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New vs. old cast iron??? Options
karisma22
#1 Posted : Sunday, February 05, 2006 8:08:22 PM
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I have an old one that belonged to my parents and some newer ones. I haven''t really noticed any difference in how they heated. Maybe it depends upon the brand?
smurfy
#2 Posted : Sunday, February 05, 2006 9:14:22 PM
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I think it has more to do with seasoning than the pan itself. I have old and new pans, and I have made a scorch ring in both LOL! I have never had a scorch ring in really well-seasoned pans though. My newest pan (dh got me for Christmas...one of the super-duper humongous frying pans) got a scorch ring that I had to work on, and I did the same with an old pan that I just stripped down and started re-seasoning.

I may be wrong, but based on my experience with scorch rings, I''d lay odds on the seasoning. I haven''t noticed a difference in the thickness of the pan bottoms (old versus new).

Good luck!!!
Shawna
Garden Lad
#3 Posted : Monday, February 06, 2006 1:54:50 AM
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I agree. It''s all in how well cured they are, plus the heat source. Electric is more likely to form a heat ring, for instance.

I have some very thin older pieces, far thinner than any modern stuff. Never had a problem with them, particularly.
practicalman45
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2006 5:15:48 AM
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The surface finish treatment is the main difference. By finish I mean how smooth the iron was made originally at the factory. See my post in the other thread on caring for your iron pans.
little chicken farmer
#5 Posted : Thursday, February 16, 2006 6:25:19 AM
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We really haven''t noticed any differance between the olde and new. We have both but we tend to use the older ones more. Don''t ask why but we think they give the food a little bit better flavor.

We use our Lodge when go camping, we don''t think the bottoms are any thinner, we really give them a workout.
TwoPockets
#6 Posted : Sunday, February 19, 2006 11:55:09 PM
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The biggest difference I have noticed is the smoothness of the casting. The old Wagner Ware and Griswolds we have are extremely smooth inside and out. We even picked up a few that were never seasoned and they are smooth. The newer stuff is pretty rough. Lodge and some of the other name brands are not too bad, but some of the offshore stuff is so grainy and rough I would want to take a grinder to it before seasoning. I have a big griddle that came with my Camp Chef 3 burner camp cooktop, it was pretty grainy, but I seasoned it over and over. It still has some grainy texture, but is nice and black and does not stick.
Garden Lad
#7 Posted : Monday, February 20, 2006 4:51:20 AM
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What other brand names, TwoPockets? Far as I know, Lodge is the last of the American cast iron cookware makers.
TwoPockets
#8 Posted : Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:01:40 PM
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I think you are right. I don''t know of any other cast iron manufacturers in the US. All of mine are old pieces and even those with no names are usually stamped USA and are pretty smooth.
Spark123y
#9 Posted : Saturday, February 25, 2006 11:55:33 PM
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My grandma used to season her cast pan''s with bear grease. She also would probally be shocked if she saw me wash it.I remember one time I scrubbed one of her pan''s that I used for camping and she made me scrub it again with sand and then she set about re seasoning it(boy was she mad).Did''nt like me to scrub the coffee pot either. said it killed the taste.
ginger71
#10 Posted : Wednesday, March 01, 2006 4:45:51 AM
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lmao, Spark! My mother had a Pyrex glass percolator coffeepot which was only washed up when she knew she was having company. She said the best coffee she ever had was the stuff that had sat on the back of the stove all day at her grandma''s. I''m sure the spoon would stand up in it, if it weren''t eaten off first.

The cast iron pans were scraped well and maybe scoured with one of those plastic scrubby things (net material?) and hot water. No soap.
My wok (steel, not iron) gets the same treatment and nothing ever sticks to it. If the cast iron ware or the wok is used for boiling anything, it gets re-seasoned at least lightly.
When you use cast iron over a campfire, try rubbing the bottom of the pan with bar soap. This helps prevent soot buildup. You can just wipe the bottom of the pan off. I still put the pan in a paperbag before it goes back in the pack, tho''.
practicalman45
#11 Posted : Friday, March 03, 2006 5:42:59 PM
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Here''s a Griswold 2 burner stove someones selling at ebay. I have one of these and they are real nice for camping. Mine gets used outside in the hot summer for canning and beer-brewing too. The one I have came without the knobs and manifold, but I used some from an old kitchen range, and made the manifold from 1/2" black pipe.

