Author Topic: Cast iron reseasoning  (Read 36223 times)

greaper007

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2014, 09:54:31 AM »
"Clean" cast iron only with salt used as an abrasive or a stiff wire bristle brush followed by a paper towel.  No water and no soap.

I used to do this with my cast iron, but I found it was an unnecessarily difficult step, especially when I have dried on food to clean out.    I've been rinsing my cast iron with simple warm water and scrubbing it out with a plastic scrubby for the last 5 years now, followed by a light coating of oil at temperature.    All my pans (I think I have 6 or 7 at this point) maintain a nice seasoning.

If you really want a great steak, buy prime beef at Costco.   It's pricey but still much cheaper than a steakhouse, and the flavor is night and day above choice cuts.   Otherwise I use grass fed beef almost exclusively.    I prefer to cook my steaks on my weber over lump charcoal with a two zone cooking arrangement (and I make my hot zone as hot as I can get it) , I think it gives more flavor than indoor cooking.    But I do like a cast iron pan for a quick thin cut steak, and you have the option of making a pan sauce when you're done.

madage

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2014, 01:43:40 PM »

dragoncar

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2014, 01:50:55 PM »

The maillard reaction is not carcinogenic, burning food is carcinogenic.   


Well for one:

Quote
Acrylamide6,7,8 Acrylamide is a carcinogen that is found in cigarettes, coffee, and many baked or fried foods, particularly breads, potato and corn products. Formed from asparagine and glucose (or fructose) during the Maillard reaction, acrylamide was discovered by Swiss scientists in 2002 who found that fried and baked foods contained it, while foods that had been boiled or unheated did not. This discovery caused enough concern that it led to the eventual formation of the Heat‐generated Food Toxicants
(HEATOX) Project. This "multidisciplinary research project involving 24 partners in 14 countries" was sponsored by Lund University in Sweden and lasted 40 months. The study found that hemoglobin adducts increased linearly with acylamide intake within humans. Other studies have linked acrylamide with cancer in rodents. The FDA, the World Health Organization and several countries have posted information on websites regarding safer cooking practices and the acrylamide content in food. In August 2009, the FDA released "Acrylamide in Food; Request for Comments and for Scientific Data and Information". According to the document, the "FDA is considering issuing guidance for industry on reduction of acrylamide levels in food products" due to the fact that "it is anticipated that new information will soon be available about the toxicology of acrylamide". In that same month, Health Canada added acrylamide to its list of toxic substances and has begun a program of monitoring acrylamide content in foods.
(http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cooking-carcinogens)

Quote
I used olive oil in the above link because it has a much lower smoke point than most of the oils people use to season their cast iron with.   I use canola oil, and a very light sheen of oil on a pan that's used often isn't really going to impart free radicals unless you heat it to the point that it's smoking.

First, most charts I've seen show canola oil with a lower smoke point than olive oil.  Second, free radical production doesn't happen on a binary basis when you hit the smoke point.  Your risks are reduced, not eliminated, the lower your cooking temperature.

greaper007

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2014, 05:00:26 PM »
Non-stick doesn't reduce the carcinogenic risks you mentioned above, eating a raw plant based diet does.     And depending on the source you look at, researchers aren't in agreement about
Whether these compounds are particularly dangerous to humans at lower temperatures that don 't produce a char.     Humans have been eating cooked meat for a very long time, I'd have to imagine that evolution has adapted to the process.

Most charts I see show extra virgin olive oil at a lower smoke point than canola oil, anecdotally olive oil smokes a lot quicker than canola.  Again, researchers aren't in agreement with the dangers of heated oil.   

« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 06:55:31 PM by greaper007 »

dragoncar

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2014, 05:19:09 PM »
Non-stick doesn't reduce the carcinogenic risks you mentioned above, eating a raw plant based diet does.     And depending on the source you look at, researchers aren't in agreement about
Wether these compounds are particularly dangerous to humans at lower temperatures that don 't produce a char.     Humans have been eating cooked meat for a very long time, I'd have to imagine that evolution has adapted to the process.

Most charts I see show extra virgin olive oil at a lower smoke point than canola oil, anecdotally olive oil smokes a lot quicker than canola.  Again, researchers aren't in agreement with the dangers of heated oil.

I agree there's a lot up in the air about the "danger" of these different cooking methods.  Including Teflon, which is "not suspected of causing cancer" accoding to cancer.org.  So I don't factor potential carcinogen risk into my choice between cast iron and teflon.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2014, 05:32:10 PM »
I used to be a cast iron fail.  Then I just began doing the scrape and wipe system.  No water, ever.  Now I am in love with cast iron.  I'm also picky about what I cook in them, but I use one of them almost daily, and another of them a few times a week.  They both live on the stovetop.

Hash browns.  That is the only convincing I ever needed.     

Spork

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2014, 05:32:38 PM »
Non-stick doesn't reduce the carcinogenic risks you mentioned above, eating a raw plant based diet does.     And depending on the source you look at, researchers aren't in agreement about
Wether these compounds are particularly dangerous to humans at lower temperatures that don 't produce a char.     Humans have been eating cooked meat for a very long time, I'd have to imagine that evolution has adapted to the process.

