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(Men's Health)   The four rules for using and not wrecking cast iron pans, the greatest gift to cooking since heat itself   (menshealth.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, cooking  
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7801 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Jun 2014 at 10:35 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-19 10:09:03 AM  
it's cast iron, you can't really ruin it permanently.  Well, I guess you could, but it takes some doing.   You can damage the seasoning, but that is easily fixed.

Chips and dings?  The surface was never really smooth to begin with.
 
2014-06-19 10:41:48 AM  
 
2014-06-19 10:43:11 AM  

EvilEgg: it's cast iron, you can't really ruin it permanently.  Well, I guess you could, but it takes some doing.   You can damage the seasoning, but that is easily fixed.

Chips and dings?  The surface was never really smooth to begin with.


after about ten years, my two main cast iron skillets have gone from rough to smoother than glass(and about 10x more slippery when oiled).

when you get a good season on, the carbon builds up to the point where you need a sandblaster to do any real damage to it.

hell, you can use soap on them without any fear(might not want to let them soak, that makes them funky). any professional kitchen that serves people and uses cast iron will do this.
 
2014-06-19 10:44:50 AM  

EvilEgg: it's cast iron, you can't really ruin it permanently.  Well, I guess you could, but it takes some doing.   You can damage the seasoning, but that is easily fixed.

Chips and dings?  The surface was never really smooth to begin with.


Back in the olden days, they used to make some pretty smooth cast-iron pans.  Unfortunately, you can't find a new one anywhere near as nice.  Fortunately, you CAN find nice, old ones used.  Often cheaper than poor-quality new ones...
 
2014-06-19 10:45:47 AM  
The only problem I've found with my cast iron stuff is that if I don't use it for a long enough period of time, the oil inside goes stale.  Then you have to wash it out lightly, heat dry it on the stove and re-season it again.

It's a process and it's time consuming to use cast iron, but dammit does food just seem to taste better coming out of them.
 
2014-06-19 10:46:30 AM  
I walked into the kitchen last night and found my cast iron skillet in the sink.

IN THE SUCKING FINK!!!
 
2014-06-19 10:46:42 AM  
I first read that as "cast iron pants"

Changes a bit the meaning of getting a good seasoning.
 
2014-06-19 10:49:29 AM  
I've had an inch of oil in my pan for like a month now because I'm lazy. Am I going to have problems when I finally dump that shiat out?
 
2014-06-19 10:56:56 AM  
Cast iron ain't that great, it does some things well, it does other things poorly -- due mostly to uneven heating.  I much prefer stainless steel for pan frying things.  Fast heat up, and no hotspots unlike cast iron.   Also, it's a perfectly good non-stick surface if you know what you're doing.
 
2014-06-19 10:58:11 AM  
I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.
 
2014-06-19 10:58:18 AM  

CheekyMonkey: fark those 4 "rules".  Here's all you need to know:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique- fo r-seasoning-cast-iron/


Ug. Any good points she had are lost on me when she keeps using phrases like "organic bacon." As opposed to what? Is there a form of inorganic bacon?

(Yes, I realize organic can be used as a marketing term. But of you are claiming a scientific method of seasoning your cast iron, use scientific terms.)
 
2014-06-19 10:58:44 AM  
I had a roommate put a cast iron pan in the farking dishwasher.
 
2014-06-19 11:02:39 AM  

mcmnky: CheekyMonkey: fark those 4 "rules".  Here's all you need to know:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique- fo r-seasoning-cast-iron/

Ug. Any good points she had are lost on me when she keeps using phrases like "organic bacon." As opposed to what? Is there a form of inorganic bacon?

(Yes, I realize organic can be used as a marketing term. But of you are claiming a scientific method of seasoning your cast iron, use scientific terms.)


She is clearly instructing you to use bacon from only carbon-based hogs.  Silicon-based hog bacon can permanently damage your cast iron pan.
 
2014-06-19 11:03:37 AM  

mcmnky: I first read that as "cast iron pants"

Changes a bit the meaning of getting a good seasoning.


img.fark.net
 
2014-06-19 11:04:02 AM  
Jesus that site was unbearable.
 
2014-06-19 11:05:18 AM  
Just wipe it after you use it. Jesus.
 
