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Author Topic: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question  (Read 13276 times)

Offline ScottK

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #60 on: April 02, 2012, 08:44:32 PM »
OK, finally got around to tinkering in the kitchen again.  I think I told everyone before I have stainless steel stuff, but we had an 'event' that got me reevaluating the situation.  (The event, the wife couldn't fry an egg in the stainless for enchiladas, and needless to say the rest of the evening wasn't very relaxing.)

Doing some research into what it actually takes to fry an egg on stainless without it sticking brought me full circle to the cast iron question.  After trying out pointers on stainless (they did work, the right amount of oil is tricky), I started looking at some iron videos on youtube.  The wife has an old pan from her grandmother, so I whipped it out this evening, and made a dam near perfect fried egg.  I am now a full convert.  Time to get rid of the stainless!

I am sure I will have more questions as time goes on.  I remember some talk about acidic stuff and iron, what is all that about if you mind me asking.

As for the question I started this topic off with, I think from the research, videos, and now my own cooking is showing me.  The enameled stuff is completely unnecessary if you take the time to understand what the cooking process is, and how to care for the cookware.  Live and learn...

Offline Cedar

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2012, 09:04:21 PM »
Don't get rid of the stainless, they are a non-reactive metal but YES, use your cast iron as much as possible. And don't use soap. And cook a whole chicken in it as much as possible.

Cedar
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Offline ScottK

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2012, 09:23:46 PM »
Fair enough, but what size stainless do you keep?  I don't have an infinite amount of space in the kitchen.  I can pull off one or two special pieces of cookware, but I can't hold on to item that don't get used on a somewhat regular basis.  I figure keeping the stainless pots makes sense for boiling water and sauces, but the pans?!?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2012, 09:27:13 PM »
Fair enough, but what size stainless do you keep?  I don't have an infinite amount of space in the kitchen.  I can pull off one or two special pieces of cookware, but I can't hold on to item that don't get used on a somewhat regular basis.  I figure keeping the stainless pots makes sense for boiling water and sauces, but the pans?!?

I have one moderate sized cast iron pan, I have 2 cast iron dutch ovens. I have 2 SS frying pans, 4-5 SS pots, 3 large SS kettles and one SS roaster pan. The cast iron lives in the oven, the rest in one cupboard.

Cedar
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2012, 06:20:26 PM »
Don't get rid of the stainless, they are a non-reactive metal but YES, use your cast iron as much as possible. And don't use soap. And cook a whole chicken in it as much as possible.

Yes, NEVER use soap.  After a meal (or the next day) we simply add water to the pan/pot and bring it to a light boil.  Letting it simmer for a few minutes while scraping the sides and bottom with a spatula.  Toss the water out the back porch (dog loves to eat the drippings).  Run the pan/pot under hot water in the sink and scrub it the rest of the way clean with a brush (no detergent).  If you are worried about germs, simply throw it in a 350 oven for about 5 minutes.

We use our cast iron for nearly every meal (EVERY meal if I'm cooking).  The only other skillets, pans or pots we have are SS.
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Offline ScottK

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2012, 12:28:39 AM »
So has anybody actually dealt with American Culinary, and tired to order new cookware?

I know it sounds silly with all the used stuff out there, but for the prices listed, I was contemplating ordering a pan.  I find I don't have enough time to get out hunting down garage sales, and seems all the pans on ebay people talk about have wobble, which means they will not sit very flat on a glasstop stove.  I am wanting to get the big 13.5" skillet.

I looked at the website, and it is kind of bare bones.  They don't even give you a phone number for customer service inquiries and such.  I also found these other sites that are complaining about the company:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/596966

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=282914981719539

This is a complete bummer if this is truly the situation.  Has anybody here had a good experience with American Culinary?  Is it possible for TSP to have a pinned topic at the top of one these boards that is a "whitelist/blacklist" of companies to do or not do business with?  Those list could be compiled based purely on crowd-sourcing user experiences here at TSP and across the web without users having to sift through massive amounts of info.  I know, could be an almost impossible task.... :'(

Offline nelson96

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2012, 12:40:18 AM »
seems all the pans on ebay people talk about have wobble, which means they will not sit very flat on a glasstop stove.