Most charts I see show extra virgin olive oil at a lower smoke point than canola oil, anecdotally olive oil smokes a lot quicker than canola.  Again, researchers aren't in agreement with the dangers of heated oil.

I agree there's a lot up in the air about the "danger" of these different cooking methods.  Including Teflon, which is "not suspected of causing cancer" accoding to cancer.org.  So I don't factor potential carcinogen risk into my choice between cast iron and teflon.

...there's also some conjecture that regular aluminum has all sorts of health risks.  And, like you, I disregard pretty much all of these.  It boils down to (mostly) personal preference.  My wifey loves to cook and also has a bit of a crush on vintage stuff.  As a result we tend to have a pretty wide variety of everything, mostly purchased for pennies at thrift stores and estate sales.

Me: I get food.  I eat it.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2014, 05:56:28 PM »
What was that scene from Meet the Fockers... "The great taste is from the skillet, I never wash it."

So true.

greaper007

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2014, 07:01:20 PM »
Non-stick doesn't reduce the carcinogenic risks you mentioned above, eating a raw plant based diet does.     And depending on the source you look at, researchers aren't in agreement about
Wether these compounds are particularly dangerous to humans at lower temperatures that don 't produce a char.     Humans have been eating cooked meat for a very long time, I'd have to imagine that evolution has adapted to the process.

Most charts I see show extra virgin olive oil at a lower smoke point than canola oil, anecdotally olive oil smokes a lot quicker than canola.  Again, researchers aren't in agreement with the dangers of heated oil.

I agree there's a lot up in the air about the "danger" of these different cooking methods.  Including Teflon, which is "not suspected of causing cancer" accoding to cancer.org.  So I don't factor potential carcinogen risk into my choice between cast iron and teflon.

I've read that the chipped teflon scare came from a single 1984 study that I believe fed massive amounts of the substance to mice, I'm not sure.    Recently, I've just tried to follow the philosphy of "if my great great grandmother wouldn't recognize something as food, don't eat it."   I've extended that to my cooking and food storage devices.

My kitchen is starting to resemble something from an 1890s mining town.   I keep lots of homemade concoctions like mayonnaise, bbq and recycled beer yeast in mason jars and I have a huge, cheap collection of cast iron.   

Mostly though, I just like that it's durable.    I seemed to go through expensive teflon pans on a yearly basis.   

Have a good one.

153

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2014, 02:23:11 PM »
Thanks all for the replies! I didn't post and then ditch, promise! I've had the (mis)fortune of being scheduled every. single. snow day this year, so I've been playing hospital slumber party a lot the last two weeks.

Seems like I may just be up against a trial and error system, as it seems there are as many opinions out there as pans! I appreciate the suggestions though.

dragoncar- I'm glad someone else has found cast iron to be far more work than we've been led to believe! I'm not ready to give up hope yet, but I don't see it becoming an everyday pan, either.

m8547

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2014, 05:49:31 PM »
Non-stick doesn't reduce the carcinogenic risks you mentioned above, eating a raw plant based diet does.     And depending on the source you look at, researchers aren't in agreement about
Wether these compounds are particularly dangerous to humans at lower temperatures that don 't produce a char.     Humans have been eating cooked meat for a very long time, I'd have to imagine that evolution has adapted to the process.

Most charts I see show extra virgin olive oil at a lower smoke point than canola oil, anecdotally olive oil smokes a lot quicker than canola.  Again, researchers aren't in agreement with the dangers of heated oil.

I agree there's a lot up in the air about the "danger" of these different cooking methods.  Including Teflon, which is "not suspected of causing cancer" accoding to cancer.org.  So I don't factor potential carcinogen risk into my choice between cast iron and teflon.

Teflon, on its own is almost inert. But who knows what they use to get it to stick to the metal (it's non-stick, after all), or what happens if you accidentally overheat it and it breaks down.

In fact, there's a section about that on the wikipedia page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene#Safety Even if it doesn't cause cancer, it doesn't sound like it's good for you if you burn it. Sure, most people avoid burning their teflon pans, but accidents can happen.

Finally, here's a handy oil health vs smoke point chart. http://www.eatingrules.com/Cooking-Oil-Comparison-Chart_02-22-12.pdf

dragoncar

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2014, 07:32:17 PM »
Non-stick doesn't reduce the carcinogenic risks you mentioned above, eating a raw plant based diet does.     And depending on the source you look at, researchers aren't in agreement about
Wether these compounds are particularly dangerous to humans at lower temperatures that don 't produce a char.     Humans have been eating cooked meat for a very long time, I'd have to imagine that evolution has adapted to the process.

Most charts I see show extra virgin olive oil at a lower smoke point than canola oil, anecdotally olive oil smokes a lot quicker than canola.  Again, researchers aren't in agreement with the dangers of heated oil.

I agree there's a lot up in the air about the "danger" of these different cooking methods.  Including Teflon, which is "not suspected of causing cancer" accoding to cancer.org.  So I don't factor potential carcinogen risk into my choice between cast iron and teflon.

