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Bob Saget IRL
Oct 24, 2014



Flash Gordon Ramsay posted:

I really think bacon is overrated as a seasoning helper. There, I said it.
I think it’s appropriate to start a new cast iron thread.

I’ve been using cast iron for a few years now, and the previous threads were good influences, full of knowledge, that encouraged me to buy my first iron skillet in the first place. I think they all lacked a good OP though, and the OP never updated. I will try to do that with the help of the regulars of these threads.
Before we get to that though, as a novice, I offer what I've learned so far::

It’s cast iron. It’s a metal that’s been used to conquer peoples and forge empires. You’re not going to destroy it on your stove, grill or campfire. You may screw up the seasoning, but chances are, you will only ruin what wasn’t really any real seasoning anyway. Why? Because you don’t wash your pan.

Wash your pan? Yes, wash it. My laymen’s way of explaining is: the fats that stick to the pan, will stick to the pan. A good, quick wash with a thick thistle plastic brush and soap will not take off seasoning. What does come off was not polymerized, and is not seasoning.
I’ve done the whole coarse salt and heat and oil thing, and it works to a point, but seemed to take more time and effort after more uses of the pan. Washing like a normal dish has provided the best results. But, drying is an additional step worth taking.

DO NOT SOAK YOUR PAN, OR LET WATER REST ON IT. Rust is bad, Mmmmkay. After you wash it, dry it well with paper towels. Put it back on the stove over a med-low heat, and let the heat take out the rest of the moisture. Once it’s thoroughly dry, sprinkle a bit of vegetable oil (or oil with a higher smoke point [olive oil is not a good oil for this]), and wipe it all over the pan until it’s just about dry. It’s oil, so you’re are not going to be able to wipe it all out, and that’s the goal. Do the inside, handle and underside; whatever oil you can’t wipe out is the perfect amount to leave. You don’t want to leave excess oil in the pan, because it starts to get sticky and catch dust and what have you. The tiny bit of oil you leave, you want to polymerize. Leave it on the stove until it starts to smoke. Just when it starts to smoke, turn the heat off {this is why I use med-low heat, because you don’t have to be very mindful).

Cast iron retains heat well, but it does not distribute heat well. If you turn your burner on and let your pan sit for ten minutes, some spots will be hotter than others. With my stove, if I left my pan alone I'd have a differential of about 80F at different points. When preheating, I rotate my pan a quarter turn every few minutes0, and suggest that you do the same.

As for the quote at the top, I couldn’t agree more. Bacon is great, but it is not the best thing in the world, health wise or iron wise.

Drifter posted:

Bacon is good, but often has a lot of salt, sugars, and other poo poo that can result in a weaker/softer season that needs to be repaired often-er

Other Basics

If you continually have food sticking and burning to your pan, you probably have the heat too high. Each stove is different; what may be medium heat on my stove could be med-high or greater (or less) on yours. Play with your stove and pan, and find the right temperature.

You don't need to deep fry everything to make your iron non stick. This coincides with my above statement. Heat control is the key. It didn't take much of a seasoning before I could make good sunny side up eggs. It was all about the right temperature and time preheating.

Steaks. Cast iron is a great tool for a indoor steak that I haven't quite learned yet, but hopefully others will spill their brains, and I'll update this.

Burgers Probably the best burgers I've ever had was cooking them in my skillet. Using fresh ground 90/10 meat and grill them in bacon grease (this is why bacon great, but don't tell my cardiologist). I'll use a med-high setting, and move the pan half off the burner. Then, I'll just move the burger from the hot side to the low side (and flip often), repeating until I get a nice, crusty, medium-rare burger.

Same Great Paste posted:

For burgers, I like to follow the advice from http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives...ng-burgers.html

Basically get the pan screaming hot, then press the burger hard BEFORE any of the fat has a chance to turn to liquid. You get an insanely good crust without sacrificing any patty juiciness.

And for fun, here are my irons:
~1930s Griswold
~6 year old Lodge from a local hardware store
I also have a 90+ year old Wapak dutch oven, but it needs to be reseasoned.

There's lots of other stuff I'm sure I missed, so watch for updates or ask questions if you can't find the answer here.

E:

Drifter posted:


net work error posted:
Preheating cast iron in the over rather than a burner, yes or no?

Either, or. Doesn't matter. If you're going to use the oven, that's the way to go, since you'll want it up to temp anyway, but if you're just using the oven to preheat the pan...eh, I'd not bother.

Bob Saget IRL fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2015 around 01:12

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Safety Dance
Sep 10, 2007

Five degrees to starboard!

The old cast iron thread was only 21 pages. I guess someone must have let it soak in the sink, and it got rusty.

Drifter
Oct 22, 2000

Belated Bear Witness


Soiled Meat

Safety Dance posted:

The old cast iron thread was only 21 pages. I guess someone must have let it soak in the sink, and it got rusty.

