castiron

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by UncleTom, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. UncleTom

    UncleTom Well-Known Member

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    I have wondered if i would like cast iton skillets. I have been readaing all the posts about them. I passed up a really nice ducth oven at a rumage sale. I know a guy that has a dozen cast iron skillets for sale. Wonder if i should go look at them. What brand would be the best to buy? They look all old. Is griswold the only old brand or are there others? Thanks UncleTom
     
  2. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    Wagner is another old brand. Lodge is newer, but american made. Stay away for imported ones, they aren't ground down smooth, you will see grooves in the bottom of the pans. Some of the older ones have a smoke ring on the bottom, it will be a raised ring a few inches in from the base edge. This ring sometimes gets hung up on burners or may not sit level on gas burners. I use both kinds,(with and without a smoke ring). If you get them at a yard sale, they will need to be cleaned. Placing them in the coals of a brush pile and leaving them until a grey ash forms, works well. I've been doing this for years.
    lacyj
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Cast iron is my favored cooking implement material, there has never been any disease or disorder attached to them in my knowledge. Yes they are heavy so they heat slowley but also evenly, what is called a smoke ring is actually a heat ring, its purpose is to lift the skillet above the flat old time wood stoves surface so the heat is applied evenly. Propperly seasoned they need only a few drops of oil to work correctly. Nothing sticks to a correctly seasoned skillet. The black carbon coating last forever if you do not chip it or start washing it in water with soap, never use soap on cast iron. Just wipe them out with a wet cloth after they have cooled.

    I collect so I have 58 pieces, about 7 get full time use, there is no other type of cooking material in my kitchen, nor will there be.
     
  4. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

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    Cast iron is my favorite. Right now I don't have a stove because we're remodeling the kitchen and I reeeallly miss using them. I've heard if you use cast iron, you won't have to worry about becoming anemic. When my daughter was pregnant with her first child, the midwife said the iron in her blood was excellent.
     
  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Griswold and Wagner are the 2 high demand old cast iron brands. If they are either brand you can't go wrong. Lodge is the most common new brand you will find and they are good quality also. As someone said be sure to buy polished pans for cooking. Lodge makes pans that are not polished so you have to make sure.
     
  6. johnghagen

    johnghagen Well-Known Member

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    :) The thing about the old ones is that the grain of the pan is tight and very smooth this is what you you need to look for.The cooking surface of a properly cured cast iron pan should be as smooth as a counter.The new ones are grainy when you look at the cooking surface.Wagner is great and not as exspensive as Griswold.I can fry potatoes in mine and never stick just wash and put on top of stove to dry and wipe with a little lard and place on hot burner and turn off the burner
     
  7. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Cast iron is the best-I wish I had more! Far better than any "non-stick" garbage when cared for-the teflon non-stick stuff is poisonous, by the way.....better than alluminum, which is also bad, so, if you get a good deal, go for the iron! Look for older pieces too, as they are better, though, Lodge is now making pre-seasoned cookware, but I'm not sure if it is any good since I haven't tried it yet. I think they call it Lodge "Logic"?? Cast iron is more expensive, but well worth the extra.
     
  8. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    Several years ago I was helping my mom clean a bunch of stuff out of her restauraunts cellar. I ended up taking home 4 frying pans between 9" and 18". Also got 2 new in the box muffin pans out of the same pile of junk. I love them all and use the middle sized frying pan daily.

    I've passed up several sauce pans and dutch ovens in garage sales. Mainly because I wasn't sure if they would require alot more extra care being used with liquids.
     
  9. UncleTom

    UncleTom Well-Known Member

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    Do any of you use cast iron on electric stoves or are you all useing gas stoves? I think that you could use electric but it would take along time for the pan to heat up.
     
  10. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    I use mine on an electric stove. I have no problems there.
     
  11. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    My cast iron pan is not smooth and is driving me crazy. It has the grainy interior that is nothing like the pan I remember my parents having when I was young.
    Is there any way to make one of these grainy pans smoother?
     
  12. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I made the mistake of buying a pan with a rough bottom. I used a small grinder with a sandpaper disc to grind it smooth and then kept going with finer paper until I ended up polishing it with a scotchbrite. It works fine now but it took a fair amount of work.
     
