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cast iron pans

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
i would like to know WHY is it after i wash my cast iron pan and then i go to fry eggs in it the eggs have turned black on the bottom...almost like a soot....

i wash my pans in PLAIN hot water and use margarine to season it or they WILL show signs of rust and that be another WHY....

i am almost at my limit of controlling my short nitroglycerin fuse of a temper if my wife and daughter don't stop getting my cast iron pans real hot. i have toTOLD my daughter time and time again once the pan gets fairly hot TURN DOWN THE &*^$# HEAT....
maybe if i :bounce: a pan off her head she'll understand...

i NEVER use soapy hot water on my frying pans and i HATE it when wife cooks hamburgers in them and then adds COLD water to the pan when it be hot....now i know why one of them cracked where the handle is...how can i also convince her to STOP using plastic spatulas...??? i keep telling her the pan will melt it....

i have a website and it be called recipe world...some of the recipes i created so if you see ioldman2 that be mine...pennymind is my wife's recipe...and of course i couldn't forget mom either...so here be my recipe website address:

http://livejournal.com\users\ioldman2...

bon appetite....
post #2 of 22
Hi, Sci Fi!

Margarine is not that great to use for seasoning cast iron -- it's got too much gunk in it. Try using Crisco or some other plain vegetable oil.

If your pan has been abused too much, you might just have to scrub it all the way down to the metal and season it all over again. Yeah, I know that's a pain, but at least then it will do what it's supposed to. Do you have anywhere to hide it, so that no one else (mis)uses it? That's better than bonking someone over the head with it, OUCH. And maybe you should tell your wife that if she can't touch the pan with her bare hand, she should just leave it on the (turned off) burner -- so she won't add cold water.

I'll admit to you that I DO use soapy water on my cast iron -- and even steel wool if something won't soak off. But since it's well-seasoned, and I use a very light hand, it holds up just fine. I just coat it lightly with grease before putting away, and ALWAYS dry it right after washing.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

cast iron pans

thank you for your reply to my post suzanne...the trouble is the cast iron pans are the only thing we have to fry food in. i use nothing but margarine to fry my eggs..potatoes in..MAYBE i buy another set just for me and tell wife and daughter to not even THINK of touching them....
post #4 of 22

Marital bliss made easy.

Do yourself a favor. Go buy yourself a good egg pan, a teflon coated one from a restaurant supply house. It might run you $15.00. 8" is a good size for both eggs and omelets. For the sake of your family lock it up where ONLY YOU have ascess to it. No black stuff. Eggs release perfectly with a light coating of cooking spray. Too small to cook burgers in. Cast iron is a great tool but not the best for this job.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #5 of 22
Peachcreek,

what is cooking spray?

I never heard of it.

Armand
post #6 of 22

like butta

What I mean by cooking spray is aerosol vegetable shortening in a can. "Pam" is a common brand in the U.S.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #7 of 22
I agree w/Peach. A good teflon-coated skillet goes a long way. I have a 14" teflon-coated that I have used regularly for the past 11+ years and it has yet to fail me. It, too, needs to be treated w/respect. Don't come close to it with anything metal nor wash it with anything abrassive. Other than that, "hot pan, cold fat, nothing sticks!" Eggs, pancakes, omeletes, etc slip out with ease.

Suzanne, I, too, 'hard wash' my cast iron, if necessary. I agree that once it is well seasoned, it goes a long way to maintain it's patina to resist rusting and loosing it's seasoning. A bit of steel wool with a gentle hand never hurt anybody.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Re: Marital bliss made easy.

yes...i do agree teflon coated pans are great. i have used them buuuuut i love my cast iron pans. i would feel that i am betraying them if i bought a teflon pan..you ever see cast iron pans go on the war path???..hehehahaha.....the reason i like cast iron pans is that they retain heat better than any other pan that i have ever used and they get hotter quicker too and that way you can turn down the temperature on a electric stove or gas stove..now there is something to talk about...preference of electric or gas stoves....
post #9 of 22
Of course, no one, human or metal, wants to feel they're being shunted aside for some young whippersnapper. But don't worry -- just tell them that they've worked so hard for you all these years, you want to give them a rest. And before you bring in the Teflon, explain to it that while you have a special reason for adopting it, no one pan is more important to you than any other, and you want them all to get along together. Introduce them to each other, and then maybe give them a little time alone, so that they can be open with each other and not have to worry about you listening in. But please, if they don't seem to be getting along, try to keep your "hair-trigger temper" in check.

