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cast iron & carbon steel - new, if you can't find used. And why you should consider Carbon Steel!

 
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The Lockhart Ironworks skillets are beautiful.  The handles are iron and may be a bit longer than standard cast iron skillets.  Also note that they are iron riveted.  This may account for a slightly heavier skillet.  I love my two skillets.  Each one is created by hand with love in the USA.  How an you beat that?



http://www.themakersofhandforgediron.com/
 
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This post got me thinking! My first thought was that ALL steel contains carbon - that's what makes it different from iron. So what is this "carbon steel" stuff?
I found this interesting article that clarifies quite lucidly what makes "carbon steel", in comparison to others, and its pros & cons:
https://monroeengineering.com/blog/pros-and-cons-of-carbon-steel-what-you-should-know/
 
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Location: Zone 5a,5b,6a - Missouri
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"Hi, I compared the weights for cast iron brands like Butter Pat and Field, and the Lockhart pans are actually JUST AS HEAVY as the cast iron ones of the same size!  Are you sure they are really lighter than cast iron??"

Peter Chan:

Could it be that although they are equally heavy, they feel much lighter and are easier to use since they are balanced better?  That makes a huge difference when you are handling equipment.
 
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thanks for all the great suggestions
 
pollinator
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Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
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I have ONE carbon steel skillet.  It is vintage  and I inherited it.  It is not at all the quality of my cast iron.  It is lighter.  It looks like heck. It doesn’t clean well.  I can’t recommend carbon steel because of it.

 I love my cast iron and cast iron enamel.  I have never bought a $250 cast iron anything.  I hunt the thrift stores and have more cast iron than I could use.  Beautiful Griswald pieces and other great pieces can be had online and in thrift stores.  People just have to look.

Be patient and you can obtain beautiful pieces that will last long past your lifetime.
 
gardener
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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I've got two Indian karhais, like perfectly round-bottomed woks, that I think are carbon steel, and wow, they're great! I've managed to browbeat and train and nag my housemates until now they know how to treat them right, so the pots are gloriously non-stick, beautifully tempered. It helps a lot that the round-bottomed shape is perfect for making popcorn, and popping corn in oil is the quick and easy way to refresh the surface.

Cleaning -- I don't mind a quick swirl under water with a steel scrubby, and even some soap, sometimes. Once it's got a good surface on it, those won't damage it. And of course put it on the gas flame to dry for a few seconds to prevent rust. If it's only greasy, because you just slid perfect fried eggs intact out of it, then you just admire it and leave it on the stove till the next meal, or maybe wipe off a loose bit with some paper.

I don't know if Indian groceries in the US sell these -- they might only stock non-stick or aluminum karhais, but if there's one in your region, it's worth a check. An Indian carbon steel karhai would be a fraction of the cost of some of the pans mentioned above, and I find the round-bottom shape really great -- by far the best for fried eggs, and popcorn, and also excellent for normal cooking where you start by heating spices in oil, then add all the other bulky ingredients.
 
Laurie St Thomas
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Location: Zone 5a,5b,6a - Missouri
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Those are so tricky to find in carbon steel, congratulations! It's a bit easier if you do a search for carbon steel flat bottom wok, but there are so many variations not sure if it would be quite the same.  

 
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We own several cast iron skillets, but to tell you the truth we love the carbon steel cookware line made by Lockhart Ironworks in Logan, Ohio. The folks in this family are very hardworking, creative and passionate about their products. Each quality piece is handmade with perfection right at their home. The skillets are a dream to cook with and are beautiful hanging on the wall when not in use, and are worth every penny. The cookware can be easily purchased online, but it is well worth a trip to the beautiful Hocking Hills area to meet this unique family! There you can see all their products or take a blacksmithing class. I guarantee you’ll become lifelong friends and will gain a great appreciation of what an artisan is!

Http://makersofhandforgediron.com

 
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