2014-06-19 11:07:04 AM  

Jaden Smith First of His Name: I've had an inch of oil in my pan for like a month now because I'm lazy. Am I going to have problems when I finally dump that shiat out?


The oil will go stale, like I said above.  You'll have to hand wash it with some Dawn, then set it on the stove and heat it up to dry it out.  Once it's completely dry, rub a thin coating of oil around the inside, just enough to make it glisten.  Then store it someplace where it won't get messed up.  I stick mine inside the oven when I'm not using them.
 
2014-06-19 11:07:05 AM  

ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.


I use a grill brush scraper on my grill pan. Also, I figure if I'm around 450+ degrees nothing is going to contaminate the food I'm cooking.
 
2014-06-19 11:07:54 AM  

EvilEgg: it's cast iron, you can't really ruin it permanently.  Well, I guess you could, but it takes some doing.   You can damage the seasoning, but that is easily fixed.

Chips and dings?  The surface was never really smooth to begin with.


CheekyMonkey: fark those 4 "rules".  Here's all you need to know:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique- fo r-seasoning-cast-iron/


Pretty much all you need to know.  If you chip or scratch it, or if a rust spot starts to show, just scour it down and properly re-season it.

I've learned recently that a proper seasoning also works for more than just your cast iron.  Have one of those non-stick coated baking pans where the coating has started to chip off?  Pull out the steel wool, scrub off the rest of the coating and then season it like you would an iron pan.  You get your baking pan back plus any future damage can be fixed by another simple re-seasoning.
 
2014-06-19 11:10:49 AM  
I wash mine and dry with paper towels, then turn upside down over a lit burner. Light coating of canola oil, heat over bunker, paper towel dry and store it in the oven. Seems to work for me.
 
2014-06-19 11:14:13 AM  
That's entertainment?
 
2014-06-19 11:18:30 AM  

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.

I use a grill brush scraper on my grill pan. Also, I figure if I'm around 450+ degrees nothing is going to contaminate the food I'm cooking.


I'm not worried about the contamination, it's the actual burning of the material that's annoying, what with the smoke and the smell and whatnot.
My pans are not as smooth as I think they should be though, so I may need to strip Lodge's factory season and redo it myself.
 
2014-06-19 11:18:36 AM  

CheekyMonkey: fark those 4 "rules".  Here's all you need to know:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique- fo r-seasoning-cast-iron/


Anyone who has gone through this entire process?

How long does it last before you have to re-season it?
 
2014-06-19 11:25:01 AM  
Has the person who wrote this article ever even  used cast iron?  What an idiot.
 
2014-06-19 11:26:06 AM  

ChaosStar: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.

I use a grill brush scraper on my grill pan. Also, I figure if I'm around 450+ degrees nothing is going to contaminate the food I'm cooking.

I'm not worried about the contamination, it's the actual burning of the material that's annoying, what with the smoke and the smell and whatnot.
My pans are not as smooth as I think they should be though, so I may need to strip Lodge's factory season and redo it myself.


I've found Lodge's factory seasoning to be weak at best. the seasoning in my non enameled C.I. dutch oven flaked off into a stew I was making due to the steam. I ended up using sand paper to remove the loose seasoning and re-season it with lard. It's held up nicely since I did that. I've had to re-season a couple other Lodge pans because the seasoning flaked off.

Also, they don't make their pans smooth. They have a texture to them, so you won't get a smooth surface easily. I've heard of people using a grinder to smooth the surface, but I'd rather use patience and bacon to smooth mine.
 
2014-06-19 11:32:19 AM  

not2bright: mcmnky: I first read that as "cast iron pants"

Changes a bit the meaning of getting a good seasoning.


Ha! I didn't think of that.

Although those are trousers, not pants.
 
2014-06-19 11:34:49 AM  

DarnoKonrad: Cast iron ain't that great, it does some things well, it does other things poorly -- due mostly to uneven heating.  I much prefer stainless steel for pan frying things.  Fast heat up, and no hotspots unlike cast iron.   Also, it's a perfectly good non-stick surface if you know what you're doing.



community.us.playstation.com
 
2014-06-19 11:37:48 AM  
Stainless steel >> cast iron.

For almost anything.
 
2014-06-19 11:41:06 AM  

Whatthefark: ChaosStar: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.

