Cast Iron

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paranoid, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    I'm a cast iron fanatic, and I am always telling my friends about its many merits. Invariably they agree that it seems all nice and all, but theirs was never very good. I try explaining the seasoning process, and i say check the web, cause I have seen things here and there, a paragraph of wisdom on the web, but just now I saw an entire page of perfect info! In case anyone else is considering throwing out all that trash they call pots and pans in their kitching and going entirely to cast iron but had a few questions remaining, read this:
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/2000_December_January/The_Care_and_Feeding_of_Cast_Iron

    2 thumbs up.
     
  2. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    how do you "weld" the leg back on a cast iron bathtub?
    or are you not that kinda cast iron fanatic?

    LOL
     

  3. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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  4. longrider

    longrider Southern Gent

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    I have been cooking exclusively with cast iron since I got my Cooking Skill Award back in the dark ages. I prefer Cast Iron. I just recently bought a dozen new pieces at the Lodge outlet store near Seviervile Tn. and will continue to buy Lodge ware in the future.

    let me explain why. When my ancient but incredibly wonderful grandmother passed away a few years ago my mother scarfed her Iron ware. I have had the opportunity to use it a few times and found that i nearly burned several things on more than one occasion.

    I attribute this to two reasons: her cast iron was worn down from fifty or more years of use, creating hot spots or thin areas. and hers was of several different makers she collected along the years. obviously my cooking skill could not be in question so i dismissed that idea right away;)

    so my thoughts are this: buy from the same maker if you can! they will have the same wall thickness and weight, evenly, throughout the cookware. The Quality Control in their manufacturing process will be better. buy the best quality cast iron you can afford.

    I chose Lodge because I learned dutch oven cooking while a young Boy Scout. And i have been to their factory.


    As for welding cast iron legs or anything else! well, yes, I happen to specialise in cast iron welding. There is a very tedious proceedure for welding cast iron. if done outside the parameters of the recommended proceedure then you will get a ify weldment. but if done properly you will have a like new piece. Go to the Lincoln Electric Welding Co web site and click on the Knowlege/article icons and the proceedure is printable there. Simply put, it takes about three days of preheating- welding- post heating to weld ANY piece of cast iron. it sounds hard but it isnt, just time consuming before and after welding.

    as a side note: my dad wanted me to weld a pot back together, i sed "no problem" and then he sed he was going to clean it up and make cobblers in it for my nephews....i sed NO WAY....NO CAN DO!!! the reason you dont want to weld on cook ware is that the Ferroweld Electrodes have mega bad chemicals in them and you dont want that ingested in the body. Even small amounts of these chemicals can create immediate and untreatable conditions. Read the Welding Rod MDS and you will understand.
     
  5. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    I have one cast iron skillet... its black and nothing sticks in it.

    ahh how about brazing the leg back on?
     
  6. longrider

    longrider Southern Gent

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    brazing the leg on will be easier and very effective but not as strong as a weldment. it will leave a visible line too. but very doable if not too much weight is placed on it like you would with a weld.

    most of the antiques i weld up are for show and thus folks are particular about how it looks rather than how it does under stress or weight. if you intend to put weight on it then weld the guy, if not but want the thing to stand up then braze it.

    welding time and brazing time are nearly the same. what takes time is the preheat and post heat of a weldment.
     
  7. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    Longrider,did you re-season the cast iron that belonged to your Grandmother?
    The link Paranoid gave describes the process. The reason I ask is because I have some very old cast iron..some that was my Great Grandmother's and I still use it. Works like a dream,I just fried some kale in one of the skillets,no more than an hour ago. No sticking at all. But,they will get hot spots if they're not seasoned properly. Can't have that,I love my cast iron :)
     
  8. longrider

    longrider Southern Gent

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    i reseasoned one piece just last night when i cooked corn bread in it!!! actually no, it was so well used that it never got a chance to be washed out or get rusty looking. it was so dark and slick from past use that i doubt it could get very bad off even in a couple of years of down time.

    we just eased her stuff in with ours and kept on cooking. i just wish i could cook like my grandmother could- she only had 11 children, 40 something grandchildren, 103 great grandchildren and 12 GGgrandchildren at the time of her passing. that woman's cooking would make a puppy want to pull a freight train!
     
