Cast iron pan

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shaun

Guest
I'm looking to buy a cast iron pan. I'm tired of using Teflon 'non-stick' pans which eventually lose their non-stick and become unusable. Do you have any advice for buying a cast iron pan? What should I look out for?
 
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TopChef

Guest
I have a great cast iron skillet I found in the someone's trash by the side of the road. Sounds gross, but we restored it easily. They are so expensive new. We scrubbed it down and re-seasoned it. I've been using it for about 12 years now. Love it! Great for adding iron to your diet, too.
 

jason

Nec timeo, nec sperno
Staff member
Lodge is the most popular and best new one out. They tend to come pre-seasoned, but I season mine anyway. Usually cook something fatty like bacon the first few times. I like to get them nice and slick. Wal-mart, Bass Pro, and just about any other store that sells cast iron should have Lodge.

I search yard sales for old ones people want to get rid of. I've gotten a Griswold for a few dollars before. They were considered one of the best when they were around. But people let them get rusty, and consider them junk. I see a fun project of cleaning and seasoning.
 
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shaun

Guest
Lodge is the most popular and best new one out. They tend to come pre-seasoned, but I season mine anyway. Usually cook something fatty like bacon the first few times. I like to get them nice and slick. Wal-mart, Bass Pro, and just about any other store that sells cast iron should have Lodge.

I search yard sales for old ones people want to get rid of. I've gotten a Griswold for a few dollars before. They were considered one of the best when they were around. But people let them get rusty, and consider them junk. I see a fun project of cleaning and seasoning.

Thanks for your advice. I gather they are quite expensive but I will probably save money in the long term because I wont need to rebuy every few months.

How much should I expect to pay for a Lodge? How do you season the pan? And if I found a second hand one, how would I clean it?
 
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dissn_it

Guest
I have a Lodge cast iron skillet that was a Christmas gift a few years ago. I have seen them at Cabella's on sale before and depending on the size, I would say it will run you about $30-$60. Some of the better teflon coated ones are going for that amount anymore. I seasoned my Lodge with Crisco shortening several times before I started using it. I would season it after every use for awhile when it was fairly new, too.
 

jason

Nec timeo, nec sperno
Staff member
How much should I expect to pay for a Lodge? How do you season the pan? And if I found a second hand one, how would I clean it?

The price will vary depending on the size of the pan. A 12 inch pan will be around $20. I've heard Lodge has an outlet store where you can get really good prices on their stuff. But there are many varieties and styles. From pans, to skillets to deep pans, dutch ovens, bread pans, and all sorts of other times. But they can last you a life time if you take care of them, and you would then be able to pass them down to children or other people.

Everyone seasons a little differently. Me, I save bacon grease. I then use the bacon grease and toss some in a pan, get it hot, and spread it around the pan give it a few minutes and turn off the heat. After it cools I wipe off any excess. I usually do it another time, except the second time I put it in the oven after I spread the grease around. I put it in upside down on a top rack with a pan to catch any drippings on a bottom rack right bellow. After it cools, wipe of any excess. I then stay away from anything acidic (think tomatoes) for about a month, and try and use it for fatty things like bacon, or hamburgers.

When you wash it, do not use soap. It will destroy the seasoning work you have done. Usually a cloth, or a scrub brush works just fine, and I heat it up after washing so the water does not stay on the pan.

To clean an old cast iron. It depends on the rust level. Sometimes a little soap and water will work. Sometimes I take steel wool to it to remove the rust. If it is really bad, I'll even toss it into or on a hot fire to burn off the rust and such. Then it is back to seasoning work.


A few notes, cooking with cast iron adds some iron to the food. This is important for those who may have iron problems. If you have an iron deficient it will help. Men however tend to have high iron counts.

Cast iron will take a little longer to heat up, however, it will hold the heat a lot longer. I will often turn off the heat or remove it from the heat source and let the food finish cooking that way.

Boiling water in may cause it to pan to rust quicker.

Here is a popular link I've seen about seasoning the cast iron. They have pictures of what it should look like when you are done.
http://www.southernplate.com/2009/02/how-to-season-a-cast-iron-skillet.html
 
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Isabellas2007

Guest
The one key thing you have to remember is to oil you pan. If you do not oil them after each use, you will run the risk of the pan starting to rust on you.
 
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Waynefire

Guest
For the cast iron you need to look at the thickness of the pan. You should also look at how much oil you should use to condition it.
 
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Pat

Guest
When I was younger cast iron was all we used. We would season it on a regular bases and through it on a super hot stove to burn off any rust. It is suggested to never soak a cast iron pan, clean it as soon as you finish cooking.
 
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grillcharm

Guest
My grandmother makes some of the best cornbread in a cast-iron pan. That's all she will use to make cornbread, and it comes out perfectly every time. She also swears by a cast-iron pot to make all bean dishes, such as Boston baked beans.
 
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j_pin

Guest
I've never purchased one for myself, but my mom did give me her old one a few years ago, and I love it. I mostly use it in the oven to cook the Pioneer Women's roll recipe in. They are to die for and I think the pan really makes them better.
 
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dashboardc33

Guest
The cast iron pan we use is for camping and works great. We actually found one at a rummage sale for a dollar or two. It was one of the best finds we have ever found. The best advice I could give you about using a cast iron pan is never wash it with soap and water. When you want to clean it, use canola oil and burn it off.
 
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shaun

Guest
The cast iron pan we use is for camping and works great. We actually found one at a rummage sale for a dollar or two. It was one of the best finds we have ever found. The best advice I could give you about using a cast iron pan is never wash it with soap and water. When you want to clean it, use canola oil and burn it off.

I eventually decided to buy a second hand cast iron skillet at a rummage sale, it only cost 2 dollars but it was quite rusty. I followed Jason's advice on how to remove the rust and it cleaned up nicely.

I haven't used soap and water to clean it yet, it doesn't need it.
 
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SmokeyJoe

Guest
Last year I started my collection of cast iron pans when I found a woman who was selling 2-12" pans for $25. I snatched those as quickly as I could. There was a little rust but it was easy enough to clean and re-season.
 
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Mrs. Pirz

Guest
You really cant go wrong with these and although the cost a little more with good care they will last forever. If you've never had one I would suggest buying one thats already "seasoned" just because the process can be a little tideous and this just makes it a shorter wait time from purchase to cooking.
 
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irubu

Guest
Cast iron can last more than your lifetime if cared for. Make sure it is seasoned properly before you use it first. It only takes a few minutes after you are finished to clean up and make sure any excess oil is wiped out. I personally have seen cheap old cast iron skillets and new never used skillets both perform perfectly side by side. My thought...why waste the money on an expensive pan if you don't have to.
 
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Briquet

Guest
We bought a Lodge skillet and have been very happy with it. We generally season with coconut oil although we use bacon fat if we have it.
 
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courtneylynne09

Guest
I'm in the market to get a cast iron pan, as well. I've been trying to find one at the thrift store because they're just so expensive at a regular store!
 

jason

Nec timeo, nec sperno
Staff member
I'm in the market to get a cast iron pan, as well. I've been trying to find one at the thrift store because they're just so expensive at a regular store!

They are expensive, but well worth it. You can also try craigslist. I have found yard sales to be the best, but here they are far a few between when it comes to finding them.
 
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courtneylynne09

Guest
They are expensive, but well worth it. You can also try craigslist. I have found yard sales to be the best, but here they are far a few between when it comes to finding them.
Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely try Craigslist as well.
 
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