Let us know how it goes! :D
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #10 of 22

Just curious...

Why in the world would you want to you use a cast iron pan for cooking eggs?

For fried eggs, heat a non-stick skillet greased with a small amount of butter, margarine or cooking oil at medium heat until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.

Break eggs and gently slip into the skillet. Immediately reduce heat to low. Cook slowly until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard (turning eggs gently to cook both sides or adding a small amount of water and covering with lid to cook tops of eggs). Season with salt and pepper as desired. :chef:
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

Re: Just curious...

:)

:( ah. not to sound snotty or sarcastic, but, the job of frying eggs was all mine when i lived at home. i asked mom why she wanted me to fry the eggs and she said i could do it better than her(can you believe that) we used electric skillet and i really don't need anybody to tell me how to fry eggs...but i do appreciate your reply...thank you.....crack the eggs and hold about 3 inches above pan and let them go....never broke a yoke yet an i been frying eggs since i was 11 years old and i be 59 now....
post #12 of 22
Though I have a nice teflon coated pan, I prefer to use the cast iron. Maybe it is mental or something, but eggs just taste better, made in a cast iron pan (of course that is how Mom made them).
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #13 of 22

I have read dozens of posts - here and on other sites - about the advantages and disadvantages of cast iron frying pans... so I had to buy one and try it out for myself. The idea was to take it to our cottage and cook bacon & eggs on it like the "old timers". I bought a Kitchen Aid 10" at Canadian Tire (in Canada). Following all the posts on how to season it. I performed the task several times over the winter (each time my wife cooked a roast, I seasoned the fryer in the over afterwards).  I took it to the cottage and after several experiments with heat level and oil, vs. fat vs. butter, I hit on the perfect system.

 

I turn the element on to Medium and let the pan heat while getting out the bacon. I cook the bacon as you would in any pan... and then drain off the excess liquid fat. Then I put a glop of butter in the pan, swish it around as it melts and then break the eggs into it. Then I turn the heat either down to Low... or off altogether... cover the pan and let the eggs slowly cook. By the time the toast has popped, the eggs have "lifted" and come out easily with a metal spatula, gently working the spatula under the eggs until they slide out of the pan like a non-stick!!

 

I've even had the same success with an omelette..... wait until the egg mixture actually "lifts" using the spatula gently under it. You get that nice brown "scorch"... and the mix flips easily over the filling!

 

To clean up, I wait until the pan has cooled... rinse it under warm running water scrubbing any stick bits off with a bristle brush... NO SOAP...then dry it with a paper towel. After it's dry I rub the pan down with the paper towel that I wrapped the bacon with to soak up the extra fat. That leaves a nice sheen coating on the pan (I have also dipped some of the poured off fat with a spoon and rubbed it into the pan as well. Then I hang it on a nail on the side of the cupboard where it stays dry, free from rust... and mice.

post #14 of 22

I've read countless posts about cast iron care and have written quite a few myself and one thing has bugged be from the beginning. Cleaning your cast iron with soap. When I worked in the restaurant biz, had I not washed my cast iron with soap they would have shut me down. Inherently, when I'm are home, using a soft rag dipped in warm soapy water cleans my cast iron pans better than using just hot water ever could.