I use a grill brush scraper on my grill pan. Also, I figure if I'm around 450+ degrees nothing is going to contaminate the food I'm cooking.

I'm not worried about the contamination, it's the actual burning of the material that's annoying, what with the smoke and the smell and whatnot.
My pans are not as smooth as I think they should be though, so I may need to strip Lodge's factory season and redo it myself.

I've found Lodge's factory seasoning to be weak at best. the seasoning in my non enameled C.I. dutch oven flaked off into a stew I was making due to the steam. I ended up using sand paper to remove the loose seasoning and re-season it with lard. It's held up nicely since I did that. I've had to re-season a couple other Lodge pans because the seasoning flaked off.

Also, they don't make their pans smooth. They have a texture to them, so you won't get a smooth surface easily. I've heard of people using a grinder to smooth the surface, but I'd rather use patience and bacon to smooth mine.


Yup. I have some very old pans I bought used that are truly smooth, but my Lodge 12" skillet is pretty much there after 8 years of use. The factory seasoning is just a starting point and really just serves to keep the pan from rusting in the store.
 
2014-06-19 11:42:26 AM  

ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.


If it's a pain to clean, you haven't seasoned it right. Pour water in the pan and let it boil. Everything should come off easily. Eggs are the only thing that really sticks to ours.
 
2014-06-19 11:43:19 AM  

Whatthefark: ChaosStar: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.

I use a grill brush scraper on my grill pan. Also, I figure if I'm around 450+ degrees nothing is going to contaminate the food I'm cooking.

I'm not worried about the contamination, it's the actual burning of the material that's annoying, what with the smoke and the smell and whatnot.
My pans are not as smooth as I think they should be though, so I may need to strip Lodge's factory season and redo it myself.

I've found Lodge's factory seasoning to be weak at best. the seasoning in my non enameled C.I. dutch oven flaked off into a stew I was making due to the steam. I ended up using sand paper to remove the loose seasoning and re-season it with lard. It's held up nicely since I did that. I've had to re-season a couple other Lodge pans because the seasoning flaked off.

Also, they don't make their pans smooth. They have a texture to them, so you won't get a smooth surface easily. I've heard of people using a grinder to smooth the surface, but I'd rather use patience and bacon to smooth mine.


The pan gets smooth by the fat polymerization during seasoning. It slowly fills in the tiny grooves in the iron to give you a slick surface.
I'm agreeing with you on Lodge's factory seasoning and think I'll take this weekend to re-season my pans so that we can possibly use them again.
 
2014-06-19 11:50:09 AM  

Wellon Dowd: I walked into the kitchen last night and found my cast iron skillet in the sink.

IN THE SUCKING FINK!!!


My girlfriend did me the "favor" of washing mine.  I was pissed.  Needed to reseason, but I don't think it will be the same for quite some time.
 
2014-06-19 11:53:56 AM  

Copperbelly watersnake: ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.

If it's a pain to clean, you haven't seasoned it right. Pour water in the pan and let it boil. Everything should come off easily. Eggs are the only thing that really sticks to ours.


I did the boiling method and it removes some, but not all, of the residue. Like I said before, I think I just put to much trust in the factory season and need to just redo it myself.
 
2014-06-19 11:59:04 AM  
I still use my Dutch ovens I got when my son was in Boy Scouts when we go car camping.  There is nothing like a stew made in one after a long day of outdoor fun.  And my blackberry cobbler is awesome.
 
2014-06-19 12:02:14 PM  

Copperbelly watersnake: ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.

If it's a pain to clean, you haven't seasoned it right. Pour water in the pan and let it boil. Everything should come off easily. Eggs are the only thing that really sticks to ours.


The secret to eggs in my pan was using oil to scramble them. As long as there's a good amount in there they don't stick at all.
 
2014-06-19 12:10:46 PM  

ikanreed: Stainless steel >> cast iron.

For almost anything.


Except cooking.  Cast iron holds heat better and provides a more even temperature cooking process with fewer hot spots.  Properly seasoned it is non stick.  Stainless steel isn't non-stick, it is non-stain (it looks pretty).  Cast iron is also good when you camp because of it's versatility.  The best way to cook steak indoors is cast iron.  Same for burgers, tuna steak, grilled cheese, quesadillas.  When i make fajitas, start them on the grill and finish them in the cast iron skillet. It stays hot throughout the meal.
 
