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Mini-rant: mistreatment of cast iron!

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  • #16
    If you need to buy a cast iron skillet, I'd recommend going to Ebay and getting an old one, seasoned or not. (Cheaper not, or needing cleaning.) The old ones had a better grade of iron in them than any of the new (mostly Chinese) stuff out there.

    I don't find I need to be that careful about soap. I put some detergent into a scrubber and have at it under running water in the sink. Then I take it back to the stove, let it warm up, add some fat or rub it with olive oil, and it's ready to go. At first, when my most recent one was new from Ebay, I took it down to bare metal and then tried to reseason it. At first that didn't go too well, but as I use it and clean it and use it again, always with the fat and moderate heat first before food is added, the non-stick aspects of the seasoning get better and better.

    As for the non-stick aluminum -- forget it! It's terribly vulnerable to abrasion, it gives off toxic fumes if the heat gets the least bit high (and anything one would call "frying" involves heat too high for non-stick coatings, IMO), and even when used very carefully, at some point the coating fails and one has to just throw it away and start over again. I don't like disposable stuff. Cast iron even reasonably well used will last generations. It can get almost as non-stick as a new teflon pan, and far more non-stick than an older one.

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    • #17
      I wish I had been there to take your carbon steel knives off your hands faceplate. They hold an edge like no other knife. I absolutely love mine.
      Last edited by Karma; 09-04-2010, 05:22 PM. Reason: spelling

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      • #18
        Originally posted by blank_faceplate View Post
        If a piece of cookware requires "instructions" or will die a horrible death if someone uninitiated in the dark arts gets their hands on it, I don't have a use for it. It's pretty much that simple - I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. Cast iron that isn't enamel coated, carbon steel knives, copper anything, and certainly ceramic knives all fall into that category.

        My requirements are cheap or bulletproof and reasonable quality. Aluminum non-stick pans obviously have their drawbacks, but at least when my mother in law uses my 12" knives to scramble eggs in it I can shrug, toss it in the trash, and buy another one from a restaurant supply place for $15. I don't want any cookware that has emotional significance. And, no, I'm not a kitchen neophyte, I'm classically trained.
        I know your only trying to make the point to keep cooking simple, but like any job that needs to be done, there's always the right tool for the job.......I'm also classically trained and why I found this response confusing because most, no, all classically trained chefs, cooks would not argue my point.......each to their own I guess.
        Whether you think you can..... or you think you can't..... your 100 % correct.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Chefgerry View Post
          I know your only trying to make the point to keep cooking simple, but like any job that needs to be done, there's always the right tool for the job.......I'm also classically trained and why I found this response confusing because most, no, all classically trained chefs, cooks would not argue my point.......each to their own I guess.
          Actually, I'm arguing the point "keep life simple." More power to all of you if you like your cast iron. Sorry for the totally unintentional hijack.

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          • #20
            I have several cast iron pans. On the rare occasion when my husband decides to "help" me by doing the dishes, he has sometimes washed my pans with soap. Not a disaster. Just cook some coconut oil or meat fat (pork or beef) in it long and slow and, voila, it is re-seasoned. I usually take a little coconut oil and coat the pan after washing with warm water as well. I have several little plastic scrapers that I got from a Pampered Chef party years ago that are great for scraping off little bits in my cast iron or LeCreuset pans. They really are easy care and recover nicely from those that think everything must be covered with soap to be cleaned.

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