Teflon, on its own is almost inert. But who knows what they use to get it to stick to the metal (it's non-stick, after all), or what happens if you accidentally overheat it and it breaks down.

In fact, there's a section about that on the wikipedia page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytetrafluoroethylene#Safety Even if it doesn't cause cancer, it doesn't sound like it's good for you if you burn it. Sure, most people avoid burning their teflon pans, but accidents can happen.

Finally, here's a handy oil health vs smoke point chart. http://www.eatingrules.com/Cooking-Oil-Comparison-Chart_02-22-12.pdf

AFAIK, teflon is adhered mechanically (think velcro)

Jack

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2014, 09:02:03 PM »
I do have a steel wok because I'm too cheap to buy a cast iron one until this one dies or I need to stirfry on the wood stove.

Carbon steel, right? If so, that's good -- woks are supposed to be carbon steel.

I don't have a clue; the thrift store where I got it did not indicate much about it at all. :-)

It looks a lot like this one, however: http://cdn.blisstree.com/files/2009/03/carbon-steel-wok-michelle.jpg

The choices are carbon or stainless. If it tries to rust, it's carbon. ; )

When done right, your kitchen will serve some of the best steaks in your city that night, and they won't cost you $90 a piece.

No matter how you cook a steak, unless it's been dry aged properly it'll never taste as good as a quality restaurant steak.

So why not dry age it yourself, then?

Rural

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #63 on: January 28, 2014, 03:40:16 AM »
I do have a steel wok because I'm too cheap to buy a cast iron one until this one dies or I need to stirfry on the wood stove.

Carbon steel, right? If so, that's good -- woks are supposed to be carbon steel.

I don't have a clue; the thrift store where I got it did not indicate much about it at all. :-)

It looks a lot like this one, however: http://cdn.blisstree.com/files/2009/03/carbon-steel-wok-michelle.jpg

The choices are carbon or stainless. If it tries to rust, it's carbon. ; )


Tries, nothing. It's carbon, then. By the way, a soak for a couple of hours with a dilute vinegar solution in the wok will remove the rust without any noticeable effect on the nonstick-ish properties of the steel.

GuitarStv

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #64 on: January 28, 2014, 06:37:50 AM »
So why not dry age it yourself, then?

I've contemplated this . . . it seems like quite a difficult procedure.

It's difficult to get beef with the right fat content, difficult to keep the storage area at exactly the right temperature range, I'm not entirely sure how to tell apart the beneficial fungus from the bad mold that grows on meat, and I don't usually have enough space in the fridge to age a large enough chunk of meat that it would be worth the while after trimming the exterior off.

Which is really too bad . . . because dry aged beef is something else as far as flavour and texture.  It's like your beef ate some beef and then gained all the things you like about steak while losing all of the bad stuff.

Fuck.  I really want a proper steak now!  I wish I could find a butcher that sold dry aged stuff around here (although it would have to be a rare and expensive treat).

sheepstache

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2014, 08:56:38 AM »
Good god, am I the only one using stainless steel?

sheepstache

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2014, 09:02:15 AM »
Brainwave: The "seasoning" that comes up in bits acts like one of those parasites that controls the host.  Once infected, the victim can not shut up about how amazing cast iron is.

As you might have guessed, I have a spouse who proselytizes about how I need to use his cast iron pan for things all the time.

Russ

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #67 on: January 28, 2014, 09:04:36 AM »
Good god, am I the only one using stainless steel?

I use stainless for *almost* everything, just keep the seasoned carbon steel for super high heat stuff plus pancakes/crepes and fried eggs (still do scrambled in the SS)

madage

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #68 on: January 28, 2014, 09:05:16 AM »
Good god, am I the only one using stainless steel?

My wife and I really love our stainless steel skillets. We use them all the time for browning meat and sautéing vegetables.

Spork

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #69 on: January 28, 2014, 09:06:49 AM »
Good god, am I the only one using stainless steel?

Nope.  We have a little bit of everything.

sheepstache

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #70 on: January 28, 2014, 09:27:02 AM »
Okay, I was just confused by the apparent false dichotomy of teflon vs. cast iron. 

I grew up with teflon and then stainless was a revelation because you can scrape it clean.  And it cooks like a normal pan with no crazy restrictions.  I just love everybody saying 'just add a lot of fat and things won't stick' because that's, like, what you do for every sort of pan.

</hater>

Jack

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #71 on: January 28, 2014, 07:30:34 PM »
Good god, am I the only one using stainless steel?

Nah, I've got 3 skillets: one each of cast iron, tri-ply stainless and non-teflon ceramic nonstick (mostly because I haven't gotten the hang of eggs in the cast iron). They all have their place, and they're all good for different things.

For example, if I wanted to cook a steak straight up I'd do it on cast iron ('cause heating even the tri-ply up that much would threaten to delaminate it). However, if I wanted to have steak au poivre (with a pan sauce), then I'd do it on the stainless.

