Cast iron pans....what to get.

13

Comments

  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    Eh, I'll end up inheriting my Mom's and Dad's ugly *** 1960's puke green oval Le Creuset. They got it as a wedding present and I have eaten COUNTLESS meals out of that.

    I can justify the price of that one...LOL

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • Jimbo18
    Jimbo18 Posts: 2,268
    Upstatemax wrote: »
    One of the many reason Carbon Steel pans for modern pans are better.

    They get all the pluses of CI and have better heat dissipation almost zero odor retention (since they are more dense and better uniformity than CI) and are smooth surfaces. Readily available and at reasonable prices.

    They can be stamped since they have more iron in them than CI so they don’t have to be ground.

    Unless you’ve been handed down old school, really nice CI, Carbon Steel should be on your shopping list.

    You have any suggestions for Carbon Steel brands to try?
  • delkal
    delkal Posts: 764
    Jimbo18 wrote: »
    Upstatemax wrote: »
    One of the many reason Carbon Steel pans for modern pans are better.

    They get all the pluses of CI and have better heat dissipation almost zero odor retention (since they are more dense and better uniformity than CI) and are smooth surfaces. Readily available and at reasonable prices.

    They can be stamped since they have more iron in them than CI so they don’t have to be ground.

    Unless you’ve been handed down old school, really nice CI, Carbon Steel should be on your shopping list.

    You have any suggestions for Carbon Steel brands to try?

    No suggestion on brands but you should try and find the thickest and heaviest pans you can. Thin pans are more prone to hot spots and don't hold enough heat to get that quick sear (like when you throw on that thick steak).
  • Upstatemax
    Upstatemax Posts: 2,530
    Jimbo18 wrote: »

    You have any suggestions for Carbon Steel brands to try?

    I use De Buyer Mineral B

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  • Upstatemax
    Upstatemax Posts: 2,530
    edited June 2019
    My earlier post:
    Upstatemax wrote: »
    I’ve been very happy with my De Buyer Mineral B pans.

    Not really a cast iron pan, it’s a carbon steel pan instead. Holds less odors and creates an awesome cooking surface. They are also a little lighter than cast iron but still have amazing heat retention.

    Smooth cooking surface and nicely built.

    7lv0uqeu1eja.jpeg


    No odor even after cooking fish once I rinse the pan, wipe it down with oil and heat it back up.

    Living room:
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  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 7,448
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    I'm with you Tom. I can't justify the cost of a 250.00 pot..... unless it's POT

    It’s funny what each of us is willing to pay and what for. I - like Tom perhaps - cook for my family at least 5 days a week on average. I also use my av rigs every day, but rarely for critical listening. I have a large family with 4 small children and so cooking is a very important family activity that we often do together. We also have dance parties and watch movies together, but I can’t bring myself (and doubtless my spouse wouldn’t allow me) to spend 10s of thousands on audio. But about $150 each for two really great pans (I hunt for deals!) that my children will likely inherit and will get used multiple times a week and my children will learn to cook on? Well worth the cost of admission...
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  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 20,790
    Well @rooftop59 I was joking about the last part about "pot". I'm a party of 1, now in my prior life I also did a majority on the cooking. I do know the value of good gear to do it on but for the price of one pan that is money that could be better spent on food for the growing kids. I used to do a lot of cooking on grills (gas + charcoal) and loved spending hours getting a big chunk of beef or pork just right. In the winter I'd use the propane and summer smoke on the charcoal with cherry, mesquite and hickory. They both now use some of my techniques and have learned their own and share them with me.
  • codycatalist
    codycatalist Posts: 2,662
    I cook at least 5 days a week, multiple meals but I would rather buy multiple cheap pans over the course of my life than a couple expensive ones. I'm just a frugal guy. That being said I would never say no to being given nice cookware. >:)

    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
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  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    I don't mind dropping some serious coin on some serious cookware. Heck, I think I dropped $400 on the Sous Vide Supreme when I could have just went out and got the Annova and a used cooler for $75. I believe I have close to $150 in my 2 salt and pepper shakers/grinder sets - Each have their own purpose and with each purpose, I saw the value...even though most people don't drop that kind of coin on things like this. In fact, I like the Sous Vide Supreme so much, I will be getting another one when they pop up on sale again. Definite value with that!

