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Cast Iron cookware


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Does anyone use cast iron in cooking? I spent a couple of weeks hunting on Ebay for a good sized Griswold #10 cast iron pan. There's a slew of collectors out there that don't even cook with them. They just collect. The one I picked up doesn't look like it was used much, and from the markings on it, it's apparently made in the original factory of Erie, PA around 1957. So it should be quite old, according to what I've read. However, being old, I would expect major seasoning and use evidence, but it still has that grey iron look to it. It's not a shimmery deep black.

According to my research, Griswold and Wagner are the top choices for pans that last many lifetimes.

Anyway, just curious if anyone is into cast iron

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if by 'into' you mean mostly or only use cast iron pans and pots then not me, but I have a great enameled cast iron dutch oven and the required frying pan.

If I needed more cookware Cast Iron would be on my list along with high quality stainless. Loads of companies are making great affordable cast iron cookware (Ikea, Kitchen Aid)) to try to get some customers that would buy more 'le creuset' if they could bring themselves to fork over $300 for a heavy as hell pan.

I think for me the measure of a good cast iron pan is the size of its handle and if it's really big a second small stabilizing handle for 2 handed carrying and pouring. Names and stamps are really unimportant to myself or most people that just need to USE those pots.

You don't need somebody else's seasoning when you can do it yourself. When you're done cooking, make sure the pan is good and hot and clean it under running hot water (run the tap) and use a brush to scrub away the now steam cleaned food, put back on residual heat to dry it off and wipe with oil so you never have to wash with soap and to save time later. If you have a sprinkler setting on your tap, this is a good use for it.

If you skip this step at the end of cooking you're gonna have to reheat your pan to repeat those steps.

If you're going to continue to be particular about this, you can go a couple of routes.

If you're a vegan or need to keep veggie kosher (don't let meat or animal touch certain pans) then try to season with coconut or avocado oil as they have the highest smoke points. So when you get that pan really hot it'll burn less.

If you're neither then use clarified butter. It'll taste better and won't go rancid like some oils will. If you can't clarify butter to save your life then buy some ghee (same thing) at the grocery store (most food basics) FOR $8 a pound. It's worth it if you think you'll overcook it, unless you're buying loss leader $2 butter. Does that ever happen anymore?

FWIW, that's a bit extreme for most people, myself included..But if you're INTO it...

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