Cast Iron Skillets

  • huntinforfish
    Participant
    Posts: 114
    #2164425

    I have numerous cast irons skillets at home that are used regularly and cared for properly in my opinion. Some were bought new (Lodge) by my wife and I and a couple were handed down. It seems to me that the newer lodge pans have a rougher surface texture on the cooking surface vs. some of the old pans. It could be from years or decades of use, but it seems that the older, smoother pans perform better and hold seasoning better that the new lodge pans. I’d like to try to grind and buff one of the new ones to a smooth surface and re-start the seasoning process to see how it would perform. I am just curious if others have noticed this with newer cast iron vs. old and if anyone has tried something similar.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11662
    #2164431

    Yes, they use a different process in newer pans. I have several old Griswolds, and I like them much better than the new lodge stuff. I do have a cast iron griddle that I smoothed out, like you mention. It works.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16896
    #2164435

    How do you smooth them out ? I really only use cast iron especially for any form of meat. I have some old ones that are great a old Dutch over but I bought 2 newer ones and noticed the same thing. Rougher and don’t hold a season as good

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11161
    #2164439
    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11161
    #2164441

    Consider a carbon steel pan as well. Heats up faster and more evenly. They also are even better non-stick than cast iron.

    Don Carlisle
    Participant
    Aitkin mn
    Posts: 251
    #2164444

    Good call biggill I just took a da sander and started out with 60 grit and moved on to 100 grit then cleaned and seasoned it.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16896
    #2164447

    Thanks guys. I’ll be doing this tonight

    IceManBran
    Participant
    Posts: 179
    #2164448

    Yes the new lodge’s are definitely more rough. Take a palm sander and smooth it out. Wash well and then season.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 10041
    #2164458

    It seems weird to me to take a brand new pan and take a sander to it. But if that’s what gets you to the surface you desire, Go for it. I myself am not a big fan of Cast Iron Skillets. Just never got use to cooking with them.

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16896
    #2164460

    It seems weird to me to take a brand new pan and take a sander to it. But if that’s what gets you to the surface you desire, Go for it. I myself am not a big fan of Cast Iron Skillets. Just never got use to cooking with them.

    Only way to cook a steak on a pan. Hot as it gets 10 to 15 seconds per side whip the pan in the oven at 500 with a chunk of butter on it for 3 minutes and my ribeye come over perfectly medium rare every time.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11662
    #2164464

    I use CI for darn near everything. I’ve got 75+ year old 10″ and 12″ Griswold pans that I paid a grand total of $2 at garage sales. A bit of cleanup work, and they’re some of my favorite pans.

    waldo9190
    Participant
    Cloquet, MN
    Posts: 941
    #2164465

    I have moved completely to cast iron and carbon steel pans. We threw out all of our non-stick pans, as I can get just as good of performance from pans that aren’t coated in toxic chemicals.

    Rodwork
    Participant
    Farmington, MN
    Posts: 3559
    #2164486

    I use a chainmail when I clean my cast pans. It makes it a little smoother every time I clean it. Something like this. You don’t want to polish it to a mirror finish or too smooth or the seasoning wont stay.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 10041
    #2164514

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>fishthumper wrote:</div>
    It seems weird to me to take a brand new pan and take a sander to it. But if that’s what gets you to the surface you desire, Go for it. I myself am not a big fan of Cast Iron Skillets. Just never got use to cooking with them.

    Only way to cook a steak on a pan. Hot as it gets 10 to 15 seconds per side whip the pan in the oven at 500 with a chunk of butter on it for 3 minutes and my ribeye come over perfectly medium rare every time.

    I may have to give cast Iron another shot. Maybe after I sand them down some. The one I have, things seem to stick to a lot. It was a new one and I did the conditioning process others said, but food still seemed to stick to it. It was a lodge brand from Cabelas. That sure would be a faster way than I cook ribeyes. Ive always went the slow and low method on my pellet grill with a Sear at the end ( Sear in the rear method )

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 4765
    #2164516

    Cast iron is the only way I’ll do steaks or burgers in the house. Mine have the rougher surface and I guess it doesn’t bother me at all.

    Yea food sticks to it but after I’m done I run hot water over it and use a scrub brush and no soap and cleans up nice. Then I add a light coat of cooking spray to them and wipe it with a paper towel and goes in the cabinet

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 17382
    #2164520

    I got a cast iron griddle for my bullseye and I am having a helluva time seasoning it. Luckily I have a buddy who is a cast iron snob and he has an electrolysis machine and said he would do it for me. I tried following the instructions from Recteq, but these types of jobs should not be done after several beers and in the dark because I had WAAAAAY too much grapeseed oil on there. So Im just going to give up and let him do it.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11161
    #2164535

    For everyone saying cast iron is the way to go should really consider a carbon steel pan. They work best over a good gas burner.