2014-06-19 12:10:54 PM  

ChaosStar: Copperbelly watersnake: ChaosStar: I don't know why, but my non-enameled cast iron is just a biatch and a half to clean so we really don't use it anymore. I loved my grill pan, but cleaning between the ribs is such a damn chore, and I don't care what Alton Brown says, putting salt in between them does not aid in cleanup.

If it's a pain to clean, you haven't seasoned it right. Pour water in the pan and let it boil. Everything should come off easily. Eggs are the only thing that really sticks to ours.

I did the boiling method and it removes some, but not all, of the residue. Like I said before, I think I just put to much trust in the factory season and need to just redo it myself.


putting water in the pan and boiling it works to soak some stuff off but if you heat the pan until it's just starting to smoke then add water you loosen up a lot more stuck on stuff a lot faster, rinse it add some oil and let it cool. Reseasoning dosent have to be a weekend project, it's just a maintenance thing
 
2014-06-19 12:14:59 PM  

Big Beef Burrito: CheekyMonkey: fark those 4 "rules".  Here's all you need to know:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique- fo r-seasoning-cast-iron/

Anyone who has gone through this entire process?

How long does it last before you have to re-season it?


The harder the oil after it dries, the longer it lasts.
The more coats you put on there, the longer it lasts, especially if you use a hard oil.
And if before you first season it, you get a good layer of the black rust on there, the first coat will stick better.
(The black rust is when you remove almost everything on the pan and wash it, dry it, and dry bake in a 200deg oven for an hour and let cool before beginning the seasoning process)
And the flax oil would be the hardest oil that's food grade.
("Hard" meaning what happens when the thin layer of oil is heated)

Her article explains why sometimes my attempts at seasoning my iron pans came up with a poor coating.
(not the thread article, but the sherylcanter article)
I'll try this, as I have a large bottle of flaxoil capsules.
 
2014-06-19 12:16:02 PM  

stupiddream: I still use my Dutch ovens I got when my son was in Boy Scouts when we go car camping.  There is nothing like a stew made in one after a long day of outdoor fun.  And my blackberry cobbler is awesome.


Damn, sexy.  You know what I like.  :-)  Give me a dutch oven, cast iron skillet and cast iron griddle and I just need the food and heat source to cook just about anything to perfection.

Great thing about that dutch oven stew: the second day.  Just keep it simmering.
 
2014-06-19 12:24:14 PM  

SVenus: Big Beef Burrito: CheekyMonkey: fark those 4 "rules".  Here's all you need to know:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique- fo r-seasoning-cast-iron/

Anyone who has gone through this entire process?

How long does it last before you have to re-season it?

The harder the oil after it dries, the longer it lasts.
The more coats you put on there, the longer it lasts, especially if you use a hard oil.
And if before you first season it, you get a good layer of the black rust on there, the first coat will stick better.
(The black rust is when you remove almost everything on the pan and wash it, dry it, and dry bake in a 200deg oven for an hour and let cool before beginning the seasoning process)
And the flax oil would be the hardest oil that's food grade.
("Hard" meaning what happens when the thin layer of oil is heated)

Her article explains why sometimes my attempts at seasoning my iron pans came up with a poor coating.
(not the thread article, but the sherylcanter article)
I'll try this, as I have a large bottle of flaxoil capsules.


Much appreciated.

Science!
 
2014-06-19 12:27:18 PM  

Wellon Dowd: I walked into the kitchen last night and found my cast iron skillet in the sink.

IN THE SUCKING FINK!!!


So how much time did you get for braining her/him with the pan?

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Just wipe it after you use it. Jesus.


This. Can't remember the last time my cast iron had soap in them.

To season a new one I buy about 5lbs of bacon and cook it all. Save the grease for the many wonderful things bacon grease  can be used for. Pile the cooked bacon on a plate, put it in the middle of the table and wait. It's never around long enough to go bad.
 
2014-06-19 12:55:05 PM  
I'm not sure I religiously follow any of those rules and my forty year old cast iron cookset is still doing just fine and keeps getting better.

/Well, I do follow the "no soap" rule. Mostly just rinse them clean with the scrubby side of kitchen sponge just after cooking with them.
 