Why go on ebay or hit garage sales?  We have a few that have been passed down by family members, a few that we've found at garage sales, but we have also purchased new ones (Lodge).  They are pretty easy to find in stores in our area and they don't break the bank.  We also have a glasstop stove and have no problems with any of our cast iron cookware.  The Lodge cookware we've purchased have been good to us too.

https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefront/product1_new.asp?menu=logic&idProduct=3924
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Offline ScottK

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2012, 12:58:11 AM »
Yeah, seems like Lodge might be the fallback.  I was hoping that A.C. was the real deal, and you could supposedly still get Wagner pans that were from the factory smooth.  They show a machine polished skillet that would seem to be exactly like what Paul was telling people to do to Lodge skillets in the episode with Jack.  Lodge definitely has many options.  Still interested to hear if anyone has actually dealt with A.C.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2012, 01:54:19 AM »
Yes, NEVER use soap.  After a meal (or the next day) we simply add water to the pan/pot and bring it to a light boil.  Letting it simmer for a few minutes while scraping the sides and bottom with a spatula.  Toss the water out the back porch (dog loves to eat the drippings).  Run the pan/pot under hot water in the sink and scrub it the rest of the way clean with a brush (no detergent).  If you are worried about germs, simply throw it in a 350 oven for about 5 minutes.

We use our cast iron for nearly every meal (EVERY meal if I'm cooking).  The only other skillets, pans or pots we have are SS.

I just scrape and wipe clean, can't remember even using water.

Interestingly, this "new" (to me) Griswold #12 is so smooth on the bottom the seasoning stays blotchy looking.  I even tried the upside-down-turbo-bake method.  The rest of the pan is seasoned well, but I have to admit, nothing sticks, and even the splotches don't show any signs of rust.

Can they get to a point of being so smooth that the pores aren't grabbing the seasoning?

~TG
 

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2012, 03:16:01 AM »
Is it possible for TSP to have a pinned topic at the top of one these boards that is a "whitelist/blacklist" of companies to do or not do business with?  Those list could be compiled based purely on crowd-sourcing user experiences here at TSP and across the web without users having to sift through massive amounts of info.  I know, could be an almost impossible task.... :'(

Sounds like something the admins here could be conned into for the right number of donations. ;)


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Offline nelson96

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2012, 08:18:16 AM »
I just scrape and wipe clean, can't remember even using water.

Interestingly, this "new" (to me) Griswold #12 is so smooth on the bottom the seasoning stays blotchy looking.  I even tried the upside-down-turbo-bake method.  The rest of the pan is seasoned well, but I have to admit, nothing sticks, and even the splotches don't show any signs of rust.

Can they get to a point of being so smooth that the pores aren't grabbing the seasoning?

The water trick works great when I've been lazy and let it sit too long.  I don't like to soak my cast iron in water so this speeds up the progress for dried on drippings.

I've got an old pan that is blotchy too.  Mine seems to work okay as well.

Yeah, seems like Lodge might be the fallback.  I was hoping that A.C. was the real deal, and you could supposedly still get Wagner pans that were from the factory smooth.  They show a machine polished skillet that would seem to be exactly like what Paul was telling people to do to Lodge skillets in the episode with Jack.  Lodge definitely has many options.  Still interested to hear if anyone has actually dealt with A.C.

My newer Lodge (that does not have a smooth finish) seems to have less of a tendency to stick than my other old skillets (Wagner & Griswold) that have been worked to a smooth finish over time.  Not sure why you would want/need to spend more money or a lot of time to get a smooth one.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 08:33:15 AM by nelson96 »
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Offline Cedar

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2012, 08:31:54 AM »
people talk about have wobble, which means they will not sit very flat on a glasstop stove.

Be careful using them on a glass top stove. Some range manufacturers include warnings against using cast iron and canners.

