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Thread: Superiority of Cast Iron

  1. #61
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    They may not be seasoned right or something, but I do find they tend to stick for some tasks more than I would like.
    Use butter when heating up may help. Also, apply a thin coat of oil after using and cleaning before putting back on the shelf.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassopotamus View Post
    I have a couple cast Iron pieces. Love my enameled dutch oven (starting coq au vin tonight for company in fact). My skillets are OK, but not my favorites. They may not be seasoned right or something, but I do find they tend to stick for some tasks more than I would like. I do appreciate the amount of heat they hold though. Work great for steaks and such.
    Yeah, they probably need to be re-seasoned, a nice trick for getting great non-stick performance from a sticky pan (and also help with building up seasoning) is heat it up and oil it down with olive oil and then melt some butter in it before adding food, for some reason the combo of olive oil and butter makes for a super slick surface.
    -Byron

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadies View Post
    Yeah, they probably need to be re-seasoned, a nice trick for getting great non-stick performance from a sticky pan (and also help with building up seasoning) is heat it up and oil it down with olive oil and then melt some butter in it before adding food, for some reason the combo of olive oil and butter makes for a super slick surface.
    For seasoning purposes, I would use an oil with a high flash point, like Peanut, Grapeseed or Canola.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpm802 View Post
    For seasoning purposes, I would use an oil with a high flash point, like Peanut, Grapeseed or Canola.
    Oh, most definitely if you're doing the classic "in stove" seasoning process. I just meant for regular "season while cooking" which some people seem to prefer, the olive oil base with the butter on top just seems to really slick it up for a sticky pan and will also help start a permanent season while they're frying. Frying up a few pounds of bacon is also a good season while you cook method, it won't make a bulletproof killer coating right away, but it will give a very good base to start with and it will give ya plenty of bacon grease for future pan coating.
    -Byron

  5. #65

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    If you use a saturated oil, like coconut oil, it will prevent the cast iron pan from getting that tacky, sticky feeling they will sometimes get after being stored if you are using other oils. This is the best oil to use if you are not cooking any meat on your cast iron. I usually cook with coconut oil, sometimes butter... and clean with salt and shortening.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ouch View Post
    You have to get the Teknor-Apex cutting board first.

    I'm willing to wager that Jim will have one on him when I see him tonight. He did the last time I saw him (and so did Scotto!)


    Search DeBuyer and you'll probably see some on the site.

    Those look like they are very nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by jkingrph View Post
    I have tried that line of logic, saying not to slide them around.
    Wire brush, sand and season the BOTTOM. A whole lot of cast iron has rust trapped in the exterior seasoning, rust is harder than the iron. Having a nice clean smooth bottom on the pan may help ease her mind.

    Phil

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadies View Post
    Frying up a few pounds of bacon is also a good season while you cook method, it won't make a bulletproof killer coating right away, but it will give a very good base to start with and it will give ya plenty of bacon grease for future pan coating.
    Besides that, it gives you a good excuse to enjoy a few pounds of bacon. Not that you really need an excuse ...
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drybonz View Post
    If you use a saturated oil, like coconut oil, it will prevent the cast iron pan from getting that tacky, sticky feeling they will sometimes get after being stored if you are using other oils. This is the best oil to use if you are not cooking any meat on your cast iron. I usually cook with coconut oil, sometimes butter... and clean with salt and shortening.


    +1
    Last edited by Talal; 01-27-2012 at 09:38 PM.

  9. #69
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    Im hoping to pick up the cliff cornell breakfast skillet eventually
    I just saw one from the 1930's. They want $275.....

  10. #70
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    question for you gents, do many of you deglaze with wine when cooking a steak? Or stock?

    id love to hear some opinions, id like to start using wine but some of the info ive read about acidity and stripping seasoning scared me off.. Im assuming its ok for a quick degalze but not to actually cook acidic foods in? (like tomatoes and such)

    Thank you!

  11. #71
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    Hey Talal.

    Once you have a good seasoning in place deglazing the pan with wine works great for building a nice sauce (brandy, crushed peppercorns, and a bit of cream/butter is pretty nice too). Deglazing is also a great way of cleaning a cast iron pan when you have some stuff stuck . . . by this I mean adding some water to a not to hot cast iron pan and boiling . . . use a nylon flipper to move the crud off.

    If you have a poor seasoning . . . it is going to flake at some point. You will see it happening . . . and know this is not the night to build the sauce in the pan.
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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talal View Post
    question for you gents, do many of you deglaze with wine when cooking a steak? Or stock?

    id love to hear some opinions, id like to start using wine but some of the info ive read about acidity and stripping seasoning scared me off.. Im assuming its ok for a quick degalze but not to actually cook acidic foods in? (like tomatoes and such)

    Thank you!
    Me. Not just wine, but also water, stock, whatever. No better way to start a good sauce or gravy to complement the food you just cooked in the skillet.
    "A noble heart embiggens the smallest man." (Jebediah Springfield)

  13. #73
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    thanks for the input gents.