Surprised its selling so cheap, they are a really cool antique stove.http://cgi.ebay.com/vintage-griswold-2-burner-cast-iron-stove_W0QQitemZ6258481786QQcategoryZ976QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
NorthCountryWood
#12 Posted : Thursday, March 09, 2006 10:01:00 PM
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Just got some new cast iron.

I''m gonna try what two pockets said about smoothing the finish and report back after they''re re-seasoned and used a couple times.
WifeOfRiley
#13 Posted : Friday, March 31, 2006 12:03:51 AM
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I''m sorry, but how exactly do you season a cast iron skillet? I made the mistake of putting ours in the dishwasher and the husband had canyption fit. I couldn''t tell you if ours are well seasoned or not. The husband said wipe it down and swish soap and water, rinse and be done with it. It sorta freaks me out that you don''t scrub a pan that you just fried chicken in....help me out please.
Garden Lad
#14 Posted : Friday, March 31, 2006 1:04:14 AM
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If you do a search of the back pages there''s a whole thread on this. But, in brief:

Rule #1: Never, ever, allow soap to touch cured cast iron. The cure is made of grease, and soap''s job is to disolve grease. So by using soap you''l merely pull the cure out of the iron.

Rule #2: For those times soap is necessary, see rule number 1!

Anyway, you basically removed any cure you had by putting it in the dishwasher, and are back down to a new-iron condition. Indeed, if you haven''t greased it there''s probably a thin coating of rust.

What you need to do now is scrub the pan, using very hot water. This is the only time you can use soap. Rinse it well and dry as good as you can.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Heavily grease the item, using shortning, lard, or whatever such grease you prefer. Put it in the oven, with a drip pan under it, and leave it go a couple of hours. Turn off heat, and let the item cool in the oven. Repeat this the next day.

You now have the start of a cure. The first few times you use the item, only fry in it. Certainly do not put liquids in while cooking until the cure has a chance to build-up more.

To clean the piece, run it under hot water, using a brush, if necessary, to scrub off anything adhering to it. Dry it well, and regrease with a thin layer of shortning.

Eventually you''ll wind up with a beautiful dark black finish on the outside, and a virtual non-stick surface on the inside.
Garden Lad
#15 Posted : Friday, March 31, 2006 1:08:48 AM
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Shelly, I''ve bumped the old thread for you to peruse.
smurfy
#16 Posted : Friday, March 31, 2006 12:37:11 PM
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Hi Shelly!

I just wanted to add a couple of things to Gardenlad''s post. If your cast iron is well-seasoned, it will be pretty much non-stick. And you can run water over it and it will simply bead and run off the surface of the pan. Alot of my pans were seasoned by cooking bacon in them (or sausage, something greasy!) the first few times I used them. I wouldn''t use olive oil (I know a few people who have used it....it can easily go rancid and then you have to get that yucky oil out of your pan and re-season it). I am one of those who DOES use soap on my pans. I use my pans for almost every meal, and I simply dip my washrag in the soapy water and go over my pan, rinse, dry, and then throw in the oven (if I used the oven for dinner...it would still be warm) or on the stovetop on low so that the pan it thoroughly dry.

If you have trouble with something getting stuck on your pan, salt is a great scrubber. If your pan is well seasoned, you can put a bit of water in it and let it sit for maybe 5 minutes, dunp the water out, and try using your rag to scrub it. If the stuff still doesn''t come out, then pour a samll pile of salt in the pan, and use your washrag to scrub the salt into the pan. It works like a charm.

Many, I am sure, will disagree with me on the uses of soap....cast iron care can be a hot topic!! LOL!!! :-) But I have never had a problem with my seasoning....but I also don''t let my pan *sit* in soapy water. Now, I wouldn''t DREAM of putting, say, my MIL''s cats iron in soapy water...she would have a heart attack right then and there in the kitchen!!! ;-)

Have fun with your cast iron! They are wonderful pots and pans to have and use!