But there was no OP.

I think barring a fancy schmancy pants sous vide, a reverse sear is the best way to cook a thicker steak, and there's even less smoke than a normal cook-with-cast-iron steak.

shankerz
Dec 7, 2014

Must Go Faster!


Lobster is amazing when cooked on cast iron with butter. As covered a little in the old thread. I'm curious how fish does and other shellfish like shrimp or crab?

Drifter
Oct 22, 2000

Belated Bear Witness


Soiled Meat

shankerz posted:

Lobster is amazing when cooked on cast iron with butter. As covered a little in the old thread. I'm curious how fish does and other shellfish like shrimp or crab?

I think Lobster is just amazing with butter, no matter the pan type. In this instance I'd probably hesitate to even use a cast iron pan, just because I could control the temperature better in a thinner pan. I pan fry a lot of trout and salmon and I guess tilapia whenever I accidentally pick that up from Trader Joe's, and it seems to do just fine. I've also made a few thai and Hungarian soups/curries with cubes of fish and it comes out fantastic in a dutch oven.

Drifter fucked around with this message at Jan 15, 2015 around 07:45

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008






Grimey Drawer

I cooked some pasta sauce in my hackmann dutch oven and that royally hosed up my seasoning. I cleaned it and put it away but i forgot to wipe it down and now it's rusty.

I fail at cast iron.

DJCobol
May 16, 2003

CALL OF DUTY!


Grimey Drawer

shankerz posted:

Lobster is amazing when cooked on cast iron with butter. As covered a little in the old thread. I'm curious how fish does and other shellfish like shrimp or crab?

I cooked a bunch of shrimp sous-vide and then used my cast iron skillet as hot as I could get it to get a quick sear on them and they came out great. I've done the same with catfish and salmon filets. Salmon usually holds up pretty well, but catfish has fallen apart on me a few times.

net work error
Feb 26, 2011



Preheating cast iron in the over rather than a burner, yes or no?

Drifter
Oct 22, 2000

Belated Bear Witness


Soiled Meat

net work error posted:

Preheating cast iron in the over rather than a burner, yes or no?

Either, or. Doesn't matter. If you're going to use the oven, that's the way to go, since you'll want it up to temp anyway, but if you're just using the oven to preheat the pan...eh, I'd not bother.

Massive
Apr 8, 2004


spankmeister posted:

I cooked some pasta sauce in my hackmann dutch oven and that royally hosed up my seasoning. I cleaned it and put it away but i forgot to wipe it down and now it's rusty.

I fail at cast iron.

sugars and acids = bad for seasoning!

Drifter
Oct 22, 2000

Belated Bear Witness


Soiled Meat

I cook tomatoes and other silly poo poo in one of my cast iron dutch ovens (my only one, actually) and it has never had an issue. I've also cooked tomatoey stuff and sugary pies/desserts in my large cast iron skillet with no deleterious effect.

wormil
Sep 12, 2002

Hulk will smoke you!

I've cooked tomato sauces in cast iron in the past but stopped. It's hard on the seasoning and harder to clean if you don't get to it right away.

SubponticatePoster
Aug 9, 2004

Every day takes figurin' out all over again how to fuckin' live.


Slippery Tilde

shankerz posted:

Lobster is amazing when cooked on cast iron with butter. As covered a little in the old thread. I'm curious how fish does and other shellfish like shrimp or crab?
I did giant scallops not long ago. Chopped up some bacon, browned that, put the scallops in, then added a touch of butter for finishing flavor. They turned out great!

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012


spankmeister posted:

I cooked some pasta sauce in my hackmann dutch oven and that royally hosed up my seasoning. I cleaned it and put it away but i forgot to wipe it down and now it's rusty.

I fail at cast iron.

Don't worry about it. I've cooked tomatoes and other high acid foods a million times. Just boil water, wash, heat until dry, and oil. Never had a problem. Nothing sticks.

Scrub off the rust, and do it again and keep it oiled.

We usually use a pan that my wife bought in '96 at Target. It was gray, and rough cast. After 18 years of use, I can literally see myself in the black. There are two ways to make a cast iron skillet non-stick: seasoning, or polishing. This one is polished clean by the metal spatula. I also have a bad-rear end skillet for eggs and bacon that is as non-stick as Teflon. I don't treat it any differently than the Target 9", but it has a thick coat of seasoning and no polish at all. I guess that's just what it decided to do.

In short, never worry about it. You can always fix cast iron.

Paper With Lines
Aug 21, 2013

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!


90% lean burgers? Even in the bacon grease, I don't know...

ColdPie
Jun 9, 2006



Hair Elf

Today in my cast iron skillet, I made pita breads for gyros. Yay cast iron!