    I have 2 rotisseries (indoor and outdoor), deep fryers, a pro deli slicer, BGE, grill, Romertopf and the list goes on. I don't mind dropping coin when I see value. All of these items are of high enough quality that my son will inherit them and most likely pass them down to his kids.

    I just don't see the value with Le Creuset. They tend to stain and chip just like the lower priced counterparts. Case in point - the set I bought at Sam's Club would cost me at least $500 for both if I choose Le Creuset. Instead I got them both for $30.

    If the Le Creuset chips? It's up to Le Creuset to decide if they want to replace it. Usually they do not...they blame the chip or stain on the customer's neglect and no new pot/pan or even restoration is offered. My Mom's Le Creuset developed a chip at the bottom corner when I was around the age of 10 years old. It was 12 years old at that point. Guess who still has that chip? Guess who's Le Creuset is stained and scratched on the inside?

    I could buy 16 sets of the same thing at Sam's every time one of mine chips or stains. Even at retail cost, I could buy 9 or 10 sets (not just an individual pan).

    Now if someone could show me the value in a Le Creuset? I might reconsider.

    Until then? I'll just run down to Sam's and grab a new set for money I would otherwise blow on a decent meal.

    Tom

    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,892
    In my highly disregarded opinion if you have a glass top it doesn't matter what cookware you use. My Wedgewood is coming with me when I move. I was gonna leave it behind. I just got a little smarter.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,462
    I don't think I'd buy something by Le Creuset because of the pricing, but their pans are made in Europe still. That adds to the price and maybe to the quality. Lead in glaze and enamel has been a problem for some stuff made in some countries. The Le Creuset pans are made of chopped up train tracks and other metals. Didn't know that until I went to see where they do their manufacturing, but this article shows it...

    https://www.davidlebovitz.com/a-visit-to-the-le-creuset-factory/
  • gmcman
    gmcman Posts: 1,663
    Some really good info so far, much appreciated. So to get the ball rolling, the wife and kids went out this past weekend and came home with a Father's Day gift.....a 12" Lodge from Williams Sonoma.... B) The kids were adamant about finding a Lodge somewhere on Saturday..lol.

    Tonight I seasoned it in the oven for an hour despite already being seasoned....I wanted to be sure it was clean.

    I grabbed a quick shower while it was in the oven, had burgers ready to go, I came out and my daughter said..." I'll rewind Jeopardy and tell me if you know the answer"

    Too funny.

    b09o2j5cf4qi.jpg


  • Jimbo18
    Jimbo18 Posts: 2,268
    ^^ I saw that yesterday and immediately thought of this thread.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    Congrat's gmcman and happy belated Father's Day to you!

    Your grandkid's grandkid's could be cooking out of that pan one day. The 12" Lodge was my first CI purchase as well. Great overall useful pan! It's a workhorse in my kitchen. I took a second look at mine yesterday and the surface for cooking is essentially smooth. All of the pitting and bumps are no more....just due to normal cooking. With use, yours will get there as well...but just cook. Don't worry about it. There is virtually little (Very little) difference between the bumpy surface and the smoother surface on a Lodge.

    Couple of pointers when cooking -

    Preheat the pan. CI takes quite a bit longer to heat up to temp. It also retains heat well beyond a normal pan.

    For searing, use a high temp oil. Like Avocado oil. Yes, you will still most likely smoke the house up but the smoke will be considerably less. You can use a low cost charcoal chimney outdoors to achieve 8-900 degree searing heat, FWIW.

    Cook bacon. Cooking bacon in your pan will help the cooking surface to become more non-stick quicker, though this is not necessary. Just keep cooking.

    Lower your heat. When using CI, most rookies will put the heat higher than what is necessary. 4-5 is really all one will ever need, unless searing.

    Let the food release them self. Many folks complain that their CI pan don't release very well. Trust me, they do. Those folks are just impatient. When cooking fish (for example), you will physically see when they release. You try to move them before they release and you may have just ruined the appearance of your meal.

    Don't worry about discolorations. You will not notice as many on your Lodge because it has a darker completion than some but after some meals or over time, your pan will not be 100% uniform in color. Don't worry about it. That is the pan's character and it won't affect a thing. You should see a pizza stone or Blue Steel (Carbon) cookware from new to seasoned...they are worse.

