Author Topic: Cooking with Cast Iron  (Read 56591 times)

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2007, 06:56:55 AM »
firecattx, just curious- why are you giving up stainless steel?

As for cast iron, I always assumed cast iron is cast iron. ;D Someone may have to set me straight on that. :)

We have been very happy with the ones we got at www.campchef.com. www.lehmans.com also has good quality stuff.

Was ready to post this when I saw blessed213 beat me to mentioning Lehmans. :)

Offline firecattx

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron - Cooks brand?
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2007, 09:49:58 AM »
Has anyone heard of Cook's brand at JCPenney's?  They have several different cast iron pieces on sale and I would love to know if they are of good quality or not.  Does anyone have any advice or know of another reasonably priced brand that is of good quality? Thanks!

Offline 1ofeach

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron - Cooks brand?
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2007, 03:34:52 PM »
Has anyone heard of Cook's brand at JCPenney's?  They have several different cast iron pieces on sale and I would love to know if they are of good quality or not.  Does anyone have any advice or know of another reasonably priced brand that is of good quality? Thanks!

Agreeing w/ those who have touted Lodge. Made in the USA, easy to find (for us anyway) in local hardware stores, even Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Lehman's as others have said.

Also, like lotsaboys, I'm interested in the stainless steel debate. Why are you opting not to use it?

Modified to add: And can I use cast iron on a glass-top stove? We're building a house and I want to pick a stove that I can use my cast iron on. Anyone use it on glass-tops?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 01:31:35 AM by 1ofeach »

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron - Cooks brand?
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2007, 04:22:10 AM »
Also, like lotsaboys, I'm interested in the stainless steel debate. Why are you opting not to use it?

Modified to add: And can I use cast iron on a glass-top stove? We're building a house and I want to pick a stove that I can use my cast iron on. Anyone use it on glass-tops?

I stopped using stainless steel because my Dr. told me that acidic foods will leach nickel from the stainless during cooking or just standing.  As I have a severe allergy to nickel, this determined our choice to only use cast iron, glass, or enameled pans. 
As to your question regarding glass top stoves, I think you would want to ask the dealer or manufacturer.  My mother has a glass top stove and uses cast iron on it.  She is careful about how she handles is; no dropping or scooting it. 
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Offline diaperswyper

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2007, 09:55:17 AM »
  And cast iron will scratch a glass top. I have a gas stove that looks cool and commercial and i love it. Personal preference.

Offline 1ofeach

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron - Cooks brand?
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2007, 03:22:47 AM »
Quote
I stopped using stainless steel because my Dr. told me that acidic foods will leach nickel from the stainless during cooking or just standing. 

Ah, I seem to recall another lady saying that now. Huh. I have one Le Creuset pot I adore. I use it for soups, stews, chili, etc. Is that healthy?

Thanks for the info on the glass top stoves, ladies. I just hate cleaning drip pans. Hate is a strong word, yet I think it's appropriate here! I don't know what we'll end up w/ in our next house.

Offline WarDawg

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2007, 01:12:36 PM »
Today, I purchased a Martha Stewart cast-iron skillet that is pre-seasoned.  I am a bit skeptical of using this pan, since I'm hearing that this pan has other metals such as aluminum or stainless steel (equally as bad as Teflon -- for those of you who want to have deformed children).  I need to find a good cast-iron skillet that is 100% iron with no non-stick coating (I'm not trusting the big companies since they still use aspartame in foods and tried to come up with a "safer" version of artificial sugar, Splenda, made from chlorine).

I am willing to buy the best cast-iron pan, at any cost.  I've heard of the brand, Lodge Manufacturing Co., but they haven't responded to my email (I think they're dodging questions since they are hiding something -- like using other metals mixed in with iron).

Please guide me in the right path, since I don't to regret this on my death bed for using the wrong pan.

Offline stebs7

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2007, 02:15:13 PM »
You can find the real thing cast iron skillets, dutch ovens, roasters, griddle pans on ebay!   Decent prices - though you don't have to buy the Griswold - which is more of a collectors item so often is expensive.  Just don't buy the new ones (I think Old Mountain is a new company).  I don't know if any of the new ones are built like the good old ones.

