Cooking with cast iron

Discussion in 'The Good Life' started by Sara-s, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    This came up a bit, in another thread. But since it was a bit off-topic there, I want to give it its own thread.
    Who else likes to cook with cast iron? What types of pots/pans do you have & what to you like to cook in it?
    Do you have favorite products for seasoning them?

    So far, I have 2 griddles ( a round singe-burner griddle & a rectangular double-burner griddle) and a round bacon press. Both griddles have a flat side & a ridged side. I like using them for sandwiches, omelets, & bacon.

    For ongoing seasoning, I use a paste of beeswax & grape seed oil.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
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  2. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    I like to use cast iron and carbon steel. For cast iron, I have my grandmother's BSR 5qt Dutch Oven (from the 30s), 2 modern lodge 2 qt Dutch Ovens, and a 10" vintage Wagner skillet that I found at a thrift store a number of years ago. The dutch ovens are great for baking bread, pot roasts, braising, etc. The skillet gives a great crust on sears, works well for deep dish pizza. Just stay away from repeated use on acidic foods like stewed tomatoes as they will strip the seasoning.

    I have given all of my pieces an oven seasoning, but normally just heat the skillets to smoking temp and wipe down with oil between cooks.

    Here are a couple small loaves in the 2 qt dutch ovens that I baked on the kamado.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
  3. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I've heard nothing but good things from people who use it. We had a few pieces, but gave it away - too heavy for my wife. With RA, she sometimes has difficulty with a tea cup.
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  4. jluc

    jluc smelling pretty

    I have a 12" Lodge frying pan that I've had for over 20yrs, love it although it's been neglected lately.
    I converted my grill to a griddle. 33"x19" carbon steel cooking surface that's so much fun to cook on I use it every chance I get. A spatula in each hand and an entire meal cooking at once.
    I've recently added a couple of carbon steel fry pans. Smoother, somewhat lighter versions of cast iron. They're all as non stick as any Teflon pan I've ever owned. I use Buzzy Wax for seasoning which is a blend of canola oil, grapeseed oil and beeswax. Works great but so does vegetable oil.
    For acidic foods I have enameled cast iron and stainless. No Teflon pans in the house.

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  5. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    I have. 12”, 10”, 3” skillets and a waffle maker. Skillets made by Lodge and I can’t remember what the waffle iron is made from. I season all of my cast irons with either lard or Walnut oil. Those bad boys have been serving me well for years. Wish I had my hands on some vintage pieces but my focus has mainly been on razors. Lol still looking to add more to the family like a Dutch oven, griddle and a wok.
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  6. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    I have about 10, a mix on newer lodge and vintage pans. I prefer to season them by using them, and I use a light coating of grapeseed oil between uses to keep the pans oiled. I like grapeseed because of it's high smoke point. Other than that, I don't do anything special. I usually rinse with water and a chain mail scrubby. I won't hesitate to reach for dishwashing liquid if the pan is particularly dirty. It won't hurt the seasoning.
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  7. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    3 cast iron skillets of different sizes that I love. Beeswax stick and sometimes olive oil or veg oil to season. Chainmail scrubber and kosher salt can't be beaten for cleaning.

    I also have an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven which I'm getting way more use out of than I thought. And a cast-iron grill pan which I absolutely hate because it's impossible to really clean.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2021
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  8. jluc

    jluc smelling pretty

    I use a chain mail scrubby too.

    I read the no soap thing goes back to when soap had lye in it.

    When you get a raw pan you don't do any pre-seasoning? All our pans continue to season with use.

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  9. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    I use soap and a scrubber sponge each time I use it and only grab the chainmail when needed. Once the seasoning is established, the soap doesnt hurt it.
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  10. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    Yeah, the no soap thing goes back to the days when you made your own soap most of the time.

    A completely raw pan gets a light coat of grapeseed oil and just put into a cold oven upside down. Then I turn the temp to 450-500. After 10-15 minutes I take it out and wipe it down again with a dry paper towel. This prevent spotting and ensures an even, thin, coat. I leave it in for about an hour.

    Repeating the process doesn't seem to provide any additional benefit, so I stop at one coat these days and do the rest of the seasoning by using the pan.
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  11. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Being a scrounger, I've picked up several that people let gather a coat of surface rust, which is easily dealt with, and now have them all seasoned and parked inside of the oven. It's all I use for cooking...a 9 or 12 inch my usual go-to for pretty much everything but I got a square griddle somewhere. Have not had opportunity to use the Dutch oven my mom gave me, though.
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  12. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    Start baking bread. Dutch ovens are fantastic for that.
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  13. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    I concur... Once you learn to drop the loaf in the 425F pot without burning the crap out of your hands... :)

    Yes I know parchment paper works with that, but wasn't really fond of using it.
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  14. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    I've only used the parchment paper sling method but nevertheless 425 roaring out of an oven and with a 425 Dutch oven in front of you does make you be extra careful. Thankfully have not burned myself seriously but you do that once or twice and you learn. Hence my switch to silicone pot holders when baking bread. That kind of heat just goes right through regular pot holders.
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  15. Tdmsu

    Tdmsu Well-Known Member

    I have an old lodge skillet and I need to season it and start using it on my kamado.
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  16. PanChango

    PanChango Not Cute

    I use mine on the kamado regularly, just be careful to not go too hot or you can end up burning the seasoning off the pan.
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  17. b1hart

    b1hart Speed Racer

    Cast it, use it for all cooking other than acidic based sauce making (which is not the best for the seasoning). About the only other time I'm not using cast iron is sous vide or slow cooker....

    8 inch pan, 2 10 inch pans, 12 inch pan, bacon double sided griddle, muffin pan, dutch oven, ceramic dutch oven. Couple those are hand me downs from Mom's kitchen....over 50 years old.

    Inside use, have heavy duty lined silicone pot holders. For outside use (Big Green Egg), welders gloves. All kinds of scrubbers, chainmail, plastic scrounges for lighter stuff, couple heavy duty bamboo brushes.
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  18. lightcs1776

    lightcs1776 Well-Known Member

    Love cooking on cast iron. There are simply some foods that are best in cast iron.

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  19. Glondus

    Glondus Well-Known Member

    i love cast iron
    i have ;
    1- big casserol
    2- 2 small casserol
    3- grill (pan with stripes, i hope it makes sense)
    4- 2 pans

    on big casserol i make bread, stews, beans, slow cooked meats etc
    on small ones i usualy cook rice, and small bread :)
    on grill i prefere cooking fatty meats, like meatballs, burgers etc
    and my pans, my lovely pans are for everything else. eggs, steaks, omelettes, fries etc

    my old pan is very nicely seasoned, i didnt do anything special to be honest. i just used it 3 4 times a week. washed it with hot water only, it it is very dirty rubbed with salt/oil. dried on medium heat and applied oil (olive oil) and heated until i see some smokes.
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  20. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    If I could find a decent gluten-free mix that didn't result in something like gulag sawdust bread, I would definitely try it.

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