    Look into getting an aluminum cover with lid handle. These come in handy for cooking a thick omelet all of the way through without burning the bottom, preventing splashes from grease or helping the cheese melt on a hamburger or two. I got mine at a restaurant supply company but I am sure you can get one on Amazon for around 12-14 dollars.

    And most importantly - *cue drum roll*

    Watch out for those handles! CI will retain some MAD heat, even after the cooking is long gone and done. I would recommend getting leather, cloth or silicone handle covers, so you or a family member does not forget that the pan may be scorching hot, even though it does not appear to be. Teach your family the "safety" required when it comes to respecting just how hot that handle can be. It only takes once, but it's something they will NEVER forget. Don't use wet towels unless you want to steam the hell out of your hands. You also might want to invest in some really good grill mitts for those larger, heavier meals that will require two hands to lift up off the grill or out of the oven.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • gmcman
    gmcman Posts: 1,663
    treitz3 wrote: »
    Congrat's gmcman and happy belated Father's Day to you!

    Thanks!
    treitz3 wrote: »
    Lower your heat. When using CI, most rookies will put the heat higher than what is necessary. 4-5 is really all one will ever need, unless searing.

    Yeah, definitely see that.

    ojr8je580axm.jpg


    fwjzjau8kpmj.jpg

    Burgers went well on about 4, for pancakes, 3 would be too much. Good poiinter as I would normally use a much higher setting.


    I can't believe I went this long without another CI pan. Kids wanted pancakes today....no prob, slid right out.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    Nice FLIR. Is that a stand alone or a phone app?

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • codycatalist
    codycatalist Posts: 2,662
    Good news is I got word that the cast iron collection my grandpa left me is coming home soon. No idea on brand or anything but 40pc set apparently.

    I am told he used to dig a fire pit, put some coals in there until they burned down a little, put the cast iron on top with a cover and topped it with dirt. Came back a couple hours later.

    Excited to get a piece of history from that side of the family. Not much around.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
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  • gmcman
    gmcman Posts: 1,663
    treitz3 wrote: »
    Nice FLIR. Is that a stand alone or a phone app?

    Tom

    Stand alone, Flir i5...comes in handy quite often, great inspection tool. Have used it to find cold air leaks in the house, hub and bearing temps to see which one was failing, monitor tire wear/alignment issues...list goes on.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    We should talk offline about this....

    I am interested. (Very)

    Please allow me to pluck YOUR brain on this one, as I am unfamiliar but in the market.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    PM sent.

    Big Daddy T.
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • gmcman
    gmcman Posts: 1,663
    Sure thing Tom...PM sent.
  • kharp1
    kharp1 Posts: 3,453


    Jimbo18 wrote: »
    Upstatemax wrote: »
    One of the many reason Carbon Steel pans for modern pans are better.

    They get all the pluses of CI and have better heat dissipation almost zero odor retention (since they are more dense and better uniformity than CI) and are smooth surfaces. Readily available and at reasonable prices.

    They can be stamped since they have more iron in them than CI so they don’t have to be ground.

    Unless you’ve been handed down old school, really nice CI, Carbon Steel should be on your shopping list.

    You have any suggestions for Carbon Steel brands to try?

    I have a few of these and have no complaints:

    https://www.matferbourgeatusa.com/
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    Follow up post to this thread. Check this out. I pulled the trigger today on a set just for S%$#s and giggles. Should be similar to the older pans I have...

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/prepd/prepd-skillet?ref=gphome

    I had looked into Field Company and Starglazer CI, along with the ones linked below;

    https://butterpatindustries.com/collections/choose-from-four-sizes/products/the-lili
    https://smitheyironware.com/product/signature-3-piece-cast-iron-skillet-set/

    Since I will not get them for a while, I have no review. They look to be the same or similar to the Griswold I have (with no hinged lid) but appear to be much lighter than me good ol' trusted Lodge. The set I got was a 10 and 12" pan combo. Only time will tell if they are good.