I have found several really good cast iron skillets in thrift stores as I traveled in the States.  I have 6 cast iron skillets, a deep chicken fry pan and a griddle where I do my pancakes (fresh ground spelt, buckwheat, whole wheat and oat flours - they are delicious!) and french toast. 

Happy Hunting - you will love cooking with them.

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Offline mom24boys

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2007, 02:21:24 PM »

Modified to add: And can I use cast iron on a glass-top stove? We're building a house and I want to pick a stove that I can use my cast iron on. Anyone use it on glass-tops?

I use cast iron on my glass cooktop without any scratches.  However, my cast iron pans are about 40 years old and very well seasoned.  They also are smooth on the bottom; no ridge/ring on the bottom.

Offline brightspot

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2007, 10:15:30 AM »
I have a glass top stove because that is what was in our house when we bought it. Since then, I've packed away my cast iron because they just don't cook the same. My griddle doesn't heat evenly across, etc.

As for the drip pans, I learned to buy the black non-stick ones and run them through the dishwasher every few days. Because they weren't bright, shiny silver, that was usually enough to keep them nice.

The one nice thing about the stove is that when we have guests or just a busy day, the flat stove top makes additional counter space which I always seem short of.


Offline txseawater

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2007, 02:05:53 PM »
We have dealt with Lodge Maufacturing and their products extensively for years. In fact, we used to own www.lodgecastiron.com and that domain should now rightfully belong to Lodge Manufacturing. ( I won't even check it out) We no longer actively sell Lodge products. They are a U.S. company based in Chatanooga TN. They have an excellent ,and you are dealing with iron. Cast iron made in other countries is generally inferior. Other cast iron foundaries can be located around the U.S. with some searching, but you will not be able to find a company with the variety of products like you can with Lodge. All cast iron can crack if dropped, and shipping companies have been known to be rough on packages. We know first hand.  ::) Lodge supplies big name stores like Academy Surplus, Bass Pro, Wal Mart, and many many more. All I can say is that the
"big boys" get first serve. The little people can buy from the big stores, or wait in line. Casting is a process, items are made in multiples by demand or by order, and Lodge generally sells in cases. A given item will be in cases of 6 to 12 to 24 depending on the size of the item. Generally speaking.  Hope this helps. 
   
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2007, 07:56:13 AM »
Today, I purchased a Martha Stewart cast-iron skillet that is pre-seasoned.  I am a bit skeptical of using this pan, since I'm hearing that this pan has other metals such as aluminum or stainless steel (equally as bad as Teflon -- for those of you who want to have deformed children).  I need to find a good cast-iron skillet that is 100% iron with no non-stick coating (I'm not trusting the big companies since they still use aspartame in foods and tried to come up with a "safer" version of artificial sugar, Splenda, made from chlorine).

I am willing to buy the best cast-iron pan, at any cost.  I've heard of the brand, Lodge Manufacturing Co., but they haven't responded to my email (I think they're dodging questions since they are hiding something -- like using other metals mixed in with iron).

Please guide me in the right path, since I don't to regret this on my death bed for using the wrong pan.
If your pan is all iron and you don't like the preseasoned coating, I think you can use steps to "re-season" your pan as if it were an old pan.    I have used the self cleaning setting in my oven to cook off old seasoning from ancient pans picked up at garage sales.  I then had to cool them and scrape off the rusty residue and the pans were grey instead of black.  Then I seasoned them myself with animal fat and rebaked them.  Here's an earlier post that includes links to another site with more info on seasoning iron skillets.

http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,249.msg1436.html#msg1436
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Offline nexis777

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2007, 02:32:47 PM »
I just bought a cast iron pan from walmart... I think it was that lodge brand, but not sure now that I've thrown the label away  ::)
Anyway, it said it was pre-seasoned, and the first thing I cooked in it was hamburger for tacos. It was on about a medium heat. The meat stuck some as I was expecting, but not too bad. But, it seemed like it really started smoking when the meat was almost done cooking. As soon as I finished taking the meat out I quickly hefted it into the oven and slammed the door shut.  Is that just normal as a first time using it, like it was just burning some stuff off of it, or? We always cooked on cast iron as I was growing up, but we already had all the pans etc, so I never saw one that was brand new, and never saw one act like that. Just wondering if I need to do something with it, or if it will be fine?

