Cast Iron or No? (weight right now is not an issue for me)

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Captain Chaos

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I have a ton of cast iron. A friend of mine owns a antique store, he would bring me a “no name” made in USA pan every now and then. Check out local antique and junk shop if you’re looking. Don’t over pay for a “no name” pan. Some place try to charge like a no namer is a Griswold. Just look for smooth, quality cast. Most of the time good pans are mixed in with cheap foreign made cast.
 

LostInSocal

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I've read it multiple times, not only on OB but other articles and videos: "buy quality cast iron". I have a number of Lodge cast iron cookware. I don't know any pans though. I've got a large 16 or 18" round flat top which I've used in the oven for pizza, and a grill top with the reversible slatted and flat surfaces. I've not had much luck with a non-stick cooking session. Usually it's a mess cleaning things up. My parents used to cook with cast iron. I have memories of using them, and I recall how easy it was to cook with and clean them. The surfaces on the pieces I own are a bit rough. I know it's in part user error. I recently picked up a Tembo Tusk skottle. First use, I tried bacon, and it stuck like the Dickens. Second time, it didn't stick at all, but I was making fries...LOL! I would love to use these pieces more often and integrate them into the outdoor activities. I don't see it happening though until I get much more proficient. The non-stick aluminum cookware do have their drawbacks but are fairly idiot-proof. Just saying...
 

Funmobile

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I use an old school ( 1950s-60s) three burner Coleman stove and use a cast iron griddle that covers two of the burners. The third burner gets used for pasta or warming.
 
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Desert Runner

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I have a refurbished griddle that i resurrected from the dead(rust), a 15 year old dutch oven, that is finally becoming seasoned, and my big score from my mom, a 8 inch fry pan that is at least
from the 1920's (90 years old) that she received from her grandmother. :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses: USED!

What was old, is now new. I keep a bit of bacon grease (fridge) that can be used to cook with and help rejuvenate the pans. Better than non-stick coatings or sprays. For clean up, paper towel and a thin application of olive oil. A cheap 'scrapper' for residue if needed.
 

J&J Offroad

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I will always vote yes for cast iron, especially from a dutch oven. More often now than I used to I reach for a cast iron waffle iron.
You don't have to use it to make waffles. For example, hash browns in a waffle iron take less than half the time, saving stove fuel.
Try eggs and bacon or pour an omelet into your waffle iron. You won't be sorry.
DSC_0015.jpg
 

Billiebob

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2 schools of thought
Cast Iron is great for searing things, it takes a lot of heat to heat it up but it holds that heat when you throw on a thick steak.
The other way, a light carbon steel pan heats up instantly and with a big flame it will stay hot.
Think Chinese wok vs cast iron griddle. Depends on what you are cooking.

Pancakes, Eggs, Steaks I prefer cast iron
Vegetables, Cubed Sirlion, Stir Fry, I'd go with a Wok and a BIG burner.
 

Paris0514

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Carbon steel skillets


I second Cowboy Kent Rollins, great resource.

I've also found that carbon steel skillets can function as a good tradeoff between weight and cooking characteristics. They're seasoned like cast iron but much lower in weight. Cast iron holds a lot more heat but you can still get an excellent sear and crisp off of carbon. Food for thought if/when weight does become an issue. Only picture I could dig up of the carbon steel in action but they cook very similarly to cast iron, just thinner.

View attachment 36295
I watch KENT Rollins all the time!
 
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Boostpowered

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I like the idea of cast iron but i cant keep them from rusting same with my wood stove in my house. Just too much humidity floating around here. Ive went through quite a few pans and dutch ovens before i figured out its not for me.
 

Banjor

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I like the idea of cast iron but i cant keep them from rusting same with my wood stove in my house. Just too much humidity floating around here. Ive went through quite a few pans and dutch ovens before i figured out its not for me.
If you are having this problem, you aren’t taking care of your cast iron properly. Here’s how you do it:

Never use soap, except when you are fully stripping and re-seasoning a pan (see below). There are plastic scrapers made by Lodge that work great, and a little square of chain mail works great for scouring off gunk with water only.

After you scrape out all the gunk, you need to coat the whole thing in a layer of oil. Your cast iron should never be stored without that layer of oil. You can even get specialized blends of oil and wax, again I recommend the Lodge brand seasoning (shake thoroughly).

The layer of carbon and oil on the cooking surface forms a natural nonstick surface with anti-burning properties.

Once in a while (1-4 times a year depending on use), use soap and strip everything off the cooking surface. Then use a good seasoning oil or blend to put a heavy coat on the pan, but not enough to puddle in the bottom. Now you have to put it in the oven (or on the stove, but be careful), and slowly heat it up to the point where it is smoking (but not much hotter or it may combust) for a few minutes. After that, wipe with a cloth and apply a thin layer of fresh oil. You should end up with a black, shiny coat when you are done.

My oldest cast iron pan is nearly 20 years old and looks brand new. The only time I’ve had rust is when a houseguest used soap and didn’t oil the pan after.

Your stove also will benefit from either a regular thin coat of stove black after removing the rust with steel wool or sandpaper, or a coat of very high temperature paint. Either should be applied cold. There will be a little smoke produced when you fire up the stove, so do it when the windows are open.
 

Pi_Baker

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I like the idea of cast iron but i cant keep them from rusting same with my wood stove in my house. Just too much humidity floating around here. Ive went through quite a few pans and dutch ovens before i figured out its not for me.
Ever try packing them with a small mesh bag of rice while they're not in use? And how often do you oil the stove?
 

Steve in Roanoke VA

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I carry cast iron to use with my stoves. I just prefer cooking on it to anything else. That said, leave the briquttes at home and learn to use coals from your camp fire instead. You'll never have to worry about not having them and you'll save that weight of the get go. This is my opinion though.
I prefer cast iron as well. I have an OLD smooth cast iron small skillet (3eggs) that was my grandmother's that cooks great on a burner or on the coals. It's only a few pounds, so it always goes with me. If there will be a lot of folks to cook for, I take the big (13") skillet with lid. HEAVY but cooks great. Love to cook with a Dutch Oven, my last one was "borrowed" & I need to replace. Get the best quality you can afford, you won't regret it. Also keep your eyes peeled at yard sales, etc. for old ones!