  13. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    The only kind of frying pan I'll use is cast iron. You do have to keep them seasoned, though. Ours needs reseasoned now, but it'll have to wait until warmer weather -- doing it in the oven makes the house stink, and I want to be able to open the windows. The great big fry pans are awfully heavy. You either need strong wrists, or use two hands with them. Ditto for the big chicken fryers; we have one of those here, also. My ex has all four of our dutch ovens (with legs). I wanted to keep one, but didn't have room as I was getting ready to move out here. He also has an antique spider. It is a frying pan, but it has legs like the dutch ovens, and an extra-long handle. It was meant to use in the fireplace. I would like to find another one of those, and a medium-sized dutch oven for camping.

    I do like stainless steel for saucepans and kettles (it's lighter), but cast iron will last longer, as long as you keep it seasoned, and don't drop it! It will crack if dropped too hard.

    Kathleen
     
  14. LWB

    LWB Well-Known Member

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    I have a complete set of cast iron skillets that my Mama and Daddy bought in 1941 when they married. I have been given several new Lodge skillets in the past few years. The older ones are much the better. A fellow told me once that the newer ones were not the same pure cast irons as the old ones. I don't know what the difference is but I do know that the old ones are far superior. I don't know what the brand is. If I needed some skillets and found some at a sale that were old, I would buy them no matter what condition they were in.
     
  15. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We have all kinds of cast iron. We use them on our wood cook stove. We got them at garage sales, antique stores, and the Co-Op. We don't find too much difference between the brands. We (Nancy) seasons them when ever we get one - new or old.

    They all work great - at least I sure like the food I get - thanks Nancy and cast iron.

    [​IMG]
    Cast Iron Hanging On Beam Near Cook Stove

    Get cast iron.

    Good Luck,

    Alex
     
  16. UncleTom

    UncleTom Well-Known Member

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    Those look like some nice pieces there Alex. That griddle looks good. I love your kitchen. I love photos. Thanks alot. UncleTom
     
  17. vegascowgirl

    vegascowgirl Try Me

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    I too love cast iron, and have about ten peices or so. Some are Wagner, lodge, and a couple are a brand that is made in China. I have no problems with any of them. Cleaning is simple...I normally fill my skillets with water after I've finished cooking, and let it come to a rolling boil, then just dump the water and wipe it all out. Make sure you oil it (or use some type of lard) after each use.
    Currently all I have is my dutch ovens and a few skillets and griddles. I'm looking for sauce pans, but keep coming up empty at yard sales.
     
  18. babetteq

    babetteq Well-Known Member

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    I have 5 pieces. ONe of the is a "spider" in that instead of smoke/heat rings ont he bottom it has 4 little short, curved legs. My dad always called them spiders instead of skillets. I only have a few, but I don't need a whole bunch of them. I would like some cast iron bread pans though, and a big damper pan.

    I use my cast iron for everything from stir fries and hamburgers to baking biscuits and bread in them. I can also hand them down to my children.

    I have only bought one skillet new, all the others I have rescued from garage sales, being used as planters, dog water bowls... all rusty and horrible, or people burning stuff in them and not knowing how to fix 'em up again. The only way to kill a cast iron pan is to break it. and that takes some doing.

    in other words.... yes. get the cast iron. learn to care for it and use it, it is worth it's weight in gold (and that' s a lot of weight)

    babs
     
  19. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a new cast iron wok that is the Lodge Logic type. The pre-seasoning is ok, but I still care for it just like regular cast iron in its cleaning, and oiling after using. Since I use it on the highest heat burner on our stove, the seasoning started to wear off in one area; regular care has cured that.

    I use peanut oil to cook in as it takes higher temps., and peanut oil or vegetable shortning after its clean but still hot from drying on the stove.
     
  20. Wannabee

    Wannabee Foggy Dew Farms

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    I love using the cast iron, especially over a campfire. Most of our stuff is lodge, but we have a few older ones. I do like the older ones best.

    My wife doesn't like cooking with the cast iron, just becasue she can't put it in the dishwasher! You can tell when I made breakfast, because the cast iron is out!!!!!!