:-)
Shawna
practicalman45
#17 Posted : Friday, March 31, 2006 3:36:56 PM
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I looked at the Lodge brand cast iron cookware at the discount store. The inside was unfinished meaning just as it came from the sand cast mold. They did claim that it came already seasoned.

Now, I''ve done a little bit of foundry work using saand molds, and I''m also a professional welder. I know that castings made in sand molds have a "skin" on their surface. This is from part of the sand actually melting onto or combining with the very surface of the iron. To weld that type of metal it is necessary to grind off the casting skin or else likely have porosity in the weld by vaporising the silica sand which is part of that "casting skin".

The old heirloom cast iron cookware was ground/sanded on the inside to a nice smooth finish. This is why it is so easy to season and maintain, I believe.

The Lodge cookware looks like decent cast iron that hasn''t been through the final grinding/ sanding on the inside that it should have had. In the other thread on care of your cast iron I described how I grind the cookware using the drill press and sanding discs and flap wheels.
NorthCountryWood
#18 Posted : Saturday, April 01, 2006 9:29:01 PM
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Ok, using the new 10" and a 12" skillets I picked up, I followed the suggestions above about smoothness. I sanded the 12" with a grinder and left the 10" with the factory cast and seasoned both over the past few weeks. So far I''ve noticed no difference between the 2. Both are seasoning great and getting better with each use.

Maybe long term seasoning will be different, but I doubt it. As the seasoning builds up it covers and smooths out the casting texture, so I don''t think it matters. If anything, I should be seeing a difference on the newly seasoned pans.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Cliff30acre
#19 Posted : Monday, May 01, 2006 1:32:47 AM
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Garden Lad and Smurfy some posed good answers to Wife of Riley''s question about how to season cast iron cookware. I have more information that I''ve tried successfully on stubborn cast iron pieces that need reseasoning.

While looking over beautiful, shiny, black iron pots and pans at a flea market, I was curious about how they got their nice finish. The seller said they started out very crusty and rusty. His grandmother instructed him to start a good wood fire with the iron skillets in with the wood so they would heat up slowley. Let the fire burn out and leave the skillets until they cool cool completely. The old iron returns to the grey, new look as it was before original seasoning. They are then ready for reseasoning just as if they were new. Wipe clean, coat with cooking oil or bacon grease and heat in an oven, wipe clean and recoat, reheat. Repeat coating and heating or cook some greasy food for the first few times it''s used. Use a final coat of olive oil for that shiny finish.

Another flea market pot seller said to soak the old pots in a solution of lye and water until the burnt-on crust and rust can be easily removed by scrubbing and scraping. That method works too. Careful though, lye is very caustic. Use rubber gloves.

For cast iron with a rough, coarse cooking surface, get the pan hot and coat lightly with oil. Scrape to smooth the pan''s inside bottom with a heavy-duty metal spatula. You have to bear down a little to be effective. Notice that the tiny amount of removed metal discolors the oil to a dark gray. Wipe it out with a paper towel. The spots where the removed bumps and rough metal were will be shiny compared to rest of the pan''s black bottom. After doing this a few times the cooking surface will be smoothed considerably. This method is suggested in Clyde Ormond''s "Outdoor Handbook" in the chapter on Cooking How-to.

Try these proven methods and let me know if they work for you.

Good luck and happy trails,
Cliff
c30acre@yahoo.com






quote:
Originally posted by WifeOfRiley

I''m sorry, but how exactly do you season a cast iron skillet? I made the mistake of putting ours in the dishwasher and the husband had canyption fit. I couldn''t tell you if ours are well seasoned or not. The husband said wipe it down and swish soap and water, rinse and be done with it. It sorta freaks me out that you don''t scrub a pan that you just fried chicken in....help me out please.

Garden Lad
#20 Posted : Monday, May 01, 2006 4:11:50 AM
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Thanks for the tips, Cliff.

Welcome to the forum. Let''s here more from you.
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