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Cast Iron Skillet omnibus

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10 hours ago, parasaurolophus said:

Do any of you guys cook eggs in yours? This is the unicorn of cast iron cooking for me. I find it to be a big pain. Always stick. No problems with anything else. 

I do. Cast iron is the only thing I use for eggs at home. 

A couple things that might help. It's possible in a new, less-seasoned skillet, but obviously, a very well-seasoned skillet is best. No matter what folks might say around the innerwebs, the only way to a well-seasoned skillet is to cook in it a bunch. A well-seasoned, cook-in skillet doesn't need all this maintenance advice. With my good skillets, it almost doesn't matter what I do to them. I can wash them with a scrubber and water and it doesn't matter. 

Pre-heat the skillet well and let the eggs "set" before fooling with them. I find a lot of people make this mistake with or without cast iron. It doesn't need to be screaming hot, just pre-heated. At least 10 min. or so on an electric range.

A good spatula helps. This one  is great.

A little more oil/grease early on helps. The main thing with a young pan is that you want to cook things without sticking so that you don't have to scrub the hell out of it.

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11 hours ago, parasaurolophus said:

Do any of you guys cook eggs in yours? This is the unicorn of cast iron cooking for me. I find it to be a big pain. Always stick. No problems with anything else. 

I make scrambled eggs with cheese all the time for my kids. Throw the chesse straight in the pan to melt, than add the eggs and start scrambling. Mine never stick. I wash mine with plain water and a non-soapy sponge, rinse, then place it back on the burner at high heat. When dry, and still hot, i hit it with PAM or some other kind of oil.

when i got it new years ago, i scrubbed the crap out of it to get all the waxy stuff off of it, and seasoned it in the oven set to self-clean with crisco smeared on it. Maybe try the seasoning process from scratch? The only thing i can think of.

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Speaking of eggs and CIS's, our very first morning in our new house over Labor Day weekend, I knew what the first meal had to be. Eggs and livermush.

That griddle with egg is an unmarked Wagner round griddle that I got covered in crud at a flea market years ago. That old lady drove a hard bargain and wouldn't take less than $11 for it, but it's been fantastic. Round griddles are a great option for fried eggs. Much easier to maneuver the spatula for a clean flip. 

The livermush skillet is a BSR (Birmingham Stove & Range). It's my daily driver and great. It's probably stupid of me, but I don't cook in my more expensive skillets. Some of the rest of the CIS family.

And of course, CIS is the only way to go for crispy corned beef hash. Though I did burn that one a little.

Edited by pollardsvision

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12 hours ago, pollardsvision said:

I do. Cast iron is the only thing I use for eggs at home. 

A couple things that might help. It's possible in a new, less-seasoned skillet, but obviously, a very well-seasoned skillet is best. No matter what folks might say around the innerwebs, the only way to a well-seasoned skillet is to cook in it a bunch. A well-seasoned, cook-in skillet doesn't need all this maintenance advice. With my good skillets, it almost doesn't matter what I do to them. I can wash them with a scrubber and water and it doesn't matter. 

Pre-heat the skillet well and let the eggs "set" before fooling with them. I find a lot of people make this mistake with or without cast iron. It doesn't need to be screaming hot, just pre-heated. At least 10 min. or so on an electric range.

A good spatula helps. This one  is great.

A little more oil/grease early on helps. The main thing with a young pan is that you want to cook things without sticking so that you don't have to scrub the hell out of it.

I am probably putting them in too early and trying to scramble them too early. I definitely dont wait anywhere near 10 minutes.

Thanks for the tips.

Edited by parasaurolophus

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56 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

I am probably putting them in too early and trying to scramble them too early. I definitely dont wait anywhere near 10 minutes.

Thanks for the tips.

If you put a drop of water in the pan and it sizzles it's ready. 

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My mom got me a Lodge pre-seasoned CIS maybe a year ago.  I was afraid to use it because of the whole seasoning, care stuff that went along with it.  I also wasn't sure where we were going to store it.  I don't know exactly what made me do it, but I decided to give it a try this weekend.  I am pretty sure I royally screwed everything up!  I thought I would share my story because it might make you laugh, it might make you think that you have been there, and it might result in getting me good advice.

So I had recently cooked some excellent pork chops in a non stick pan (that my mom also got me) and it is a really nice non stick.  I am relatively new to cooking so I was just getting used to using the non stick pan.  I decided to try the pork chops in the CIS to see if I could tell the difference.  I read how to season the pan in page 1 of this thread.  I knew the pan was pre-seasoned but thought I would do it anyway.  I poured a tablespoon or 2 of vegetable oil in the pan, spread it around with a paper towel, and put it in a 350 degree oven for an hour.  The only thing that seemed odd at this point was that it seemed like some of the paper towel bits sort of got stuck in the pan.  I figured if that was in fact the case the oven should take care of it.

I take the pan out of the oven and simply set it on my stove top until I need it.  I have my pork chops trimmed and seasoned and I finally reach the point where I will soon be ready to cook.  I put the CIS on the stove top and turn the dial to 8.  My thinking process was that the advantage of CIS is that it can get super hot and sear the meat really good.  I would imagine some of you may be laughing at this point.

