Has anyone tried The Ringer? I know ideally all the food is just going to slide off my cast iron leaving a clean skillet behind, but sometimes it doesn't. Plus this stainless steel chainmail scrubbie just looks so darn nifty!
I've never tried it but I'm glad I found your post. Now I want to try it! Looks pretty nifty... I see you're in Dallas. I went to school at UNT. Living in NW Louisiana now. Do you often see Southerners in the permaculture forums? Everything is always Washington, Oregon, California. Our culture/climate is a bit different down here and so many things they do, aren't feasible here. Frustrating.
C.R. Morehead wrote: Do you often see Southerners in the permaculture forums? Everything is always Washington, Oregon, California. Our culture/climate is a bit different down here and so many things they do, aren't feasible here. Frustrating.
So far as I can tell, Southern and permie don't usually mix. A lot of the permie techniques apply in our hot/humid climate, but many things are different. For example, heat is definitely NOT my biggest energy expense! Anyway, just built my first hugelkultur and I'm hoping it will work as well here as in the northern climes.
Let me know how your hugelkultur goes! We are trying a variety of things here...raised beds, deep mulch planting, black plastic, deep row planting, and kind of our own polyface technique. We have two pens next to each other. The large one housed our just freshened goats and their newborn kids while the small pen housed 3 piglets. When the goats got big enough, they were integrated into what we call "general population" (the big goat pen/pasture area). Once the big pen that the young goats were living in was available, we moved the now much bigger piggies to the bigger pen and the small pen is now available. Sooooo we planted corn in the small pen (about 500 plants worth --- 2 ears per plant --- 1000 ears of corn....yea-yuhh!!). The corn loved the piggy-fied dirt and was 9 feet tall within 50 days. We just harvested the corn, the sow in the big pen is about to give birth and so now we'll move her and her babies back to the small pen to give birth and start all over again! It works fabulously!!
Regarding the ringer, I would think the chrome scrubbies would work just as well for removing grime...at least what you are referring to. In reading the description for the ringer it says for pre-seasoned cast iron. In which case it appears to be much stronger than the chrome ones. At least according to the hype.
Something similar to this is pretty much the only tool I need for my pan:
It's a scraper, flipper, but also a dried-bread-dough cleaner, gnocchi cutter...
I suggest stainless steel, or it's just another thing that rusts
It lives in my utensil drawer.
Speaking of scrubbies, the stainless ones do rust in my experience, but I've never had a problem with the chrome ones. They are great for a lot of scrubbing jobs surprisingly without scratching. With the ringer I would wonder about rust.
We use chainmail in our medieval camp for cleaning the dishes. It works like a charm on metal pots, especially when they've been put too close to the fire. I've often wondered about using it on cast iron, only a few things made me hesitate.
The medieval camp is an educational display I participate in, where we move into a park and live in the style of 14th Century, including the cooking. The chain mail we use is very different than this modern version. The pattern the rings are connected with are different for a start, and the rings themselves are flat, hammered metal. Then there's the pots, which are not cast iron, but other metals, although most of the cooking is in pottery. The shape and the texture of the chainmail we use gets under the food and lifts it off with minimal effort. I can see these round wire rings (round, as in the wire to make the rings is round, not hammered flat) would scrub away the food, but probably with a lot more effort than the traditional chainmail it's modelled after.
The other problem with using metal to clean pots is that it scratches the pots. One of my favourite features of my cast iron pots is that the inside is smooth. We seldom use metal utensils in any of our pots, and wash them with nothing harder than a wooden scraper. The chainmail could possibly scratch the pot, making it less smooth, and therefore making it easier for the food to stick to the pot, making cleaning harder, making scrubbing with chainmail more vigorous, making more scratches... ad infinitum
At home, I seldom cook over open fire, so seldom have problems regulating my heat. When time travelling, people (including me) often underestimate the fire and scorch the bottom of the pot, for this the chainmail is invaluable. I would hate to cook over fire without the security of having chainmail to help clean my dishes, but on an electric or gas hob, I don't think there would be any advantage to it.