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Cast Iron Pan

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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby towanda » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:28 pm

I have a 7-qt Lodge that I use for soups, chili, some casseroles, big batches of ratatouille, and baking no-knead bread. I love it. It's not hard to take care of.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:03 pm

I really appreciate everyone's input. I just ordered a beautiful 3 qt., glass domed preseasoned Lodge pan. Feeling happy about not having a matching set of pans. I can almost see hearty stews through that glass dome now.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:22 pm

The other prime use for cast-iron pans: steaks.

1. Put steak in pan with an oil with a high smokepoint and sear both sides at high heat.
2. Put THE WHOLE PAN in the oven to cook a bit longer.

This makes wonderful rare steaks. There are much better recipes online with cooking times and temps.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Petro » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:34 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:The other prime use for cast-iron pans: steaks.

1. Put steak in pan with an oil with a high smokepoint and sear both sides at high heat.
2. Put THE WHOLE PAN in the oven to cook a bit longer.

This makes wonderful rare steaks. There are much better recipes online with cooking times and temps.


I'm a big fan of the 20 minutes at 225 followed by ~1 minute per side in a rocket-hot skillet followed by a quick dance through a pan with some browned butter.

You'll dirty 3 different dishes and probably set off your smoke alarm but it makes a hell of a steak.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:47 pm

Petro wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:The other prime use for cast-iron pans: steaks.

1. Put steak in pan with an oil with a high smokepoint and sear both sides at high heat.
2. Put THE WHOLE PAN in the oven to cook a bit longer.

This makes wonderful rare steaks. There are much better recipes online with cooking times and temps.


I'm a big fan of the 20 minutes at 225 followed by ~1 minute per side in a rocket-hot skillet followed by a quick dance through a pan with some browned butter.

You'll dirty 3 different dishes and probably set off your smoke alarm but it makes a hell of a steak.


That's interesting ... you bake and THEN sear it. How does it turn out with this method? Medium? Medium rare?
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Petro » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:32 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:That's interesting ... you bake and THEN sear it. How does it turn out with this method? Medium? Medium rare?


Not even. It's beautifully rare in the middle with a gorgeous ring of browning on the outside.

I originally read about that method here a couple of years ago and I've had fantastic success with it when I've been unable to grill. Oh, they're saying 275. I just remembered that you want the middle to hit 100F on an instant-read thermometer when it comes out of the oven.

Here's a photo of the finished product from the linked thread -

Image

The quick dash through the pan of brown butter was my own addition, brought about after reading about some other ridiculous preparation involving a 125F CVap oven. (You know, CVap? The last outrageous craze to hit before everything went sous vide?)

Enjoy.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:32 am

I was given a cast iron grill pan for a gift once. I didn't think I had a use for it since I have a nice outdoor grill. The first time I used it I was sold. Perfect for steaks, chicken, vegetables, or any other food you would want to throw on the grill when there is 10 inches of snow on the ground. Make sure you have a good exhaust fan cause once you've got that think up to high temp, it'll smoke the place up good. For added flavor, throw some fresh herbs like rosemary between the raised grill parts(don't know what to actually call them) and they'll infuse the meat with some awesome flavors.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:39 am

Fry-up. All the way. Cubed potatoes, assorted vegetables (onions, tomatoes and asparagus are nice), a big old sausage cut up into chunks, a little cheese if you're feeling saucy, and eggs cracked directly into the gaps. Completely wonderful. It's like British bibimbap.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby swoon_queen » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:11 am

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite threads on TDPF. One unexpected use for our handy 10-inch cast iron pan: crepes. My daughter requested crepes for her first day of school, and I was panicking about not having an appropriate non-stick pan (as I own zero non-stick pans; the chemicals on 'em freak me out) until I thought, huh, wonder if the cast iron would work? Like a charm! We've been considering getting one of the cast iron grill pans as well but I wonder if it is redundant?
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:19 pm

swoon_queen wrote:We've been considering getting one of the cast iron grill pans as well but I wonder if it is redundant?


I would say no. I have 4 different cast iron pans/pots and each one has their own unique ways of cooking things. The nice thing about the cast iron grill pan is that the food doesn't sit in the fat(if you're cooking meat or something greasy)
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Petro » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:17 pm

swoon_queen wrote:This is quickly becoming one of my favorite threads on TDPF. One unexpected use for our handy 10-inch cast iron pan: crepes. My daughter requested crepes for her first day of school, and I was panicking about not having an appropriate non-stick pan (as I own zero non-stick pans; the chemicals on 'em freak me out) until I thought, huh, wonder if the cast iron would work? Like a charm! We've been considering getting one of the cast iron grill pans as well but I wonder if it is redundant?


Lodge makes a double-sided, two-burner grill pan/griddle.

I absolutely love mine, even if the guy from the mail room gave me a dirty look when he dropped it off.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby AndyMatts » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:58 am

Cast iron for: Stews, yes, depending on how you do it. Soups? No, or, at least, I wouldn't.

I have a Lodge frying pan and the dutch oven, which I have used for stews. I use the method that Cook's Illustrated does, where you brown the meat and start everything on the stove, then do the bulk of the slow cooking in the oven, which is what the dutch oven is very well suited for.

Also, I've read a lot of bad feedback about the pre-seasoning, so make sure you give it a good scrub when you get it and season it yourself.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Petro » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:15 pm

Cooks Illustrated taught me a neat way to season cast iron in the January issue, actually.

I'll just link to the blog that they mention, as she gives a great explanation as to how she arrived at this method.

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/ ... cast-iron/
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby fennel » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:58 pm

Petro wrote:Cooks Illustrated taught me a neat way to season cast iron in the January issue, actually.

I'll just link to the blog that they mention, as she gives a great explanation as to how she arrived at this method.

http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/ ... cast-iron/
Thanks, Petro. I finally got around to trying this. It does look to be the best method I've heard of. The surface seems much more durable, though the process is really time-consuming. (There must be a business opportunity, here.)

One of my pans is a Wagner no. 12 that, I think, is at least 80 years old. The sides had a major complex of accretions that even oven cleaner couldn't address. So I tried the closest thing to a nuclear option that I have: the oven's 4.5 hour cleaning cycle. That did it – nothing left but iron, a thin powdery layer of surface rust, and fine ash.
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Re: Cast Iron Pan

Postby DavidFreedomFighter » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:08 am

After reading this, I wanted to know what kind of cast iron pans I had. Turns out they are all Wagner Ware made before 1922. They are worth quite a bit more money than I thought, as cooks seem to think they are the best cast iron pans. They were very well seasoned when I got them. They are as nonstick as any of new Teflon pans, the surface is glass smooth. I got the when my wife's grandmother died 20 years ago, since I was the best cook in the family. Now that I've been using them, I would never give them up. I do have a newer Lodge Dutch oven with the legs that I use for camping. I seasoned it with peanut oil when I got it. Stuff still sticks to it. I just thought it needed another 10 years of use before it would become nonstick. Now I'll re-season it with Petro's Cooks Illustrated method. Thanks, maybe clean up time after camp dinner will be easier this summer.
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