Obviously, you also want tri-ply stainless for the saute pans and saucepans (except for the stock pot, where you want cheap aluminum or stainless, and the dutch oven, where you want enameled cast iron).

(I choose cookware based on Alton Brown and/or Cook's Illustrated recommendations, not necessarily mustachianism...)

Rural

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #72 on: January 29, 2014, 05:38:24 AM »
Good god, am I the only one using stainless steel?

I own a stainless fry pan, but I haven't used it since we moved in May. It's a 12 inch, so it holds more than my original 9 inch cast iron pan, but I've just been making do and cooking two batches in the smaller cast iron by preference over using it. Now that I have a 12 inch cast iron (Christmas present), I'll get rid of the stainless.

I do have stainless saucepans, though, and use them regularly. I also have an enameled stock pot which sees more use than my cast iron Dutch oven (which is just too heavy for me to lift safely when it's full of hot liquids).

SethBahookey

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #73 on: January 29, 2014, 07:50:55 AM »
Wow. After reading through all of this I'm really surprised I haven't run into any problems. My fiance and I got a cast iron skillet for Christmas this past year and we love it! I have just followed the instructions on the box since I've gotten it and no problems...

Basically it says once you are done cooking use light soap to clean it out. Then take a little bit of vegetable oil and lightly coat it. Throw it in the oven and turn it onto 300 degrees to preheat. Once it reaches that temperature open up the oven and let it cool off and that's it!

I'm not sure if I'm missing some sort of "seasoning" aspect to my pan, but so far it works very well. Stuff doesn't burn or stick to it, and it's been a good experience.

Am I missing something here?

Jack

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #74 on: January 29, 2014, 09:28:45 AM »
Wow. After reading through all of this I'm really surprised I haven't run into any problems. My fiance and I got a cast iron skillet for Christmas this past year and we love it! I have just followed the instructions on the box since I've gotten it and no problems...

Basically it says once you are done cooking use light soap to clean it out. Then take a little bit of vegetable oil and lightly coat it. Throw it in the oven and turn it onto 300 degrees to preheat. Once it reaches that temperature open up the oven and let it cool off and that's it!

I'm not sure if I'm missing some sort of "seasoning" aspect to my pan, but so far it works very well. Stuff doesn't burn or stick to it, and it's been a good experience.

Am I missing something here?

What you're missing is that your "soap, oil, heat" procedure is essentially re-seasoning it every use.

SethBahookey

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #75 on: January 29, 2014, 11:13:58 AM »
Wow. After reading through all of this I'm really surprised I haven't run into any problems. My fiance and I got a cast iron skillet for Christmas this past year and we love it! I have just followed the instructions on the box since I've gotten it and no problems...

Basically it says once you are done cooking use light soap to clean it out. Then take a little bit of vegetable oil and lightly coat it. Throw it in the oven and turn it onto 300 degrees to preheat. Once it reaches that temperature open up the oven and let it cool off and that's it!

I'm not sure if I'm missing some sort of "seasoning" aspect to my pan, but so far it works very well. Stuff doesn't burn or stick to it, and it's been a good experience.

Am I missing something here?

What you're missing is that your "soap, oil, heat" procedure is essentially re-seasoning it every use.

Is that ok? The whole procedure takes less than 10 min.

Russ

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #76 on: January 29, 2014, 11:17:02 AM »
yeah sure as long as you don't mind doing it

SisterX

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #77 on: January 29, 2014, 11:45:53 AM »
I've found the best way to cook eggs in cast iron is to add butter and let the pan get HOT.  Once you see the butter browning, pour or crack in the eggs.  They never stick like this, and then I just wipe the pan out with a kitchen cloth.   

I think cast iron can seem finicky when you aren't used to it.  There is a bit of a learning curve.  However, even our expensive ($100+) Teflon pan only lasted about 3 years before the coating started to chip.  I hated not being able to use a metal spatula or cut things in the pan, and it just never seemed to brown things as well as the iron did.  One of my iron skillets is older than I am and still in beautiful shape.  My other skillets are who knows how old, and were bought for $2-5 each at Goodwill.  I even have a 3-legged dutch oven that I've used while camping.

And here is the heart of the matter.  OP (and others) keep saying that cast iron is "finicky", but fail to realize that Teflon is even more so.  You're not supposed to use heat that's higher than "medium" on Teflon, they wear out FAST, you can only use certain utensils on them, you're not supposed to put them int he dishwasher, and even so they off-gas and quickly start chipping off into your food....

Teflon blows.  Cast iron rocks.  End of story.

luigi49

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #78 on: January 29, 2014, 12:37:04 PM »
I've found the best way to cook eggs in cast iron is to add butter and let the pan get HOT.  Once you see the butter browning, pour or crack in the eggs.  They never stick like this, and then I just wipe the pan out with a kitchen cloth.   

I think cast iron can seem finicky when you aren't used to it.  There is a bit of a learning curve.  However, even our expensive ($100+) Teflon pan only lasted about 3 years before the coating started to chip.  I hated not being able to use a metal spatula or cut things in the pan, and it just never seemed to brown things as well as the iron did.  One of my iron skillets is older than I am and still in beautiful shape.  My other skillets are who knows how old, and were bought for $2-5 each at Goodwill.  I even have a 3-legged dutch oven that I've used while camping.