 

Sure, I have to reseason my pans more often than the average person but I'm willing to do that because I value cleanliness. In the end, it should be your spices and ingredients that bring flavor to your dishes - not your pan. I say all this for that one person that rolls through this forum wondering if they should clean their cast iron with soap. There is nothing wrong with cleaning your cast iron with soap, just be prepared to reseason more often and have cleaner pans than your grandmother ever did.

"The moral of this story is not everything that's slick is non-stick, and not everything non-stick is slick."
— Alton Brown

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"The moral of this story is not everything that's slick is non-stick, and not everything non-stick is slick."
— Alton Brown

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post #15 of 22

I agree, I use my cast iron for almost everything. Nonstick for eggs, but I do sometimes use a soap\water mix to wash the cast iron lighting rubbing with a paper towel with water going at the same time. I like to season my cast iron after each use i put back on the stove heat up rub with oil and thats it. With regards to the safty of cleaning with just water, if you season it after by heating the pan up, would it not kill any nasty stuff anyway? Never season with margerine, why would you use that nasty stuff anyway its so unhealthy? Go go back to your question about the black stuff I know after I wash my cast iron in water and then put it back on the range and rub with oil there is some black stuff on my paper towel I think it is sort of normal to have. You could also scrub it with kosher salt \ veg oil.

post #16 of 22

II like stainless steel myself. Teflon you got to be careful with, and I worry about the chemicals. Cast iron is so heavy and its texture seems to encourage sticking. Stainless steel can be pretty nonstick, and durable too. I get something on it, I can come at it pretty hard and have it still be fine. Maybe stainless steel with a copper core is best, too pricy for me though

I heard good things about pure porcelain. Porcelain coated is no good, the coating comes off too quickly and then its crap. Pure porcelain is really expensive though.

post #17 of 22

Well first thing I never wash my cast iron pans. All you really need to do with a well seasoned pan is wipe it out really well and season it and be done. A good oil coat and bake it in. 

post #18 of 22

Well I've never done this seasoning thing, don't even know how exactly (seems like cooked on oil is a good way to cause future burned food) Yet the stainless steel pan I use has never had any problems, and it's just a relatively cheap thing I bought at Walmart.

post #19 of 22

An old (but still very relevant) topic is best answered by our resident cast iron expert @phatch And a few ChefTalk articles on the topics:

 

 

 

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Basics
By phatch Posted 1128 views

 

 

Seasoning Dutch Ovens Along The Way
By singer4660 Posted 264 views
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #20 of 22
@ truepurple, the way seasoning works has to do with cast iron's more porous structure opening up as it heats, then basically carbonizing oil into the gaps. Done well it produces a nearly nonstick surface. But people have been cooking with cast iron for thousands of years; it seems like an odd thing to be dubious about.
post #21 of 22

Sounds like you don't want to season stainless steel or teflon then, right?

 

Well why bother with all that when you can just go with stainless steel, doesn't anyone here like a good stainless steel pot or pan? What's so great about cast iron? I've cooked with it before and I didn't notice anything great about it.

 

One other issue with cast iron, it can leach iron into your diet, and it is possible to get too much iron in your diet where it has a detrimental effect.

post #22 of 22

The amount  of iron leached is greatly overstated in most of the reports. 

 

Sure we like clad stainless steel. But there are things cast iron will do that stainless generally does not. You might not have lived through the blackening craze for example which really only works on cast iron because of its very high thermal capacity. Similarly it crusts steaks better than stainless steel. 

 

It's not that cast iron is better than stainless steel. It's that its another tool with specific features to achieve particular results. If people want non-stick behaviors for eggs or fish without a synthetic coating, cast iron is the best material currently. Certainly, a stainless pan with minimal scratching, properly seasoned can cook with little sticking. But most people aren't capable of using the pan that way. They don't have the knowledge nor the developed skill. And they lack the interest. So non-stick options sell to that market. 

 

Having said all that, stainless is quite difficult to cook a scrambled egg in without sticking issues. It can be done, sure, but it's not trivial as it is in other kinds of pans. 

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