    I did foray into Carbon Steel. I went and got the Matfer Bourgeat 14" Carbon steel pan linked below...

    https://www.amazon.com/Matfer-Bourgeat-062007-Frying-8-Inch/dp/B00AQKVUIU

    End result without going into detail? I returned it after 48 hours of owning it. Biggest POS piece I have introduced into my kitchen since I don't know when. It may even take top honors for the worst item ever to hit my kitchen. The banana slicer would have proven more effective, if that tells you anything.

    I don't know if it has been posted yet on the Amazon reviews but I gave it a scathing review. Long story short? The wax they put on it to protect the pan is virtually impossible to get off without setting a nuclear bomb next to it and then when I went to go season it? The damned thing warped before my eyes within a minute. Complete waste of my time and effort (especially after trying to get that protective wax layer off).

    If I go Carbon Steel again? The link below is what I'll try. These boys seem to know what the hell they are doing. If that doesn't work? Then screw carbon steel pans for me. Cast Iron is just fine.

    https://bluskilletironware.com/shop

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    Okay guys, the Mafter Bourgeat pan spoiled my taste for the Carbon steel. I am stubborn sometimes and I am still willing to give it a try.

    Those folks with a DeBuyer pan like Upstatemax...

    Would you recommend them? What did you do when you first got them to season them? Were they as big of a PIA as the Mafter Bourgeat pan I just returned?

    https://www.amazon.com/Buyer-Mineral-Pan-Fry-set/dp/B002LCMM2E/ref=sr_1_15?gclid=CjwKCAiA5JnuBRA-EiwA-0ggPf0wlXLsBcVZM3_XenKVVfu6krSNQtOrmPnATxzZ_wXWmB0NWupyQhoCvswQAvD_BwE&hvadid=253266736533&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9010687&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=14714122498001501099&hvtargid=kwd-418982554037&hydadcr=4698_10064476&keywords=de+buyer+carbon+steel+pans&qid=1573330940&sr=8-15

    plfwlvynv5ee.png


    I am looking at this set (or any one of them). From those in the know....talk to me.

    Would I be wasting my money or getting a good buy? Talk to me...

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,300
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • Upstatemax
    Upstatemax Posts: 2,530
    I’ve been super happy with my DeBuyer pans. Zero issues with the pans, at all.

    I found the wax sealant used to ship and initially store the pan was easy to remove.

    Hot water and dish soap, then a salt scrub and another rinse.

    Dry right away and get the pan on the stove right away.

    I would wipe the entire pan surface with a thin layer of oil, then pour a thin layer of oil into the pan. Once it starts to smoke, turn off the heat and let it cool.

    I would repeat that a few times and then I simply start cooking with it. Every few times I use it I coat in oil and bring to smoking point again just to keep building up my seasoning layer.

    Never had a warped pan or other issues. Once I was being an idiot when I was adding oil and got the pan way too hot and destroyed my seasoning. I simply scrubbed out the pan back to bare metal and started over. No actual damage to the pan.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku Ultra : Oppo UDP-203 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Rotel RB 1582 MKII : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Acryl-It Platter :
  • tonyp063
    tonyp063 Posts: 938
    I have a Mauviel, not the DeBuyer, and I love it.

    https://www.mauvielusa.com/cookware/M-Steel-Round-Fry-Pan-Steel-Handle-plu442.html

    I used the oven at 175 & the pan upside down in a sheet pan with paper towels for initial wax removal.
    The the salt, oil & potato peel trick to finish & apply the initial season.

    https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/9588-how-to-season-a-carbon-steel-pan

    Only had to do it once. There is nothing like it for searing steaks & such
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,892
    I would like some cast iron pans for my Ushers, they went to MDF by the time I got em.
  • I received some pre 1960s lodge cast iron today. 3 dutch ovens (8, and 14), couple of skillets and sauce pans.

    I have some rehab to do on them. They were my grandfather's and have sat rusted for a bit. Got some vinegar and steel wool. Will tackle it tomorrow.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,892
    I received some pre 1960s lodge cast iron today. 3 dutch ovens (8, and 14), couple of skillets and sauce pans.

    I have some rehab to do on them. They were my grandfather's and have sat rusted for a bit. Got some vinegar and steel wool. Will tackle it tomorrow.

    Hmmm, I would skip the acid and just do the elbow grease, grease and repeat.