Cedar
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Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2012, 09:51:19 AM »
...Has anybody here had a good experience with American Culinary?  Is it possible for TSP to have a pinned topic at the top of one these boards that is a "whitelist/blacklist" of companies to do or not do business with?  Those list could be compiled based purely on crowd-sourcing user experiences here at TSP and across the web without users having to sift through massive amounts of info.  I know, could be an almost impossible task.... :'(

That would be sorta tricky.  How often do you see reviews of any product or company that are overwhelmingly white or black?  This happens all the time with electronics: 80% of the reviewers raving about the wonderful features and ease of use, and 20% ranting about equipment failures and customer disservice.  Is that a whitelist or a blacklist product?

But, there's nothing stopping any of you from starting a topic like that, and compiling your own white/blacklist recommendations.  Best place for most such reviews would be The Gear and Tool Review Board.

Sounds like something the admins here could be conned into for the right number of donations. ;)

:rofl:  Or there's that option too. :)

Offline nelson96

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2012, 09:55:29 AM »
That would be sorta tricky.  How often do you see reviews of any product or company that are overwhelmingly white or black? 

Ya think?. . . Here's an example. . . How many people do you think will post how awesome their Ford truck is?. . . Probably as many as would say they suck.
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Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2012, 10:08:01 AM »
Be careful using them on a glass top stove. Some range manufacturers include warnings against using cast iron and canners.

Cedar

Do you think it's a weight issue?  I've canned and "cast iron-ed" on my glass electric stove tops for years.  I make soup in a 20-something quart pot, too.  I've never had an issue with cracking or failure to provide enough heat to can.

I worry more about dropping a skillet on it than anything (but I know they are fairly tough).

~TG
 

Offline nelson96

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2012, 10:11:53 AM »
Do you think it's a weight issue?  I've canned and "cast iron-ed" on my glass electric stove tops for years.  I make soup in a 20-something quart pot, too.  I've never had an issue with cracking or failure to provide enough heat to can.

I worry more about dropping a skillet on it than anything (but I know they are fairly tough).

Ditto here . . . .  I chip my porcelain sink with them more than anything else.
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Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2012, 10:22:30 AM »
and seems all the pans on ebay people talk about have wobble,
I bought my Griswold #8 off of e-bay. I paid alittle more for it but i was assured by the seller it was in great shape and not warped. I have been pleased with it.
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Offline Cedar

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2012, 10:26:48 AM »
Do you think it's a weight issue?  I've canned and "cast iron-ed" on my glass electric stove tops for years. 

No idea. I have never cooked on a glasstop before. I am not even sure I have seen one before actually. I just remember reading that disclaimer about glass tops somewhere.

Cedar

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Offline Hootie

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2012, 11:10:12 AM »
From one forum to another. here is an answer about the "cast iron and glasstop stoves"

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cookware/msg0318154214697.html
Quote
Fri, Mar 16, 07 at 18:15
I was wanting to use Cast iron fry pans on My GE glass top stove , Well GE says not to...
1) the Cast iron might have a Burr or rust on it and Scratch the Glass....

2) They Say that cast iron heats slower and then when it gets hot it stays hot and that might shut off the burner....

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Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2012, 11:42:22 AM »
From one forum to another. here is an answer about the "cast iron and glasstop stoves"

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cookware/msg0318154214697.html

Thanks!

One thing I found interesting, it said many tops will shut off the burner if a pot is used that's 1" larger than the element size.  Must mean 1" on all sides.

I've not run into any issues with shut down, but the largest element on this stove is 11" while my 28 qt stock pot and canners are only about 12" across the bottom.  While none of the pots and pans have any burrs or sharp edges, I have had rogue salt grains run across the top while cooking.   

Weight?  Well...  Granted, 24 qts of Turkey soup will weigh a good 50 lbs!

