains and looked inside it just for laughs. They found that the plaque was encasing deposits of metals, mainly iron, copper, and zinc.

The researchers immediately recommended not cooking with anything made of copper, iron , or zinc. Now, I know the body is far more complicated than that but I thought I'd mention it here.

I suspect that it might be ph thing in the body. Ph is low, the metal compounds are dissolved in the blood, the PH raises, and it precipitates out. The iron, copper, and zinc is probably present in the diet rather than from the cooking equipment. JMHO.


I have not seen the research referenced. I have seen research linking Alzheimer's and aluminum. As far as I know our bodies have no minimum daily requirements for aluminum, while iron and zinc are definitely minerals we need. I would rather take my chances with cast iron than aluminum.
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Posts: 3933
Location: Zone 9b
306
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Julia Winter wrote:Cool, maybe he'll show up on Mr Money Mustache next!


OOooohh. Julia, what's Mr Money Mustache?
 
Julia Winter
steward
Posts: 2113
Location: Moved from south central WI to Portland, OR
190
bee bike chicken food preservation hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
He's another early retirement dude.
 
alex Keenan
Posts: 487
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There seems to be some confusion on the coating.
Flax was used to make a type of flexable material in the past.
It is in the family of drying oils such as walnut that were used by painters because it dried hard over time.
The key to the coating is starting dry and clean so the oil can from crosslinked bonds and bind to the surface of the iron.
The best results are generally obtaining using thin layers one at a time and building up a surface of five to seven layers.
I find that a oven at 350 does a fine job of producing cosslinked bonds. I just allow the pan to cool between applications of oil and back into the oven.
I apply flaxseed oil and wipe off pan to leave a slightly wet look. There is no moving or pooled oil in the pan, just a thin coating.

As kids damage coating by cleaning wrong, burning food, etc. I just clean off all oils and season again. If really bad, I use a battery charger and take it down to the metal and than clean, heat to drive off moisture, than season.
 
cal learner
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Matt Carroll wrote:In a nutshell, here's the best guidance I can give on cast iron based on my own reading (some here!) and experience (I was not a cast iron fan for a long time).

Bacon grease is my favorite oil, by far, and I've tried a good 80-90% of the oils I've seen recommended.  (It may be interesting if you don't know, but the manufacturers I'm aware of used soybean oil as their "pre-seasong" finish.)

A very small dip of my finger into the grease (small, dedicated container for cast iron seasoning) gets sufficient amount of grease to slowly, thinly (which is ideal) coat the entire pan (top, bottom, rim and handle) without overdoing it.  The rate at which the fat melts off my finger onto the pan is just perfect.  And the smell is much nicer than any plain oil too.  Mmmm. 

Further, I think the impurities naturally in the bacon grease lend themselves to a stronger finish in their final form as carbon.  Last, the time and temperature of the oven can be much less this way IME.  I turn the over on for 1 hour at 450ºF with the feshly coated pan in the oven cold.  I shut it off after an hour and leave the pan in until cool - usually overnight.  I've almost never had to repeat the bake cycle since doing it this way.

Using too much oil is extremely easy to do.  For example, coating a pan with a few drips (or dime or quarter-sized spot) of vegetable oil, then wiping it down thoroughly with a clean paper towel (or three clean paper towels) is guaranteed to be way too much oil.  More than likely it will run and create a thick layer somewhere inconvenient that becomes very sticky instead of drying hard.

Using too much oil can work in theory I think, but it will take an insane amount of curing time in a hot oven - maybe 24 hours or longer at 450-500ºF - to get through the long sticky-phase.  Even if you don't end up with that much, it will still take you longer to finish the seasoning in the oven and require a higher temperature than if you use bacon grease as described.

If you have a pan with a finish that you're unsatisfied with, I would set you over to the max temp is will go (usually 500ºF or higher), leave the pan in there for at least an hour, maybe a few - burn the old coating down to carbon.  You can wash this off and start clean with the bacon grease method.  After 1 or maybe 2 seasonings it should be pretty non-stick and keep getting better with use.  Keep it out of the sink religiously until it's pitch black and shiny, then it will even be able to resist light washing.