  9. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Hot spots are more likely to be a problem on electric stovetops, flame actually has a more easy (maybe just easier to see) time of being even. If you are using flame and having hot spots, you are likely using too high a flame, insufficient heating time before trying to cook, or insufficient lard/oil
     
  10. skeetshooter

    skeetshooter Well-Known Member

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    Brazing, schmazing -- duct tape and silicone caulking. I have lots of both and would be willing to share.
     
  11. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    I have an old cast iron "corn stick" pan...that thing is so old and I'm not sure how to clean it or season it,so I don't even use it. I usually make cornbread in a metal pan...but I should try using cast iron for that,too.

    GeorgeK could be right,because I do use an electric stovetop.
     
  12. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Can you use cast iron pots/pans on a electric cook-top. The kind with he circle shaped raised heating elements? Our elements are terrible at heating a pan evenly.

    Wayne
     
  13. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    yeah my stove is electric.

    the trick is setting the heat at 40% and letting the pan warm up gradually, dont worry it'll get plenty hot tho, it retains the heat real well.

    since you are heading from a cooler setting, once the pan is hot, it is uniformly hot w/o the hot/cold spots you are experiencing now.

    cast iron conducts heat pretty well, and electric coils heat unevenly, so if you just put it over the heat, crank it up high, you'll have heatspots until everything averages out.
     
  14. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    I just got a 12 inch Lodge skillet at Goodwill for $9. It's got some rust on it but... fixable.
     
  15. longrider

    longrider Southern Gent

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    you bet you can cook on top of an electric stove, though i have never cooked cornbread on top. i always bake in an oven, corn sticks too.

    as for cleaning: i wouldnt use anything on the iron that you wouldnt consider ingesting into your body. nothing caustic i mean. feel free to get out a drill with a wire wheel on it or even use sand paper if the rust is that bad. often times steel wool or a Green pad will do the trick and simply reseason per Lodge Website Instructions.

    you wouldnt believe how porous iron is, it simply absorbs stuff like a sponge! i used a wire wheel on 7 big ol dutch ovens and then cleaned them out with dawn dish washing liquid, paper napkin drying, too be followed IMMEADIATLY (seconds) by crisco coating and then heat.
     
  16. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    I have a cast iron collection that I use all the time, except for a huge skillet with a lid. It is too big for my electric stovetop and so heavy, especially when filled, it collapsed my oven rack. Now I know why my mom gave it to me, she can't pick it up! I am still waiting for mom to give me my great grandma's dutch oven. It's been seasoned for almost a century with bacon grease. Most of my cast iron is 20-50 years old and is finally getting as nice as Great Grandma's.

    Be careful using cast iron on an electric stovetop, they can get warped if heated too quickly. Often you can find nice old cast iron ware at thrift stores that has been warped on an electric stove. They are restorable. If you have a wood stove with a solid flat surface, set the piece on top and fire the stove up. Do it when it is 30 below outside and your house really needs the heat from a red glowing stove with a glowing kettle on it.
     
  17. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I only use cast iron and all of mine is old. All of my cast iron came from thrift & antique shops. But I never paid more than a few dollars for it.

    I did buy a rectangular griddle from Sportsman Guide for $8.00 and it's great, the only new piece I have. It's my french toast pan.

    Check this site out:
    http://www.griswoldcookware.com/
     
  18. rafter

    rafter Well-Known Member

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  19. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    Ive never heard of cast iron warping. Actually I thought thats why it was used because it wont warp. I could be wrong, I made a mistake once...therre was this one time I thought I was wrong, turned out I wasnt, lol.Im just kidding. I like that saying.
     
  20. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Lodge cast iron since 1896

    They will send you a free catalog. Great prices, fast shipping at

    www.lodgemtg.com

    They have everything in it.
    John#4