~TG
 

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #80 on: April 10, 2012, 11:53:48 AM »
My co-worker had to get a new brew pot because the bottom of the pot was not flat.  There was a 1" ring around the outside that was flush on the glass top, but the rest was raised about 1/8"  The water would take over an hour to come to a boil because of it.  Got the new pot and the same amount of water boils in about 15 minutes.
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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #81 on: May 29, 2012, 10:02:57 AM »
we have recently discovered aebleskivers at a Farmer's market booth.  now, the whole family has gone mad for them - we have to get a small dish every time we go.  So, it is time to get our own pan.  Ebay has Griswold pans from $9.99 - 99.99.  they all look exactly the same, and well, I am liking that cheaper one.  but any ideas on what a good price to offer?
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Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #82 on: May 29, 2012, 10:45:48 AM »
I wouldn't spend my life savings on one, I heard someone talking about these awhile back, she said Target sells a more modern version of the pan. 

It sounds fun, even though the TexasGirl household isn't much on bread-ish foods (please ignore the pan of four-chocolate brownies in the kitchen, they are medicinal)

For those curious now, here is a quick recipe for aebleskivers from my "collection" (no author available)...

Quote
2 Large Eggs - Separated (or 3 Medium Eggs)
1 tsp Sugar
2 cups of Buttermilk
3 TB Melted Butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 Cups AP-Flour
1 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Mace
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp Cream of Tarter

In a bowl or large glass pouring pitcher, beat yolks until light in color, add sugar and beat until thick.

Add buttermilk, Melted Butter and Salt, stirring until well combined

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and spices with a whisk.

Add flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir well.

In another clean bowl, beat egg whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tarter until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into batter in two batches.

Warm aebleskiver pan on medium heat (You will probably have to adjust heat after the first batch, I always burn the first batch)

Add a small amount of vegetable oil, butter or lard to each one of the seven indentions.

Fill each indention only about 2/3 full.

Cook until bubbly on top, just like regular pancakes, then, utilizing the traditional knitting needle, or a bamboo skewer, turn the dough balls over to obtain a round shape.

Serve with traditional Raspberry preserves and powdered sugar.

Makes 3 dozen.

~TG
 

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #83 on: May 29, 2012, 12:17:12 PM »
I love my Griswold #9 pan much more than the Lodge pan I have the same size. However, I cook just as much in either pan.

Last weekend I decided I needed to take both #9 pans camping with me and they had been sitting neglected all winter and accumulated some rust on the cooking surfaces due to seasoning being stripped off (who knows by now what I cooked that did that, but it does happen occasionally).

Normally I would strip ALL the seasoning off them and start again with bare metal pans, but this time I used an SOS pad to scour the rust off the cooking surfaces and anywhere else I could see it — doing that a few times just to make sure I got all of it off and the water was no longer rust colored — then I rinsed the pans vigorously with water making sure to keep the entire pan wet the whole time and making sure there would be no soap left over from the SOS pad. It was not enough to remove ALL the seasoning but any bare metal parts were that nice deep blueish grey once again.

IMMEDIATELY drop that pan onto your stove already lit (gas stove, I hate all electric range tops) — and heat it up so all the water evaporates.

Then I brush a liberal amount of vegetable oil (because I had no lard or bacon grease handy) and threw it in a 500+ degree oven (the thermometer went up to 600 at some point) and bake em for an hour.

BOTH pans came out GREAT, HOWEVER I was in a hurry and pulled them out of the oven before they cooled off using a towell as an oven mit and part of the towell had nylon embroidery so one of my pans got a series of blue streaks on the side where the plastic melted into it. I scraped the one I noticed back down to the bare metal with a metal spatula, and re-seasoned it again, but noticed later another set of blue lines from where my other hand had held the pan LOL...

I used them camping all weekend and no — no plastic was in my food (the melt was on the outside of the pan near the bottom — but I can easily scrape that off and re-season it again.

The moral of the story here is to LEAVE your pans in the oven after you bake them for a few hours until you can pick it up with your bare hand.

Not only is it going to be so hot that you can melt your oven mitt the seasoning is not going to be rock hard yet and will come off on your oven mitt as well (I had some silvery handles on my pans all weekend).

