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Old 12-30-2014, 03:50 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,125 posts, read 3,636,143 times
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I just wipe mine out with paper towels unless they are really dirty. Then I use a scrubby sponge under hot running water. After they are dry, I give them a light oiling.


I've done deep dish pizza in mine. Perfect!

They are also great for cooking roast beef in. The gravey is easy to do on the stove top once the roast is done.. plus, it seasons the pan while they cook.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:22 AM
Status: "Gone hunting until December!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,945 posts, read 14,589,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
Personally, I consider eggs a delicate food and pour premixed eggs (usually about four dozen strokes with a wire whip) into a moderately hot and oiled cast iron pan. Let the lower layer congeal a bit, then fluff them as they cook. You end up with big fluffy clumps of egg that way. Omelets are even easier since you sort of do the same thing but never get to the lowest layer. But, it's your eggs, so maybe pounded are better, I've never tried them that way.

Cast iron pans are very durable. You can pound and thrash them quite a bit. Scratching the surface seal off isn't so good, but it's not so easy, either. But, if it gets damaged, it can be repaired. We use metal utensils on the cast iron and have one of those commercial restaurant lava bricks to scrub the griddle if it needs it. And if we find a really abused cast iron pan at a yard sale, we can usually rescue it with a bit of sandblasting and then reseasoning. The stuff is durable as long as it's not dropped and shattered.

I bake bread in the frying pans as well as biscuits and cornbread. They heat up nice and evenly. One of these days I'll find a cast iron bread pan, but so far that hasn't appeared.

The older cast iron such as Wagner and Griswold have much nicer surfaces than the new stuff. I'd say Griswold is the best that I've come across, followed by Wagner and then Lodge.
I've got some old 'no name' cast iron skillets that are better than current Lodge products. I own a 10" chef's skillet (rounded sides) that is truly a nice piece of iron. It's a tad thinner on the sides which makes handling and tossing stir fry a bit easier.

You are right- I've found Lodge to be a very rough and uneven casting iron product. I have one Griswold and it is by far the nicest skillet I have. I have a Wagner deep fryer pan that is also very nice.

I recently gave away a Lodge 14" skillet. It was the most horrid piece of iron I've owned.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:18 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
16,937 posts, read 17,180,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justanokie View Post
modern soaps will not remove the seasoning, so its perfectly safe to clean with a little soap and light brushing.
I would NEVER use soap on a cast iron pan. I use them all the time and they are super easy to maintain. Just use oil at first so nothing sticks, but once the iron pan is seasoned very little oil is needed if at all. Certainly not if you are cooking bacon or something with fat content.

Enjoy your pans. Don't overthink it.
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Old 12-30-2014, 07:35 AM
 
4,931 posts, read 4,642,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
BTW - has anyone compared the finish on a "vintage" cast iron pan to the new ones?

Older/higher quality pans have smoother finishes. Newer/lower quality pans have rougher finishes. The cheaper ones from China look like they were cast in gravel rather than sand.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shyguylh View Post
I then put both pans inside a plastic bag and placed them on a shelf.
I wouldn't put them in plastic bags. I see no benefit to doing so...plus, if any moisture gets trapped in the bags it's not going to do your pans any good.

I've salvaged a couple of ugly, rusty skillets that I found at yard sales by scouring them with soaped steel wool pads (e.g. Brillo Soap Pads) with good results. It probably wouldn't work if the rust were deep, but I've been able to get down to the bare metal so I could rinse them thoroughly and re-start the seasoning process. I can understand people not wanting to use soap, but it does help cut through the gunk that can accumulate on a skillet. Besides, I've used soaped steel wool pads on rusty, antique cross-cut saws--and then oiled them with vegetable oil--so I figured it would work on cast iron skillets, too. (I've avoided lye and other techniques which may actually be better.)

Anyhow, there's been lots of good information in this thread. I particularly liked some of the links. As for me, my prized pan is a 14" cast iron skillet which I purchased over 30 years ago. It was already quite old then, so I have no idea how old it truly is. It's been especially great when cooking a huge breakfast while camping outdoors. You just can't beat a sunrise breakfast cooking on a cast iron skillet!
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:56 AM
Status: "Gone hunting until December!" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
10,945 posts, read 14,589,323 times
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I've rescued at least a half a dozen dutch ovens from various Boy Scout mishaps over the years (been in Scouts since I was 7 or 8- never got out. lol).

One in particular was so bad.. Someone didn't clean out the leftover stew or whatever it was and the Dutch sat in a trailer for over a year. The lid had literally rusted shut. I took it home and had to use an angle grinder with a wire brush wheel to knock the crud down and get everything back to bare iron. I got a nice bed of coals going, plopped lard into it and re-worked it over, and over. Took some time but I got it back on track.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:26 AM
 
3,783 posts, read 5,528,400 times
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I just got a new cast iron pan. I oiled it and put it in a three fifty oven for an hour. That's the directions from Lodge. There are tons of videos and resources on how to season and maintain both new and used cast iron on the internet.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,433 posts, read 24,204,419 times
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As long as they aren't seriously warped, cast iron can always be salvaged. I have three skillets and a grill. They go back as far as my great-grandmother. Cast iron does not have to be babied. Just remember to always dry thoroughly. Storing in plastic is a mistake, rust is what you want to avoid! You can't hurt these with metal utensils either.
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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If you have a pan with a bumpy surface, you can grind the bumps flat and then season. I think the old pans had some machining done to the insides after they were cast which is partly why they are so much smoother.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:40 AM
 
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America's Test Kitchen cookbook recommends scrubbing badly rusted cast iron with a slurry of vegetable oil and kosher salt applied with a wad of paper towels while wearing a leather glove. Rinse thoroughly in hot water, wipe completely dry, and coat with vegetable oil to begin seasoning process.
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