    They transfer the heat from the burner much faster than cast and have the same nonstick qualities. Plus they heat quicker and more evenly.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11161
    #2164538

    For those having trouble with food sticking, once you drop food in a searing hot pan, LEAVE IT. DONT TOUCH IT OTHER THAN PRESSING IT INTO THE PAN. Once the sear is complete it will release a lot better. That goes for meat, potatoes or whatever.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11662
    #2164556

    For everyone saying cast iron is the way to go should really consider a carbon steel pan

    Have one and like it a lot.

    Jeremy
    Participant
    Richland County, WI
    Posts: 677
    #2164561

    I worked in a foundry and have never seen any casting come out of a mold smooth, it takes grinding and/or machining to do that. The iron gets poured into a pressed sand mold at about 2700 F and about the only grinding done would be where the bit of seeping at the seam of the mold halves

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11662
    #2164564

    This is a good one–old, smooth, and seasoned.

    One mistake I see a lot of guys make is using too much oil to season and store. You don’t want it greasy–just a very light coat. The more you use CI pans, the better they get.

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    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9517
    #2178470

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Biggill wrote:</div>
    For everyone saying cast iron is the way to go should really consider a carbon steel pan

    Have one and like it a lot.

    What brand do you guys use for carbon steel? We need some new frying pans, and want to go this route. Pampered Chef’s are titanium-reinforced, four layes nonstick coating and is PFOA free, which I’m no metallurgist but would not be carbon steel I don’t think…

    Reef W
    Participant
    Posts: 2068
    #2178487

    Carbon steel can’t go in dishwasher can it? I have a cast iron for when I need it but I wouldn’t want a whole set for home that can’t go in the dishwasher. Currently we have hard anodized set (Calphalon) that is PFOA free but still very nonstick and they can go in dishwasher and oven.

    John Rasmussen
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 4907
    #2178491

    For you guys using the carbon steel, if a guy has an electric stove does it still work as well?

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11662
    #2178493

    Carbon steel can’t go in dishwasher can it?

    I would think it would rust in a hurry.

    tswoboda
    Participant
    Posts: 6913
    #2178499

    I use carbon steel on an electric flat top range and it’s fine – gas would be better but gas is better for everything. No you cannot put it in the dishwasher, it needs the same care routine as a cast iron pan. Look at it as a lighter and smoother (more non-stick) cast iron pan. Cast iron is better for steaks/searing and carbon steel is better for pretty much everything else.

    DeBuyer and Matfer Bourgeat are two classic carbon steel brands. I have DeBuyer and would 100% recommend it. If I were buying right now, there’s a direct-to-consumer brand out of Argentina that looks really good. I wouldn’t get the Lodge Carbon Steel, it’s super rough surface and cooks like a thin cast iron – the worst of both worlds really. Don’t get sucked in by “as seen on internet advertising” brands Misen or Made in either.

    Any of the non-stick pans are, or will eventually be, trash IMO. Buy good stainless clad cookware and 1 carbon steel or cast iron pan and you’re set for life.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11662
    #2178500

    I wouldn’t get the Lodge Carbon Steel…

    Yeah, it’s not awesome.

    picklerick
    Participant
    Central WI
    Posts: 1196
    #2178502

    I use the Made In 12″ carbon steel on an electric range. Makes great chops, steaks, burgers, and then whip up a mean pan sauce or sautéed veg with the drippings. Don’t make the mistake I did. After getting it just seasoned enough to make over easy eggs I made a tomato sauce for pasta and nearly stripped it back to bare metal.

    https://madeincookware.com/collections/carbon-steel

    TheFamousGrouse
    Participant
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 10660
    #2178508

    I have been doing fish and other frying in a large (9 quart) Le Creuset dutch oven and I like it so much I don’t use the old black cast iron anymore. There are a million cheaper versions out there as well which I would think would work just as well.

    The La Creuset has all the advantages of cast iron because it is cast iron. The best part is that the enamel coating eliminates all the black cast iron pan issues with rust, seasoning, sticking, cleanup, etc. No need to be sanding, buffing, waxing, oiling, massaging, etc, etc, etc.

    I also like the depth because there’s less spatter. Try it if you have one of these enamel dutch ovens.

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