However, if you end up with bare spots from the pans being shoved into a backpack together, or whatever other reason, cooking over a campfire and then wiping it all down with your cast iron rag when done will result in a fully coated pan ready to rock the next meal with.

As much of a pain as it can be to season pans sometimes (or more accurately, how much of a pain it can be to maintain your pans if you neglect them) — it is SO MUCH EASIER to clean up after cooking on a cast iron pan than even a "non-stick" in my opinion.
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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #84 on: June 06, 2012, 11:47:20 AM »
I bought a Griswold aebleskiver pan from ebay this week.  got it on Monday.  it was, in general, more silver than black, and the round wells had small tiny spots of rust in the bottom, and a few on the rim.  so I grabbed a steel wool pad and went to town.  I managed to get the rusty bits off, but it was still orange in there.  I do not know if that is just coloration or actual rust remaining.  I also scrubbed off a lot of black stuff as well.  then I grabbed my lard and rubbed it well, bottom and top, in and out.  I threw it in the oven at 500, with a cookie sheet below, and opened the windows.

after about 15 min, I checked on it and turned it over so the excess oil could run out of the wells.  after about 30 min that way, I turned it again and let it cook for another 30.

it is beautiful and black all over.  the surface areas are not smooth, but that looks more like a casting problem than a seasoning problem.  I would imagine it is very hard to smooth out the wells of an aebleskiver pan.  :-\

we look forward to playing with it!
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Offline Adam B.

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #85 on: June 06, 2012, 12:16:41 PM »
Did you rinse out the rust dust before you coated it in oil?

It is fine to wash that off your pan but you IMMEDIATELY have to put it on the burner of your stove so that the water evaporates quickly. You can almost watch the rust start to form in real-time if you sit there and stare after you get a raw cast iron pan wet.

When I had scrubbed mine down with steel wool a couple weeks ago, I only had room in the oven for one at a time, so the second one stayed in the sink after I first scrubbed it down, and when I came back an hour later it was covered in surface rust again, and I sat there scrubbing it down to bare metal again.

Then putting it on the stove burner, it evaporates so fast it doesn't have time to rust (especially when I am right there with vegetable oil and a basting brush to start coating it right away).

I've taken pans camping where the campfire has removed seasoning and a day later get it home to see rust has formed already. That is really the only "enemy" of your cast iron pans. Keep them oiled up!
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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #86 on: June 06, 2012, 12:48:28 PM »
I did rinse the rust dust.  but first I took a dry cloth and brushed it out.  then I rinsed, then I dried at the table with a paper towel, and another paper towel sitting right there next to the lard.

when I am not using my pans, they hang on my pan rack.  that helps a lot with the drying, since water naturally falls downward, and there are few-no places in my pans that form a puddle while hanging up.  now, maybe one of my bigger stock pots, but they are not cast iron, so I am ok with that.  they do evaporate eventually in my hot arid desert house.
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Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2012, 09:50:27 PM »
So, today I used my CI frying pan over my emberlit stove.  cooked beautifully.  my problem: my pan turned everything that touched it black and sooty.  how do you deal with cast iron over an open flame?
"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program" - Spencer W. Kimball
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Prepping makes even a hurricane just an inconvenience.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #88 on: June 16, 2012, 12:00:06 AM »
Interesting.

I've not tried CI over a flame like that.  We have used them over coals, and just wipe them down good afterwards.  If they get too hot, they tend to need re-seasoning, though. 

So, with the emberlit, do you keep feeding it "fresh" tinder?  I'm guessing that would be the soot source?

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Re: Episode 787 - Cast Iron Question
« Reply #89 on: June 18, 2012, 07:47:33 AM »
I just keep a cleaning sponge (the type with the acrylic scrub pad on one side.  I use it with an old butter dish with just plain water.  I wipe down the cast iron, or the stainless pots and stuff with it really good, then wipe them off with an old rag, then hang them close enough to the fire to dry out good, then put them away.

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