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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » Recipes/Grilling/ Barbecuing/Smokers » HELP!! IN THE DOG HOUSE - Cast iron skillet question (also in cooking forum) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: HELP!! IN THE DOG HOUSE - Cast iron skillet question (also in cooking forum)
TSchirm
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(Moderators, forgive me if this was an inappropriate place for this post. I was looking for quick answers due to being in the doghouse once again.)

Hey guys, can you help me out? I was wondering something about the new cast iron skillets out there. I used to have a good, old skillet that my wife inadvertently gave away (long story). We went without for a few years now, but don't like most frying pans you can get now. We have been on the lookout for used cast iron skillets in a couple sizes, and managed to find only one after months of looking,

SO, I broke down and bought two new ones made by Lodge for the other sizes we wanted. These new ones are kind of rough on the cooking surface, where my old one was smooth. Does this make things like eggs stick even thought Lodge says they come pre-seasoned. I intend to improve the seasoning, but am wondering about the roughness causing problems with things sticking. My wife is really not happy, and doesn't think they will work, and doesn't want to use them. So now I'm in the doghouse for spending money trying to help out (again- lol).

What are others experiences with newer cast iron and the roughness of the cooking surface??

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Tom - Fish Carver

Posts: 399 | From: Washington | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kip
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Pre seasoning is a joke you need to cure it again maybe twice.Use spray pam or some other
oils and bake in oven for a couple hours at abour 150/200 degrees.Kip

Posts: 2497 | From: Ville Platte Louisiana | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DEATHMASTER
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Use some sand paper and smooth out the surface. The new pans are rough and a little clean up goes a long way.
Wash it good after sanding and coat with a good oil. I used olive oil and be sure to coat all surfaces.
Cook in oven or better yet is a gas grill because you will be cooking the grease/oil to season.
Cook at 200 for 2 to4 hours, turn off heat and let cool in heat unit.
Reaply oil and do once more the same.
Now it is seasoned and smooth.
A towel is all that is needed for clean up. I may use a damp towel at times but heat it up to make sure it is dry after.
Use only plastic ware in it for turning food.
Hope this helps get you out of the dog house.

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shade mt
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get them seasoned right you will never want to use anything else. We have an assortment of cast iron skillets from small to very large. Last for years and years. non-stick and clean up very well. Don't use dish soap. We simply use hot water. season from time to time as others have mentioned.
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Hopewell Tom
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And don't use it to pound in tent stakes as a friend did with a family "heirloom" version of his mother's. Kinda poked a hole in the center of it...

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TOM

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hogless
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No problem cook a couple pan of corn bread in using crisco
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Bud B.
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Hit some antique and/or thrift stores...I see'em everywhere. Look for the smooth bottom you want and get it.

I have had no problem with the new Lodge pans. I wipe down with a thin coat off oil and leave'em in the oven whenever we bake other things. That way you season and cook something else at the same time.

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TGMM Family of the Bow >>>>---------->

"You can learn more about deer hunting with a bow and arrow in a week, than a gun hunter might learn all his life." ----- Fred Bear

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TKO
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I'm fairly new to traditional archery but, I've been a cast iron man my whole life. You're right, new cast iron is rough on the cooking surface and is not very conducive to non-stick cooking. At least not right away. And the factory pre-seasoning, as others have posted, is a joke.

Here is the method I use with great success every time I get another piece of cast iron cookware. I have over a dozen, mostly old Griwolds, Wagners, and no names but, I also have a few newer, Lodge type skillets and a three leg dutch oven.

You'll need some Dawn or similar dish washing detergent, a pound or two of very fatty bacon, a metal, flat edged spatula with slightly rounded corners and a few paper towels.

The first thing I suggest is wash your skillet with very hot, very soapy water and a brillo pad. I know this goes against the grain but, I personally don't trust the methods or materials used to preseason at the factory and you only need to do this one time.

Next, begin seasoning your skillet the right way. Make sure you fully preheat (fairly low heat)the skillet before use. Check to see that the skillet is fully preheated by carefully checking the rim with your hand. A quick tap will let you know the skillet has heated all the way through.

Next, fry the bacon maintaining fairly low heat. Be sure you don't use too much heat and cover while frying because you're not going to drain the grease. If your heat is too high and you don't cover the skillet, you'll have a splattering mess by the time all the bacon is done.

As you cook the bacon, you'll notice some darker material is sticking to the bottom of the skillet. Use the flat edge of your spatula to gently scrape the offending bacon remnants from the skillet. Be sure not to gouge the cooking surface.

Once the bacon is fully cooked and removed from the skillet, turn off heat but, leave the skillet on the burner. Take a wadded up paper towel and carefully dip a portion into the hot bacon grease. Make sure you keep track of your fingers! Now, using the grease laden paper towel, rub a light coat of the bacon drippings all over the skillet excluding the bottom. Coat the inside, rim, outside and handle with the grease and allow to slowly cool on the burner with the bacon grease still inside. After the skillet has cooled to ambient room temperature and the grease has congealed, fully reheat and put another coat of bacon grease over the surfaces of the skillet, again, excluding the bottom. Let the whole thing slowly cool to room temp again.