2014-06-19 12:59:47 PM  

buttery_shame_cave: EvilEgg: it's cast iron, you can't really ruin it permanently.  Well, I guess you could, but it takes some doing.   You can damage the seasoning, but that is easily fixed.

Chips and dings?  The surface was never really smooth to begin with.

after about ten years, my two main cast iron skillets have gone from rough to smoother than glass(and about 10x more slippery when oiled).

when you get a good season on, the carbon builds up to the point where you need a sandblaster to do any real damage to it.

hell, you can use soap on them without any fear(might not want to let them soak, that makes them funky). any professional kitchen that serves people and uses cast iron will do this.


An ex of mine is an antiques dealer, and she had in her possession a cast-iron pan that was about 100 years old, and had been well taken care of, and which she used regularly. The surface was like glass. Literally nothing would stick to it. It was a wonder.

As for mine, I love it, and try to care for it as best I can. I keep a plastic brush that is only ever used to scrub it under hot water after each use, and I apply a thin coat of oil to it after each use, and return it to the cooling burner to set a bit. It's doing just fine so far.
 
2014-06-19 01:05:24 PM  

RyansPrivates: stupiddream: I still use my Dutch ovens I got when my son was in Boy Scouts when we go car camping.  There is nothing like a stew made in one after a long day of outdoor fun.  And my blackberry cobbler is awesome.

Damn, sexy.  You know what I like.  :-)  Give me a dutch oven, cast iron skillet and cast iron griddle and I just need the food and heat source to cook just about anything to perfection.

Great thing about that dutch oven stew: the second day.  Just keep it simmering.


No kidding about the stew!  My wife can bake a pretty good cake in a Dutch oven.  I'm sure it is well known but she puts hot coals on the top of the oven for an even bake.  I do that now when I make my cobbler.  I've also found that tomato based dishes like chili are awesome when using a Dutch oven.  Even though it's 95 degrees here now, I'm gonna build a fire this weekend and do some cooking!
 
2014-06-19 01:08:45 PM  
Rule #5: Do NOT use it in the microwave.
 
2014-06-19 01:09:29 PM  
I wash my pan after every use, with Dawn, scrub it with the rough side of the sponge too. It's still seasoned and still non-stick. No big deal.
 
2014-06-19 01:14:17 PM  
bear urine is caustic enough to clean cast iron, doesn't cause oxidation, and is sterile
 
2014-06-19 01:18:30 PM  

stupiddream: RyansPrivates: stupiddream: I still use my Dutch ovens I got when my son was in Boy Scouts when we go car camping.  There is nothing like a stew made in one after a long day of outdoor fun.  And my blackberry cobbler is awesome.

Damn, sexy.  You know what I like.  :-)  Give me a dutch oven, cast iron skillet and cast iron griddle and I just need the food and heat source to cook just about anything to perfection.

Great thing about that dutch oven stew: the second day.  Just keep it simmering.

No kidding about the stew!  My wife can bake a pretty good cake in a Dutch oven.  I'm sure it is well known but she puts hot coals on the top of the oven for an even bake.  I do that now when I make my cobbler.  I've also found that tomato based dishes like chili are awesome when using a Dutch oven.  Even though it's 95 degrees here now, I'm gonna build a fire this weekend and do some cooking!


RICER COOKER PANCAKES!
http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/06/14/how-to-make-epic-pancakes-with -y our-japanese-rice-cooker/

sociorocketnewsen.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-06-19 01:23:55 PM  

mcmnky: CheekyMonkey: fark those 4 "rules".  Here's all you need to know:

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique- fo r-seasoning-cast-iron/

Ug. Any good points she had are lost on me when she keeps using phrases like "organic bacon." As opposed to what? Is there a form of inorganic bacon?

(Yes, I realize organic can be used as a marketing term. But of you are claiming a scientific method of seasoning your cast iron, use scientific terms.)


She's using it to differentiate it from regular bacon. Apparently those branded "organic" don't have the nitrate content that "non organic" bacon has. On the other hand, "organic" bacon uses salt as the preservative, so it's not all that much better.
 
2014-06-19 01:47:52 PM  
Salt snobs annoy me. Sure, use your treasured Kosher salt if you want to grab ar pinch of it by hand, but if you are putting it in hot water or most cooking applications, IT'S JUST SALT. Use ordinary table salt, it is cheaper and chemically identical.
 
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