And here is the heart of the matter.  OP (and others) keep saying that cast iron is "finicky", but fail to realize that Teflon is even more so.  You're not supposed to use heat that's higher than "medium" on Teflon, they wear out FAST, you can only use certain utensils on them, you're not supposed to put them int he dishwasher, and even so they off-gas and quickly start chipping off into your food....

Teflon blows.  Cast iron rocks.  End of story.

+2

dragoncar

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #79 on: January 29, 2014, 04:46:45 PM »
I've found the best way to cook eggs in cast iron is to add butter and let the pan get HOT.  Once you see the butter browning, pour or crack in the eggs.  They never stick like this, and then I just wipe the pan out with a kitchen cloth.   

I think cast iron can seem finicky when you aren't used to it.  There is a bit of a learning curve.  However, even our expensive ($100+) Teflon pan only lasted about 3 years before the coating started to chip.  I hated not being able to use a metal spatula or cut things in the pan, and it just never seemed to brown things as well as the iron did.  One of my iron skillets is older than I am and still in beautiful shape.  My other skillets are who knows how old, and were bought for $2-5 each at Goodwill.  I even have a 3-legged dutch oven that I've used while camping.

And here is the heart of the matter.  OP (and others) keep saying that cast iron is "finicky", but fail to realize that Teflon is even more so.  You're not supposed to use heat that's higher than "medium" on Teflon, they wear out FAST, you can only use certain utensils on them, you're not supposed to put them int he dishwasher, and even so they off-gas and quickly start chipping off into your food....

Teflon blows.  Cast iron rocks.  End of story.

Are you kidding me?  You put cast iron in the dishwasher?  I may be lucky, but I've never had teflon wear out either.

Teflon eggs:  Crack eggs into pan.  Turn on heat.   Wait.  Remove with plastic (not metal) spatula.  Elapsed time: 2 min.

Cast Iron eggs: Oil pan.  Heat pan until it is very hot.  Crack eggs into pan.  Wait.  Remove with metal (not plastic) spatula.  Wash with a little soap and water.  Re-oil pan.  Re-heat pan.  Elapsed time: 15 min.

edit:  Paid for in part by Dupont.

Capsu78

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #80 on: January 29, 2014, 06:21:52 PM »
I will throw a twist in here:  I have a decent set of both.  Stainless for everyday use, stored in the kitchen.  Cast iron stores out in the garage.  Cast Iron gets used on a whim- outdoors over open fire, on the BBQ or sometimes in the kitchen. 
One of my biggest decision trees is I am uncomfortable using my cast iron near my granite counter tops.... When I use it indoors, I am pretty standoffish about anybody else handling it in the kitchen.
I also think every good kitchen has access to a real steel wok which I use for anything from stirfry to deep frying french fries.
Finally I have a black rectangular pizza tray about my age that was used in a coal fired oven in the NE Pennsylvania tavern my mother was raised above.  (Google Old Forge Pizza)  It is known in my family as the "magic pizza tray" and I never use anything to clean it other than water... It will be passed down when I hang up my cooking apron... none of my stainless is in the same category. 

luigi49

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #81 on: January 29, 2014, 06:41:09 PM »
I've found the best way to cook eggs in cast iron is to add butter and let the pan get HOT.  Once you see the butter browning, pour or crack in the eggs.  They never stick like this, and then I just wipe the pan out with a kitchen cloth.   

I think cast iron can seem finicky when you aren't used to it.  There is a bit of a learning curve.  However, even our expensive ($100+) Teflon pan only lasted about 3 years before the coating started to chip.  I hated not being able to use a metal spatula or cut things in the pan, and it just never seemed to brown things as well as the iron did.  One of my iron skillets is older than I am and still in beautiful shape.  My other skillets are who knows how old, and were bought for $2-5 each at Goodwill.  I even have a 3-legged dutch oven that I've used while camping.

And here is the heart of the matter.  OP (and others) keep saying that cast iron is "finicky", but fail to realize that Teflon is even more so.  You're not supposed to use heat that's higher than "medium" on Teflon, they wear out FAST, you can only use certain utensils on them, you're not supposed to put them int he dishwasher, and even so they off-gas and quickly start chipping off into your food....

Teflon blows.  Cast iron rocks.  End of story.

Are you kidding me?  You put cast iron in the dishwasher?  I may be lucky, but I've never had teflon wear out either.

Teflon eggs:  Crack eggs into pan.  Turn on heat.   Wait.  Remove with plastic (not metal) spatula.  Elapsed time: 2 min.

Cast Iron eggs: Oil pan.  Heat pan until it is very hot.  Crack eggs into pan.  Wait.  Remove with metal (not plastic) spatula.  Wash with a little soap and water.  Re-oil pan.  Re-heat pan.  Elapsed time: 15 min.

edit:  Paid for in part by Dupont.

