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New vs. old cast iron??? Options
#41 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2006 1:22:21 AM
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Yeah Cliff, I''ve got one antique griswold that is really small, so I don''t use it much, but it is super smooth and nice to use.

I wonder if the old ones got so smooth from the use of metal utensils? All they''ve got for sale nowadays are plastic and silicone ones.
Garden Lad
#42 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:07:45 AM
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Say what?

In addition to plasic and silcone utensils are readily available in: Nylon, stainless steel (my preferred) and wood. Plus, of course, the el cheapo tinplate stuff.

Griswold was factory finished with that smooth finish, btw. That was one of its hallmarks, particularly before Wagner took them over.

Unfortunately, the collectors have really driven the price of Griswold through the roof.
#43 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2006 12:38:19 PM
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The Griswold and earlier Erie factory turned out a nice smooth machined look on their cookware and they produced an all around better casting and finish by using better techniques and a better grade of iron. No one else could quite match the quality of their products. Even the older Griswold slant logo and large logo pieces are somewhat better quality than the newer small logo Griswolds. Today''s foundries use a lot of recycled junk and scrap iron that seems to produce a grainier finish on the new cast iron.

The utensils you use for scraping, spooning and turning should not be hard enough to scratch or gouge the cooking surface. I use mostly wooden spoons, nylon scrubbies and stainless steel or copper scratchers. Don''t scrape hard enough to remove the smooth finish once you have it nicely seasoned.
#44 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2006 1:08:32 PM
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I have heard you can take your cast pans and immerse them in a commercial deep-fryer,like the kind in restuarants,leave them in for 15 minutes,then pull out,allow to cool,wipe clean. As I understand it,the theory is that your commercial deep-fryers operate at a much higher temperature then what we can obtain at home-thus producing a seasoning that really soaks into the cores of the metal.The recommended way was to do this just before the grease was scheduled to be changed.Has anyone else heard of this,or tried it? It sounds to me like it all makes sense-just haven''t had the opportunity yet to try it on the new stuff!
Garden Lad
#45 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2006 3:10:36 PM
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Sounds like an urban myth to me, Truckdriver, for a couple of reasons.

1. Commercial deep fryers operate at 350-375 degrees, which is no higher than the oil at home when you are deep frying. If you deep fry at a much lower temperature the food just gets greasy and soggy. If you go much higher, the food burns.

2. Commercial deep fryers aren''t spectacularly larger than home fryers. Check any restaurant that does a lot of deep frying and you''ll see several fryers lined up rather than oversized ones. I doubt most of my cast-iron pieces would fit in a Fryolater, even with the basket removed. Maybe the 6" frypans, but nothing much larger than that.

3. Curing should be accompished with solid fats---lard, shortening, something of that nature. Oils have a tendency to form a stickly coating on the ware, rather than a hard finish.
#46 Posted : Thursday, November 30, 2006 2:07:38 AM
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By the way northcountry woods, thanks for the update on the finishes.
#47 Posted : Friday, December 01, 2006 1:10:52 PM
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I wonder if the "new" Dutch Ovens - the ones without feet - are marketed that way because so many people use modern ovens but still like the way the D/O cooks the food?

What of those La Cruset brand cast iron cookwares with the enameled finishes in all those beautiful colors?? I have been thinking of getting a set to help brighten up my kitchen, but am worried about how the finish would survive??
Garden Lad
#48 Posted : Friday, December 01, 2006 1:22:42 PM
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Modern Dutch ovens are merely flat bottomed kettles, designed to be used on those new fangled free-standing stoves. The fact is, though, that design and name is used for cast iron, stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum cookware. So the name is probably used just out of pernicious habit.

As to the enameled cast iron. Friend Wife and I will soon celebrate the 40th anniversary of our trial marraige. One of the things we started with was a set of Le Cruset. Some of those pieces are still in fine shape.

Over time the enamel does craze and chip. In theory you have to discard it when that happens. But we''re still using pieces that have done that, with no ill effects.

One downside to the Le Cruset, of course, is country of origin.

A more meaningful downside to most people is cost. But nowadays there are several suppliers, and you''re not locked-in to Le Cruset. Check out, for instance, the Mario Battali line.
#49 Posted : Friday, December 01, 2006 8:27:28 PM
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Lodge iron makes them too-


Not quite as expensive as the Le Cruset and made in the USA.
#50 Posted : Saturday, June 04, 2011 10:20:20 PM
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I use cast iron when i can. I found a small skillet maybe 8 inch at a yard sale. It has tapered sides not like most. I use it for cornbread most of the time. Gave 50 cents for it.. Had a few rough spots on it but all cleared after using  it for a while and cooks great. I have my moms old skillet and it's like brand new. It is smoother than some of the newer ones you buy. I think the new rougher surfaces actually get a better coating of carbon on them guess it sticks better due to the roughness. They all cook great though.

Never never put soap on one..... after washing wipe dry maybe put a thin coat of cooking oil on it and put it back in your still warm oven. This will be sure it is dry and keep it from rusting.

My mom cooked everything in hers. sure was some good food too..

You can check this yahoo group for all the information you will ever need about cast iron. great info recipes etc.



#51 Posted : Saturday, June 04, 2011 10:20:20 PM
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After losing my old cast iron pans in a move (don't ask), I decided to start replacing them. Just bought a new Lodge skillet and I'm wondering if the new ones are made thinner on the bottom? I didn't really notice by weight as much a the way it cooked. The heat seemed to be less diffused and made a substantial hotspot where the flame ring was.

Since losing the old ones, I can't compare, but I was wondering if anybody has noticed the difference, or had new and old to compare?

...or am I just gettin old and crazy?
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