    So i assume a quick deglaze with wine isnt really that bad for the pan as ive read about. Good to know! i generally use stock which i make and freeze in ice cube trays but ive got a few "gift" bottles i should experiment with!

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    Lodge still makes 'em in the USA, heavy and high quality.

  15. #75
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    Hate to be the contrarian here, but cast iron is simply not that great of a pan for doing pan sauces. First off, you want acidic wine (and stock...hell, sometimes straight vinegar) for a sauce, and that to one degree or another is going to react to even the best seasoned cast iron. Second, you want very quick heat conductivity. If you're finishing off the sauce with butter, you want to go from reducing down the wine/stock at boiling temps to being very much cooler when you swirl in the butter (if the butter boils, the sauce curdles and breaks). Cast iron is very poor at heat conductivity--i.e. it heats up slowly but holds that heat for a long time.

    Put it this way. My hot water on full bore comes out at 160F. I can stick cast iron under it for a minute, and it's only warm when I pull it out.....but that warmth will stick around for minutes later. Conversely, I put an All Clad under that for 30 seconds, and it comes out at 158F but cools back down to room temp almost immediately after being removed from the water.

    Cast iron is great (unmatched) at what it's well suited for. For other things, it stinks on ice.
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterling Cooper View Post
    Hate to be the contrarian here, but cast iron is simply not that great of a pan for doing pan sauces. First off, you want acidic wine (and stock...hell, sometimes straight vinegar) for a sauce, and that to one degree or another is going to react to even the best seasoned cast iron. Second, you want very quick heat conductivity. If you're finishing off the sauce with butter, you want to go from reducing down the wine/stock at boiling temps to being very much cooler when you swirl in the butter (if the butter boils, the sauce curdles and breaks). Cast iron is very poor at heat conductivity--i.e. it heats up slowly but holds that heat for a long time.

    Put it this way. My hot water on full bore comes out at 160F. I can stick cast iron under it for a minute, and it's only warm when I pull it out.....but that warmth will stick around for minutes later. Conversely, I put an All Clad under that for 30 seconds, and it comes out at 158F but cools back down to room temp almost immediately after being removed from the water.

    Cast iron is great (unmatched) at what it's well suited for. For other things, it stinks on ice.

    What would you recommend for folks who enjoy cooking steaks in cast iron then? with regards to deglazing?

    thank you kindly

  17. #77
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    Work fast.

    Unfortunately, even the next best pan, thick (7mm) aluminum, suffers from similar issues, and anodizing only helps a little. Stainless interior on solid aluminum won't color or tinge a sauce, but isn't available in 7mm, only about 5mm. Compared to 5mm aluminum, I'd rather use copper. That leaves one very interesting choice--nickel plated cast iron. e.g.
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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterling Cooper View Post
    Hate to be the contrarian here, but cast iron is simply not that great of a pan for doing pan sauces. First off, you want acidic wine (and stock...hell, sometimes straight vinegar) for a sauce, and that to one degree or another is going to react to even the best seasoned cast iron. Second, you want very quick heat conductivity. If you're finishing off the sauce with butter, you want to go from reducing down the wine/stock at boiling temps to being very much cooler when you swirl in the butter (if the butter boils, the sauce curdles and breaks). Cast iron is very poor at heat conductivity--i.e. it heats up slowly but holds that heat for a long time.

    Put it this way. My hot water on full bore comes out at 160F. I can stick cast iron under it for a minute, and it's only warm when I pull it out.....but that warmth will stick around for minutes later. Conversely, I put an All Clad under that for 30 seconds, and it comes out at 158F but cools back down to room temp almost immediately after being removed from the water.

    Cast iron is great (unmatched) at what it's well suited for. For other things, it stinks on ice.
    You make some good points, but I manage to work within those limitations. AND it makes the cast iron a lot easier to clean! I deglaze with water even if I don't intend to make a gravy or sauce.
    "A noble heart embiggens the smallest man." (Jebediah Springfield)

  19. #79
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    This is the best article on Cast Iron I have read. Thought I'd share. :)

    http://www.richsoil.com/cast-iron.jsp
    The Aspiring Las Vegas Gentleman.

  20. #80
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    I use Le Creuset http://www.amazon.co.uk/Le-Creuset-C...0&sr=8-2-fkmr0
    This is finished inside and out with a matt black glaze which means that seasoning is virtually un-needed.
    I use it over a gas burner set as low as it will go and slow cook meals for a couple of hours. The cast iron distributes the heat extremely well.

    Someone mentioned using stainless steel to cook. In the UK a number of brands are available that are st-st / al / st-st laminates. the st-st inside and out gives abrasion and acid resistance and the al spreads the heat. St-st is not a good conductor of heat so the outer layer act as a heat diffuser. The best of both worlds.

    But for long slow cooking the cast iron le Creuset is best.
    I also have a plain (seasoned with olive oil )cast iron griddle plate also used over gas. This is an unknown brand but works well for steaks, burgers etc.

    Peter.
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