No washing , reoil or reheat required.  Done after cooking eggs.  Just wipe with paper towel

dragoncar

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #82 on: January 29, 2014, 08:54:58 PM »
I've found the best way to cook eggs in cast iron is to add butter and let the pan get HOT.  Once you see the butter browning, pour or crack in the eggs.  They never stick like this, and then I just wipe the pan out with a kitchen cloth.   

I think cast iron can seem finicky when you aren't used to it.  There is a bit of a learning curve.  However, even our expensive ($100+) Teflon pan only lasted about 3 years before the coating started to chip.  I hated not being able to use a metal spatula or cut things in the pan, and it just never seemed to brown things as well as the iron did.  One of my iron skillets is older than I am and still in beautiful shape.  My other skillets are who knows how old, and were bought for $2-5 each at Goodwill.  I even have a 3-legged dutch oven that I've used while camping.

And here is the heart of the matter.  OP (and others) keep saying that cast iron is "finicky", but fail to realize that Teflon is even more so.  You're not supposed to use heat that's higher than "medium" on Teflon, they wear out FAST, you can only use certain utensils on them, you're not supposed to put them int he dishwasher, and even so they off-gas and quickly start chipping off into your food....

Teflon blows.  Cast iron rocks.  End of story.

Are you kidding me?  You put cast iron in the dishwasher?  I may be lucky, but I've never had teflon wear out either.

Teflon eggs:  Crack eggs into pan.  Turn on heat.   Wait.  Remove with plastic (not metal) spatula.  Elapsed time: 2 min.

Cast Iron eggs: Oil pan.  Heat pan until it is very hot.  Crack eggs into pan.  Wait.  Remove with metal (not plastic) spatula.  Wash with a little soap and water.  Re-oil pan.  Re-heat pan.  Elapsed time: 15 min.

edit:  Paid for in part by Dupont.

No washing , reoil or reheat required.  Done after cooking eggs.  Just wipe with paper towel

Maybe for you... Many above have added steps to the procedure

minimalist

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #83 on: January 29, 2014, 09:29:14 PM »
After using my Lodge cast iron pan for a few months without much soap and coating it with oil afterwards, I've been able to almost treat it like a normal pan (light soap, water, air dry) while it maintains its non-stick qualities. My cast iron pan is my most used pan and I know it will last a lifetime.

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2014, 10:59:16 AM »
I've found the best way to cook eggs in cast iron is to add butter and let the pan get HOT.  Once you see the butter browning, pour or crack in the eggs.  They never stick like this, and then I just wipe the pan out with a kitchen cloth.   

I think cast iron can seem finicky when you aren't used to it.  There is a bit of a learning curve.  However, even our expensive ($100+) Teflon pan only lasted about 3 years before the coating started to chip.  I hated not being able to use a metal spatula or cut things in the pan, and it just never seemed to brown things as well as the iron did.  One of my iron skillets is older than I am and still in beautiful shape.  My other skillets are who knows how old, and were bought for $2-5 each at Goodwill.  I even have a 3-legged dutch oven that I've used while camping.

And here is the heart of the matter.  OP (and others) keep saying that cast iron is "finicky", but fail to realize that Teflon is even more so.  You're not supposed to use heat that's higher than "medium" on Teflon, they wear out FAST, you can only use certain utensils on them, you're not supposed to put them int he dishwasher, and even so they off-gas and quickly start chipping off into your food....

Teflon blows.  Cast iron rocks.  End of story.

Are you kidding me?  You put cast iron in the dishwasher?  I may be lucky, but I've never had teflon wear out either.

Teflon eggs:  Crack eggs into pan.  Turn on heat.   Wait.  Remove with plastic (not metal) spatula.  Elapsed time: 2 min.

Cast Iron eggs: Oil pan.  Heat pan until it is very hot.  Crack eggs into pan.  Wait.  Remove with metal (not plastic) spatula.  Wash with a little soap and water.  Re-oil pan.  Re-heat pan.  Elapsed time: 15 min.

edit:  Paid for in part by Dupont.

Of course I don't put them in the dishwasher.  But I don't have to baby them through oh-so-carefully washing them out, either, to make sure not to take off the coating as I do with Teflon.  (Which I only have because my MIL gifted them to us.  I was actually sort of pissed off about the Teflon, as stainless steel is so much better and longer lasting.) 
We do a mix of cleaning methods depending on what food was cooked, although never with soap, and re-season about once a year just to make sure they're still good.  Like others have said, ours live on the stovetop and get used frequently.  However, stainless steel and the ceramic-coated dutch oven get used frequently as well.  My husband is the only one to cook in the Teflon pans, I never do.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2014, 11:58:21 AM »
I think that another aspect of cooking with cast iron is that you need a really rigid spatula.  Whether it's metal or plastic.  Things used to seem to stick, but really all I needed was a more solid flipper.  The current one I use is a one-piece plastic one that is super rigid.  I can scrape the pan with it.   

Tami1982

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #86 on: February 02, 2014, 12:33:06 AM »
This may be strange, but I recently purchased the Lodge 5 piece set that was wicked cheap on amazon and I've found the easiest way to remove items, including this morning's scrambled eggs and cheese, is with a silicone spatula.  Everything comes out SO clean that way. 