Baron Fuzzlewhack
Sep 22, 2010

ALIVE ENOUGH TO DIE


I made blackened salmon tonight. Stovetop to oven, baby! The greatest.

Hopper
Dec 28, 2004

BOOING! BOOING!

Grimey Drawer

I wanted to get a cast iron for some time now, but my apartment has one of those glass covered stoves...dunno what they are called in English. Is there anything I should/have to look for in a cast iron pan that helps me not gently caress up my stovetop?

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008






Grimey Drawer

is it induction, ceramic or halogen?

Hopper
Dec 28, 2004

BOOING! BOOING!

Grimey Drawer

I had to look it up, it is in fact ceramic. We Germans colloquially call it "Ceran", because Ceran is the trademark of one type of glass ceramics stovetop. The standard expression is actually "Glaskeramik" (glass ceramics) That explains it.
So I have a ceramic stovetop I do not want to scratch/damage with a cast iron pan. What do I have to look out for aside from the obvious "flat, mostly smooth bottom".

door Door door
Feb 26, 2006

Fugee Face



Just pick your pan up to move it instead of sliding it around and you should be fine. My current apartment has one too, sadly.

Submarine Sandpaper
May 27, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT HOW I GHOULISHLY CELEBRATE THE DEATH OF CHILDREN TO TEACH THEIR PARENTS "A LESSON"


Every time that's posted, why don't people just scratch the poo poo out of a cooking top? That's what it's for, almost always a rental, and it's not as if you are keying it.

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008






Grimey Drawer

You could try putting parchment paper in between.(backpapier)

Hexigrammus
May 22, 2006

Cheech Wizard stories are clean, wholesome, reflective truths that go great with the marijuana munchies and a blow job.

We bought a set of ceramic-compatible stainless steel pots to go with the new ceramic cooktop we bought five or six years ago. My cast iron isn't allowed near it. We've always lifted instead of sliding. Despite that the main burner has developed circular scratches, apparently rotating pots slightly is enough to cause scratching.

At this point I'm with Mr. Wookums.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010


What's the whole appeal of ceramic stovetops, anyway? Easy cleanup and sealed burners?

Every owner I have talked to has hated them or been a compulsive neat freak babying it and never answering the why.

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008






Grimey Drawer

Butch Cassidy posted:

What's the whole appeal of ceramic stovetops, anyway? Easy cleanup and sealed burners?

Every owner I have talked to has hated them or been a compulsive neat freak babying it and never answering the why.

Those open topped spiral burners are not at all prevalent in europe so if you have an electric range you get a glass topped one nowadays.

Hopper
Dec 28, 2004

BOOING! BOOING!

Grimey Drawer

Mr. Wookums posted:

Every time that's posted, why don't people just scratch the poo poo out of a cooking top? That's what it's for, almost always a rental, and it's not as if you are keying it.

Well, technically this would be my main way to go about it, it is a tool that's there to be used after all. However, replacing a stovetop in my rental apartment - while moderately cost effective - will be a bitch to do without having to replace the entire countertop it is fit in snuggly. You can't easily remove it and replace it without lifting up the countertop, which is a very large L-shaped piece of really heavy countertop.
And the last thing I want to do before moving out is rip apart the entire kitchen... only to then potentially find that the new stovetop has slightly smaller dimensions underneath and requires me to replace the kitchen counter as well, which will be anywhere between expensive and madly expensive.

If it was up to me, I'd rip that poo poo out and place a gas oven...but we don't have pipes/gas connections for that.

Butch Cassidy posted:

What's the whole appeal of ceramic stovetops, anyway? Easy cleanup and sealed burners?

Every owner I have talked to has hated them or been a compulsive neat freak babying it and never answering the why.

In Europe we used to have 3 stovetop variants mainly, including induction it is now 4: standard, old version plates that are hardly used any more, ceramic stovetops, gas burners and induction plates.
The old rear end plates are basically coils covered by a fixed plate above them, they are energy inefficient apparently and usually take ages to warm up. Ceramic is a little better, gas and induction are a lot faster of course.
I don't think I have ever seen open coil stoves in Germany in my 34 years on this planet. We just don't have them.

My guess is most people don't get a choice of stovetop, it is already there when they move in. Typically gas is not an option any more since the majority of houses and apartments do not use gas for heating/cooking any more. This leaves you with the relatively prohibitively expensive induction or the ceramic.

And the ceramic is a plane of glass, so people tend to use it as countertop extension when it is not used. Having dirt or smudges of oil etc on there means it transfers onto your bowls, plates etc. or scratches up the surface when you leave it on and place a large pot on it. Hence the clean freak thing.

End of derail.

tl;dr I wish I had a gas stove.

Hopper fucked around with this message at Jan 19, 2015 around 15:27

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008






Grimey Drawer

I thought Germans generally took their appliances with them when moving?