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2007, 07:20:32 AM »
Hmm, maybe its because there was some area of the pan uncovered and got hot enough to start smoking. In other words, if you had cooked something in it the first time that would've totally covered the bottom, it wouldn't have done that. :-\ Just thinking..

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2007, 07:50:51 AM »
I just bought a cast iron pan from walmart... I think it was that lodge brand, but not sure now that I've thrown the label away  ::)
Anyway, it said it was pre-seasoned, and the first thing I cooked in it was hamburger for tacos. It was on about a medium heat. The meat stuck some as I was expecting, but not too bad. But, it seemed like it really started smoking when the meat was almost done cooking. As soon as I finished taking the meat out I quickly hefted it into the oven and slammed the door shut.  Is that just normal as a first time using it, like it was just burning some stuff off of it, or? We always cooked on cast iron as I was growing up, but we already had all the pans etc, so I never saw one that was brand new, and never saw one act like that. Just wondering if I need to do something with it, or if it will be fine?
You may need to lower your heat.  Cast Iron gets very hot and heats more evenly that steel or teflon.  You may also have been cooking your coating - maybe not the best seasoning.  You might try just cleaning it - without soap (hot water, scraper or salt) and then recoat it with some animal fat (lard) or butter.  You can use veggie oils, but animal seems to work better.  If none of this helps, I would assume the coating is poor quality and you may want to check the website I posted earlier and consider stripping and reseasoning your pan.
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Offline nexis777

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2007, 09:00:43 AM »
Thanks so much for the responses guys!! I'll definitely try cleaning it out. I probably did have it at too high a heat. I'd forgotten that those pans heat up so much faster than other types, although I thought perhaps that was part of it when it started smoking.

HB, when you say re-coat it with animal fat/lard, do you just mean to spread some around in it, before cooking with it.... I guess what I'm asking is, do you mean like greasing a pan, or something like that, so that things don't stick? Just wanting to clarify.
 Thanks again!
            Christy

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2007, 06:15:07 PM »
Thanks so much for the responses guys!! I'll definitely try cleaning it out. I probably did have it at too high a heat. I'd forgotten that those pans heat up so much faster than other types, although I thought perhaps that was part of it when it started smoking.

HB, when you say re-coat it with animal fat/lard, do you just mean to spread some around in it, before cooking with it.... I guess what I'm asking is, do you mean like greasing a pan, or something like that, so that things don't stick? Just wanting to clarify.
 Thanks again!
            Christy
If your pan is perfectly seasoned and you never cook acidic foods or put nics or scrapes in your pan, then ideally, you shouldn't have to grease your pan after it's been seasoned; however, I've never been this lucky with my old or new pans.  I generally regrease my pans (inside and out -- including the handle) everytime I clean them.  I usually don't clean them until I'm ready to use them to ensure they stay very greasy.  This prevents rust.  If you clean them well and don't recoat them, the air can rust them very quickly. 

To reseason, you actually have to coat them with grease and then bake it on.  This is different than just regreasing after each cleaning.

After you've had them for so long, the coating will begin to rub black sludge off onto a paper towel or wash cloth.  This won't hurt your food, but it does get a bit gross and thick and easy to ding after awhile, so at this point, I would strip and start over.  If you follow the instructions from the website I posted, you're not supposed to have to do this, but my pans are old and full of scratches, so I suppose it's because of their poor condition that I have to reseason every couple of years or so.  I just started using iron about 3 or 4 years ago, so I'm no expert. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 06:17:49 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline brenda

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2007, 02:37:40 PM »
I cook with cast iron exclusively and I'm wondering if anyone knows....does it add too much iron to your food making it unsafe for children?

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2007, 03:08:52 PM »
Never heard of it being a problem.  I've used it all my life and so has my mom.  ???
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Offline mom24boys

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2007, 09:51:57 AM »
With my cast iron, I have always washed it with only hot water after use.  Then, I would heat it on the stove (or in the oven if it is already hot from cooking dinner or something) to completely dry it.  After that, I usually just swipe around the inside with some lard on a paper towel and let if finish cooling before I put it away.