Once cool, use the flat edged spatula to scrape most of the congealed bacon grease out. Again, be sure not to gouge the cooking surface. Put removed grease in a resealable container and set aside. Reheat skillet a third time but, just long enough to liquefy the remaining drippings. Use a paper towel to smear another light coat of grease over the entire surface area of the skillet, this time, include the bottom.

Place skillet on the oven and heat to 200-225 degrees for about 45 minutes. Turn oven off but, leave skillet onside to slowly cool again to room temp.

Your skillet now has a starter seasoning. However, it will not have the teflon like, non-stick surface yet. That will come with time and proper care and will depend on how often you use it and how rough the original surface was. The more you use it, the quicker it will fully season.

A few pointers.

Always fully preheat your cast iron before use.

Always use some type of grease or oil when cooking in cast iron. This will continue to develop and maintain the season. Over the years, I've found bacon grease and olive oil, in that order, to be the absolute best at obtaining and maintaining a great, hard, slick seasoning. Once fully seasoned, I'll occasionally use real butter.

Always use a flat edged, metal spatula with slightly rounded corners. This will aid in keeping the cooking surface flat and slick especially in newer, rough surfaced cast iron. A metal spatula will scrape the peaks of a rough surface and allow the valleys to fill with seasoning until the entire surface will eventually be even, smooth and teflon like.

Never wash cast iron with soap and water after it has bee seasoned properly. If you do cook something particularly sticky and end up with food particles stuck to the bottom of your skillet, use the flat edged spatula to scrape (not gouge) the cooking surface. If after scraping, you still have some roughness on the cooking surface, use a little regular table salt and a paper towel to scrub the surface. I know this sounds harsh but, for reasons unknown to me, this method does very little if any damage to the seasoning and results in a nice smooth cooking surface. Then, just wipe a light coat of grease or oil on the surface and you're ready to go again.

I know this is kind of long winded but, this is the method, with minor adjustments for modern conveniences, taught to me by my Grandmother who learned it from her Mother. It has served me and my entire family well since at least the turn of the last century. I hope this helps.

P.S. Although I have never tried it myself, a friend sanded the cooking surface of a 14" Lodge skillet in an attempt to replicate older cast iron smoothness. The skillet cracked the first time he heated it afterward. I can't say it cracked because of the sanding but, it had been used for several years prior with no issues so, who knows.

Posts: 212 | From: El Dorado, Kansas | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TSchirm
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Thanks everyone. Maybe I got impatient, but I had hit every thrift store witin 40 miles for months and only found 1. I didn't think of antique stores. I am not sure whether to keep these new ones, or keep searching. If I can get one of them seasoned well and show the wife it works, maybe that will do until I can find some older ones. I can always throw one or two in the elk camp box!

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Tom - Fish Carver

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Stickbow
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Thanks TKO! Good info
Posts: 686 | From: N. Idaho | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TKO
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You bet, Stickbow.

Also, every piece of old cast iron I have that wasn't given to me by my Grandmother or Mother was found on Craig's list. Last year I found 10 pieces of various sizes for $80.00. Only 2 were newer pieces. The rest were old cast iron with machined cooking surfaces. I cleaned them up, re-seasoned each one and gave all but one Wagner away as gifts.

I've also seen cast iron cookware advertised on sale bills for farm/estate auctions.

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TSchirm
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Thanks to all for the information. I will keep looking and maybe try to smooth the new ones and season them well.

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Tom - Fish Carver

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WhiteBeard121
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I know this is an old thread but thought I'd add to it. TKO is dead-on. The Griswolds and Wagners are highly prized by collectors. I've seen one skillet go as high as $150. If you find some (like TKO did) for that kind of price, the person selling them doesn't know what they have. When shopping for used, the things to look for are a flat bottom and no serious pitting or cracks. a non-flat bottom means someone got it too hot at some point in it's life and they have a tendency to cook unevenly, and your oil pools unevenly.
As others noted, you can season the Lodge's, but he quality just isn't there like the vintage ones.

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uncowboy
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I'm going to post what I do more to know if I am doing something wrong.

I clean with soap and watter and sreal wool if necessary ,DRY and then I rub the entire pan down with Crisco shortning I place upside down in my grill shut the lid and cook med for an hour shut it off and when cool wipe down. Only problem I had with this method is letting the grill get too hot. Then I just start over. I think having the pan upside down is important because it stops the pooling of the grease withc gives a sticky spot, No worry abvout smoke useing the outside grill. Cleanest way I have found I hae saved rusted pans this way.

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Bear Heart
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I have found the Camp Chef pans to be smoother than Lodge.

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Traditional Bowhunters of Washington
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"Memories before merchandise!"

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