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


Grimey Drawer

Butch Cassidy posted:

What's the whole appeal of ceramic stovetops, anyway? Easy cleanup and sealed burners?

Every owner I have talked to has hated them or been a compulsive neat freak babying it and never answering the why.

Counterpoint - I love mine. It's better behaved than an electric coil as far as even heating, it's easy to clean, and it's usable countertop when it's turned off. Counter- counter-point - I like my countertop induction unit better.

Hopper
Dec 28, 2004

BOOING! BOOING!

Grimey Drawer

^^^Do you use cast iron pans on it?


spankmeister posted:

I thought Germans generally took their appliances with them when moving?


Really? This is my second apartment and the kitchen was fully equipped with fridge and stove both times, my best friend has had kitchens in his 4 or 5 flats as well.
If you buy a place of course you use your own stuff, not so sure about when renting.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010


spankmeister posted:

Those open topped spiral burners are not at all prevalent in europe so if you have an electric range you get a glass topped one nowadays.

Now that you've typed it, I'm not surprised.

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


Grimey Drawer

Hopper posted:

^^^Do you use cast iron pans on it?

Haha, totally failed to notice that I was in the cast iron thread. No, I haven't been doing that.

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


I was always told that this would happen if the cast iron was even made aware of the ceramic cooktop's existance.

QuarkMartial
Sep 25, 2004
[This Space for Rent]

Can you just not replace the ceramic top? Glass in oven doors is replaceable, so it's not that far of a stretch for them to be replaceable, especially if it's more of a wear part.

Submarine Sandpaper
May 27, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT HOW I GHOULISHLY CELEBRATE THE DEATH OF CHILDREN TO TEACH THEIR PARENTS "A LESSON"


Dude's just an amazing tenant if he'd do that because of some scratches.

ColdPie
Jun 9, 2006



Hair Elf

I've got a glass stovetop. Came with the house when we moved in, and we're planning to ditch it sometime for a gas stove. Frankly, I'm fairly rough with it. I cook with a 12" cast iron skillet on it all the time. I shake skillets and pots around directly on the surface. I use it as extra counterspace. It's got a fair handful of scratches, but the worst looking parts are from spills and boilovers that burned onto and around the elements. I imagine if I took some cleaner to the surface to clean up the baked on stuff, it'd turn out in "used but good" condition, plenty good enough for a rental unit. And like I said, I'm hard on the surface.

Really, though, I can't wait to get rid of the thing.


gently caress fragile tools. What is the point?

Bob Saget IRL
Oct 24, 2014



Paper With Lines posted:

90% lean burgers? Even in the bacon grease, I don't know...

Yea, I swear by it. Beefy, juicy goodness. Get good quality beef though, not just any cheap 90/10.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


ColdPie posted:

I've got a glass stovetop. Came with the house when we moved in, and we're planning to ditch it sometime for a gas stove. Frankly, I'm fairly rough with it. I cook with a 12" cast iron skillet on it all the time. I shake skillets and pots around directly on the surface. I use it as extra counterspace. It's got a fair handful of scratches, but the worst looking parts are from spills and boilovers that burned onto and around the elements. I imagine if I took some cleaner to the surface to clean up the baked on stuff, it'd turn out in "used but good" condition, plenty good enough for a rental unit. And like I said, I'm hard on the surface.

Really, though, I can't wait to get rid of the thing.


gently caress fragile tools. What is the point?

Same here, on all counts. If I had my druthers, my kitchen would look rather like a commercial kitchen, complete with stainless counters/shelving, and a drain in the center of the (properly sloped to the drain) floor, so I can rinse the counters and cabinets with a hose after I disinfect them.

QuarkMartial
Sep 25, 2004
[This Space for Rent]

MrYenko posted:

Same here, on all counts. If I had my druthers, my kitchen would look rather like a commercial kitchen, complete with stainless counters/shelving, and a drain in the center of the (properly sloped to the drain) floor, so I can rinse the counters and cabinets with a hose after I disinfect them.

I'd want it just 'cause I hate to mop. Dog tracked a bunch of mud in? Just hose it down. Easy peasy.

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Same Great Paste
Jan 14, 2006



Bob Saget IRL posted:


Burgers Probably the best burgers I've ever had was cooking them in my skillet. Using fresh ground 90/10 meat and grill them in bacon grease (this is why bacon great, but don't tell my cardiologist). I'll use a med-high setting, and move the pan half off the burner. Then, I'll just move the burger from the hot side to the low side (and flip often), repeating until I get a nice, crusty, medium-rare burger.


For burgers, I like to follow the advice from http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives...ng-burgers.html

Basically get the pan screaming hot, then press the burger hard BEFORE any of the fat has a chance to turn to liquid. You get an insanely good crust without sacrificing any patty juiciness.

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