Once in a while, I will notice chunky build-up on the outside (or even the inside).  When this happens, I use a scotchbrite pad and "knock off the high spots", just sort of sanding it down to a bit smoother surface.  I don't really scrub hard.  Then I coat it lightly and put it away.

If I cook something really acidic in it or someone gets it so hot it burns the seasoning off (it wasn't me, honest!), I reseason by larding it and putting it in a 250* oven for 30 minutes at a time, re-larding and returning it every 1/2 hour for 2 or 3 hours (or just 1 hour if that is all the time I have).

I have had 65 year old and in constant use-and-abuse cast iron, yard sale messes that needed extreme help and brand new stuff that came with nasty factory machine grease.  I love cast iron.  It really isn't that hard to keep up.  Two key factors are to skip the soap and keep them dry between uses.

Offline queentea

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2007, 04:32:41 AM »
Does anyone know if cooking with cast iron adds a significant amount of iron to the food?  My dad is anemic and mom is looking for ways to boost his iron, he doesn't like a lot of the iron rich foods, so besides his suppliment, I though cooking with cast iron might help.

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2007, 04:34:10 AM »
Does anyone know if cooking with cast iron adds a significant amount of iron to the food?  My dad is anemic and mom is looking for ways to boost his iron, he doesn't like a lot of the iron rich foods, so besides his suppliment, I though cooking with cast iron might help.

I thought I read somewhere on here, where someones relative was cured of anemia from switching to cast iron.  I do believe it is a strong possibility.

Offline Roehrmomma

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2007, 04:37:00 AM »
My mom never had issues with being low til she quit using cast iron.But she also became a total vegetarian at the time....

Em

Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2007, 05:59:36 AM »
Here's an odd cast iron question - does anyone know if you can cook with cast iron on one of those glass top stoves?  A friend told me she thought you couldn't.  We just moved and my new house has a glass top stove.  I've never had one before so am not sure what I can/can't cook on it.  Anyone know? 

Why I'm at it - anyone know how to naturally clean this thing in a way that will cut the grease that gets splattered?  I have bio-kleen GSE dishsoap but it's a little tough to use that as a cleaner. 

thanks

patti
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Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2007, 06:06:14 AM »
Here's an odd cast iron question - does anyone know if you can cook with cast iron on one of those glass top stoves?  A friend told me she thought you couldn't.  We just moved and my new house has a glass top stove.  I've never had one before so am not sure what I can/can't cook on it.  Anyone know? 

Why I'm at it - anyone know how to naturally clean this thing in a way that will cut the grease that gets splattered?  I have bio-kleen GSE dishsoap but it's a little tough to use that as a cleaner. 

thanks

patti

patti, this is discussed above in replies 33 & 34, 38 & 39. hth!

Offline WellTellMommy

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #55 on: December 07, 2007, 06:46:58 AM »
I have used cast iron on my glass stove for four years with no troubles and so has my sister.
I clean my glass stove with GSE,TTO,&water in an old windex spray bottle,and deep clean it with lemon, salt, and a razor blade when build up begins.
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #56 on: December 07, 2007, 06:50:44 AM »
I've never had one before so am not sure what I can/can't cook on it.  Anyone know? 





I think the reason people say not to is because if you were to drop your cast iron pot on the stove top, it would crack and break the glass top.  My mom told me her friend had that happen to hers.
I am just really careful when placing them or moving them on mine.  ;)

Offline homesteadmommy

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2007, 12:03:28 PM »
I was wondering - when it comes to the Lodge brand are they all created equal. We have some cabela's points to use up and they sell the Lodge brand. What about the enamel covered dutch ovens - are they safe to cook with or is it better to get just the plain cast iron?

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2007, 12:28:15 PM »
What about the enamel covered dutch ovens - are they safe to cook with or is it better to get just the plain cast iron?


I have some enameled cast iron and I like using it.  It needs to be handled carefully to avoid chipping the enamel.  And, like I do with my glass pans, I don't put it directly on high heat; I heat it slowly. 
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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Cooking with Cast Iron
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2008, 01:45:19 PM »
Think your cast iron is expensive?? LOOK what this one went for on Ebay....

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=310009971887&ssPageN

WOW!! :o  For that price, I wonder if it is self-cleaning?  ;D
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