Give it a shot, and see how it works for you:)

dragoncar

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #87 on: February 02, 2014, 04:11:14 PM »
This may be strange, but I recently purchased the Lodge 5 piece set that was wicked cheap on amazon and I've found the easiest way to remove items, including this morning's scrambled eggs and cheese, is with a silicone spatula.  Everything comes out SO clean that way. 

Give it a shot, and see how it works for you:)

I'm imagining it works like a food eraser?

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #88 on: February 03, 2014, 05:35:24 PM »
Good god, am I the only one using stainless steel?

I'm surprised it took that long into the thread!

I cook almost everything with either a 10" or 12" stainless skillet, or an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven (like Le Creuset).

I have a set of anodized aluminum cookware that's super tough (Circulon brand) but I don't use it much anymore.

dachs

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #89 on: July 01, 2016, 04:03:12 PM »
I just got my first carbon steel pan this week (similar to cast iron) and I'm wondering why isn't everyone using those pans? You don't have to clean them in the sink (just wipe with a towel or maybe some water), food sticks less than in every Teflon pan I've used so far (doesn't stick at all), it gets incredibly hot for sealing meat, I can put it in the oven with no problems and on top of all that my pan was like 20€ and will probably last a lifetime. What's the downside? Is the seasoning somehow toxic? Or is everyone seduced by marketing and that's why people buy teflon pans?

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #90 on: July 01, 2016, 07:43:41 PM »
I just got my first carbon steel pan this week (similar to cast iron) and I'm wondering why isn't everyone using those pans? You don't have to clean them in the sink (just wipe with a towel or maybe some water), food sticks less than in every Teflon pan I've used so far (doesn't stick at all), it gets incredibly hot for sealing meat, I can put it in the oven with no problems and on top of all that my pan was like 20€ and will probably last a lifetime. What's the downside? Is the seasoning somehow toxic? Or is everyone seduced by marketing and that's why people buy teflon pans?


I have one carbon steel wok, but I hardly use it, even for stir-fry, because the cast iron is so much better. I do like the carbon steel, though, and if I'd never used cast iron, I'd probably think it was the best thing ever. I also have a big stainless fry pan that I like, and if my husband isn't around to lift the big cast iron for me, that's mostly what I use for large batches (a back and shoulder injury has put my 12" cast iron out of my league, but I can still handle the 9"). I don't own anything Teflon.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #91 on: July 02, 2016, 12:13:12 AM »
When done right, your kitchen will serve some of the best steaks in your city that night, and they won't cost you $90 a piece.

No matter how you cook a steak, unless it's been dry aged properly it'll never taste as good as a quality restaurant steak.

Mmmm...dry aged for 26 days in a dedicated, humidity controlled refridgerator that's been stacked with Himalayan salt... I'm so excited for the 4th.

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #92 on: July 02, 2016, 01:44:28 PM »
I gave all my cast iron away to a buddy. Too heavy, takes too long to cool down, hard to keep seasoned...I bought a couple of all clad outlet pans (layered stainless), and have one cheap non stick for eggs, crepes and pancakes. The all clad will last forever, and when the cheap non stick wears out, I'll just get another cheap one.

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #93 on: July 02, 2016, 02:36:47 PM »
If you think your cast iron pan is too heavy, go to some garage sales/estate sales and buy some old pans.  The older ones are MUCH lighter and are honed smooth. 

Rural

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #94 on: July 02, 2016, 03:23:47 PM »
If you think your cast iron pan is too heavy, go to some garage sales/estate sales and buy some old pans.  The older ones are MUCH lighter and are honed smooth.


 All true, this, and that's another reason I can handle the 9 inch. It was my grandmother's, maybe her mother's before that, so at least 50-80 years old. It's hard to find the big sizes in the antiques, though.




zolotiyeruki

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #95 on: July 03, 2016, 08:23:51 AM »
I gave all my cast iron away to a buddy. Too heavy, takes too long to cool down, hard to keep seasoned...I bought a couple of all clad outlet pans (layered stainless), and have one cheap non stick for eggs, crepes and pancakes. The all clad will last forever, and when the cheap non stick wears out, I'll just get another cheap one.
For me, the "too long to cool down" is a feature--it keeps the food hot longer when serving it.  The weight gives me a bit more exercise.  I'm with you on the seasoning, though--I can't seem to keep a nice black layer on ours--every time we cook eggs (and they stick :( ) the seasoning comes off when I have to clean the pan.

Crepes cook wonderfully in cast iron--just a bit of butter when you start, and you're good to go.

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #96 on: July 05, 2016, 07:53:11 AM »
When I moved out, my mother went through the kitchen cupboards to find stuff she didn't need that I could have and found two cast iron frying pans. I think my parents got them as a wedding present and had never used them. I was all "OMG OLD TIMEY WARM FUZZIES" (because I'd been reading a lot of American pioneer stuff at the time) and pounced on them. A few years later I wouldn't go back to non-stick frying pans but with some caveats.