Last thought is on people's snobbishness against rough-cast iron like the Lodge stuff.  I wanted a griddle for pancackes and eggs.  Simply due to good availability(no other cast iron is for sale locally) I picked up the Lodge Round Griddle.  If you can imagine it, that rough-cast iron griddle is now my favorite omlete pan - it was so smooth after just one seasoning and a few rounds of cooking that it works exactly like those cheesy teflon coated pans you used to see in TV commercials.  If you like the extra-smooth polished pans, that's fine.  But it might be your seasoning method that's keeping you from also liking rough-cast! 

-Matt



This is my first post on permies.com.  This is an awesome site.  I have been doing a lot of reading and learning.


I agree with Matt about bacon grease.  It is my choice for seasoning my cast iron.  I can't even count how many pieces I own.  I think they call it a sickness.  I will buy a piece even if I don't need it if I get a deal on it.  I have tried different oils, etc. and nothing has worked  as well as bacon grease for the initial seasoning.  Once the skillet is seasoned, I use a spray like Pam for my cooking.  Easy peasy as far as I'm concerned. 

I use Lodge because I don't have a gas stove right now and the electric  will warp my good stuff.  Lodge is nice and thick and cheap.  I will hit the cooking surface with a sanding wheel to smooth it out before I season it.  I use my cast iron every day. 
 
shawn graham
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've used Flaxseed oil for seasoning.  Season at least 4 times.  Seems to work well.
 
Wynn Ho
Posts: 20
Location: an hour south of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wAFFLE House stores their oiled cast iron pans near/in the broiler so that they dry out often.  You can do this at home and not need to remove them when using the oven.
 
Robert Bizzarro
Posts: 23
2
books chicken forest garden
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Spruce Grouse is best served hot in cast.     We don't cook in anything else. Even the wife's soup pot is cast iron.  None of the None-Stick nasty coating stuff for us. Our is naturally none-stick even fried eggs slide right out when your pans are kept in good shape.

Rule Number 1;  No SOAP ever.

Rule Number two; See Rule number 1

Wipe it clean and........... Bob's Your Uncle.

Grouse-2015-002.JPG
[Thumbnail for Grouse-2015-002.JPG]
 
Walt Chase
Posts: 91
Location: ALASKA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've also only used bacon grease or lard to season cast iron.  I've tried Crisco or other veg oils, IMHO, they are inferior to bacon grease or lard.  I've got pans that have been handed down from my G-G Grandmother, mid-1800's vintage.  I also have a great many Griswold and a few "Sidney -O-" Wagners.  These new Lodge pans just don't hold a candle to the old machined surface Griswolds and wagners, or even really old USA made pans.
 
Larraine McNulty
Posts: 1
Location: central NY
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just read the article about cast iron cookware. I have been using it for 45 years on a kitchen wood cook stove. Do not use olive oil to treat the pan. It contains an acid. I taught  high school Industrial Arts , changing over to Technology in 1985. In woodworking, I taught my students to use their finger tips to inspect the smoothness of their work. They can "see" better that your eyes. The same technique works on cast iron. Gently rub the surface with your finger tips..   You can feel the spots that need smoothing.
John
 
Buzz Tatom
Posts: 23
Location: Big Sky, MT
fish hunting
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love using my cast iron skillet! One of the best kitchen purchases you can make hands down. Plus it makes a great cobbler!
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1274
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
128
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Robert Bizzarro wrote:
Rule Number 1;  No SOAP ever.

Rule Number two; See Rule number 1

Wipe it clean and........... Bob's Your Uncle.


Yep! I'd add rule Number three: Never soak a cast iron pan, and make sure it dries soon after washing. If you just cook something like eggs, don't wash it, just wipe it out.
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 265
Location: SW Michigan
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I found some old pans I had and they are all very rusty. Any tips to rehab them?
 
Drew Moffatt
Posts: 140
Location: New Zealand
7
food preservation goat hunting
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Light a fire outside get it good and hot with heaps of coals, place them in it cover with coals and remove when cool. Then wire brush and oil lightly, I cook bacon and eggs everyday on a "new" skillet till I'm happy with it or I find a new old one.
 
Liar, liar, pants on fire! refreshing plug:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!