My favourite thing about cast iron pans is that it's quite hard to really damage them. I grew up with 100% non-stick pans and we were constantly told not to take pasta out of them with a fork to test a piece in case we scratched it (so had to chase bits of pasta round with a wooden spoon) and to be careful when we put them away or else they'd scratch and so on. You can use whatever utensil you want with a cast iron pan. You can stick it in the oven, on the table, on any kind of hob. They'll always survive, or at least only need a clean and a wipe with oil before they're ready to go again. They really are BIFL.

When I first got them I read the entire internet about the seasoning thing. At first I was terrified to do it wrong in case I ruined them forever, and was majorly confused about the difference between a well-seasoned pan and a dirty one. What I discovered was that the entire internet gets its knickers in a twist about the precious seasoning. Our regime is the following:
- Preheat pan PROPERLY before cooking (this makes a huge difference and it took me a while to cotton onto it. Cast iron takes much longer than non-stick pans to reach the desired heat). I preheat the pan dry and then add my oil, as otherwise I end up with oil smoking everywhere or rushing to cook before the pan is hot enough.
- Cook in it. We only use it for frying/searing-type things, like eggs, bacon, fish, halloumi, tofu... We rarely do vegetables in it. That's just the way we cook. Some things use barely a drop of oil, others use a big splash - depends what we're cooking.
- As soon as it is dished up, take it off the heat and use the wooden spatula (we don't own any metal ones, just because we don't) to give it a quick scrape to stop any crudlets from burning on.
- After dinner, wipe out with kitchen roll. (This is my biggest problem with cast iron, that we end up using a lot of kitchen roll.)
- Look at it. If it looks clean, put it away. If not, pour in a teaspoon to a tablespoon of cleaning salt and scrub again. Rinse out with cold water (don't scrub with water, just rinse) and dry on the hob.
- Look at it. Are there still crudlets? (Very rare, only if we've fucked up in some way.) Scrub with wire wool and rinse with water until clean. Dry on the hob.

We don't have a dishwasher so have to do all of our washing up by hand anyway, so this isn't any harder then washing up a non-stick pan. I like that even if I went out and forgot and left something cooking on the hob all day so it burnt into a charred layer across the whole pan, I could actually clean it up again and it would be fine. I'll never need to throw them away because they chipped or whatever. I can do anything I like to them and they'll always bounce back.

I'll admit, though, that cooking efficiency is not the thing I get most from the cast iron pans. It is BIFL-ness and old timey warm fuzzies. Those, however, are priceless.

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #97 on: July 05, 2016, 08:25:06 AM »
I do a lot of cooking at work (I'm a firefighter), and have learned a few tricks from some crusty old-timers about cast iron. First rule, don't wash with soap, and avoid water if you can. To clean cast iron after use, simply use a clean rag or paper towel and some coarse salt and scrub away. The salt acts as an abrasive to remove food, while leaving the seasoning (grease). To season, heat up the pan and drop a spoonful of bacon grease in. Bacon grease adds great flavor and once cool imparts a nice non-stick coating. To fry an egg, add a small amount of olive oil or other vegetable oil to the pan and swirl around. I frequently cook fried eggs in cast iron with no sticking. Cast iron is not the right tool for the job if you plan on making high liquid content food, i.e. soup, beans, sauces, etc. Also, highly acidic food like marinara sauce will remove all the seasoning and make your sauce taste weird.  Cast iron works best for pan frying, or for cornbread.

Let me ask this:  why do you use cast iron when it has so many restrictions?  None of what you said sound like a benefit to me.  Is this just for people who are scared of teflon?

I use cast iron because the heaviness keeps foods from burning, , it just cooks better.

Ive never been successful in getting it seasoned and that is ok, I wash my cast iron skillets with water and dry them immediately.

Over on the Simple Living Network we had a long discussion of seasoning cast iron and one of the problems is that cheaper, newer cast iron is harder to season. Also, an article said one should not use plastic spatula with cast iron.

I have my mother in law's skillets, but rhey are not Lodge brand, they are some off brand.

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #98 on: July 05, 2016, 08:51:04 AM »
I mentioned it once a while back, but I'll mention it again.... We just DO NOT BABY ours.  We scrape on them.  We wash them with soap and water.  We don't use expensive oils to season them.  We just use them all the time and re-wipe with cheap generic tallow-based fat when it looks a little dry.

For clean up, probably the biggest deal is to deglaze the pan.  While it is hot, get your food out of it and pour water into it.  Let it sit while you eat.  When you return to it, it will all just come right off.

Rural

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Re: Cast iron reseasoning
« Reply #99 on: July 05, 2016, 03:24:17 PM »
I'll second the no babying. Cook everything in it (yes, including tomatoes), deglaze hot and let dry, wipe after eating if there are any puddles of either oil or water left, done. I use whatever spatula is currently clean, including wood, bamboo, metal, and plastic, but I'll admit my plastic ones are rated at 500 degrees. The iron can take higher heat than regular plastic spatulas, so there's a slight chance of melting - that's the only danger with plastic. Metal most often because I like them best and they go through the dishwasher without complaining.