So there is my CIS getting ridiculously hot on top of the stove.  I think this is a good thing because I always heard how important it is to pre heat the skillet.  I throw some mashed garlic cloves in the pan and they make a lot of noise and char up immediately.  Then I cut about a 1/2 inch thick pat of butter off the stick and throw it in the pan.  IMMEDIATELY a GIANT plume of white smoke comes out of the pan.  The whole house is smoky.  My wife and father-in-law are coughing.  We are opening the front door and the door to the back porch.  The smoke alarm is going off and my wife actually just takes the alarm off the wall and takes the battery out.

Well at this point you would think that I would realize something was wrong... but I was focused.  I had dinner to cook!  I let the smoke calm down some and put a spatter guard over the skillet.  I remove the spatter guard, throw the pork chops in, and put the guard back over top.  They are sizzling and spitting, and it is just getting crazy in there and I am like, kind of scared at this point.  I let them sear for about a minute and turn them over.  They didn't look too bad.  I let the other side sear for a minute and turn the heat down to like 2 and figure things should calm down at this point.

After I turn the heat down I start pulling the potatoes out of the oven and putting them on a platter.  I figured with the heat down I could kind of just let the pork chops cook.  I would imagine this might sound funny to some of you as well.  So I get done with the potatoes and check the pork chops.  They are crazy seared on the side I flipped it to.  I suppose the thing I didn't realize is that CIS's are so awesome because they HOLD heat so well.  So, even though I turned the stove knob down... they were still cooking on high heat.  The end of the story is...

By the time I got around to checking the temps of my pork chop (I am a novice so I still use the digital thermometer all the time) they were in the well done 150's to 160 degree range.  They were edible, but pretty dry.  My CIS looked like a bomb went off in it.  There was black charred garlic cloves, burnt butter, and I guess chunks of burnt pork chop.  At the end of the night I took one of those plastic approximately 2 inch square thick pot scrapers and just scraped that sucker out as best I could.  I thought to myself... well I guess this is seasoning?  I just left it all in there thinking that is just what you do with a CIS.  I put the skillet in the oven to store it, but I didn't use any water, or try to cook anything off after.  I didn't put any oil on it either.  I think I was just trying to forget the whole episode at that point and thought that when it comes to CIS's less clean up is better.

So I guess... I was wondering what you think I should do now?  Leave it as is (I'm pretty sure there is pork chop gunk on the surface), put a coat of oil on it, and put it in the oven again?  Leave it as is and just keep cooking with it?  Heat it up and try and scrape it with one of the SS spatulas I saw in this thread?  Get one of those chain mail CIS cleaners I saw on Amazon.  Sell it at our next yard sale?  I don't think I am going to be doing any resurfacing.  And honestly I didn't think it was a big deal to leave food bits in it, but after revisiting this thread it seems like some people are not cool with that.  Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks for your help ahead of time as always!

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So… after my first CIS disaster I took a break from using it but eventually I realized I had to get back on the horse.  I broke out the CIS and put it on the stove burner a few times and just kept scraping it.  A little bit here, a little bit there.  Eventually I got most of the burnt ‘stuff’ scraped off and was able to start over.  A little vegetable oil, let it sit in the oven a few times, and it was seasoned and good to go.

I’ve used the CIS for scrambled eggs and it worked well.  I researched methods on how to clean them better.  I bought one of those Lodge thick bristle wooden handle brushes and the Lodge scrapers.  I got some microfiber towels, 1 to dry and 1 to apply oil.  I got a system down and kind of figured it out.  I thought I would come back and post something helpful, extremely easy roasted potato cooking instructions:

Oven at 400

Fingerling potatoes cut diagonally, small potatoes cut once, larger cut 2 times resulting in medium size chunks of potatoes

Put the potatoes in a cast iron skillet, drizzle olive oil on them, season with salt and pepper

I use both hands to mix all of the potatoes together and evenly spread the oil salt and pepper of all of them

Put them in the oven.  Every 10 minutes pull the CIS out of the oven and stir / mix the potatoes with a wooden spoon.  After about 40 minutes they should be done.  After they were done this last time I made them, I left them in the oven (after cooking 40 minutes) and set the oven temp to 225 and just let the oven cool down.  When I finally pulled them out to serve for dinner, that sitting time I think helped them brown a little bit.  They are very simple, and don’t require a ton of maintenance to keep up with while you are cooking.  Enjoy…

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33 minutes ago, Jutz said:

So… after my first CIS disaster I took a break from using it but eventually I realized I had to get back on the horse.  I broke out the CIS and put it on the stove burner a few times and just kept scraping it.  A little bit here, a little bit there.  Eventually I got most of the burnt ‘stuff’ scraped off and was able to start over.  A little vegetable oil, let it sit in the oven a few times, and it was seasoned and good to go.

I’ve used the CIS for scrambled eggs and it worked well.  I researched methods on how to clean them better.  I bought one of those Lodge thick bristle wooden handle brushes and the Lodge scrapers.  I got some microfiber towels, 1 to dry and 1 to apply oil.  I got a system down and kind of figured it out.  I thought I would come back and post something helpful, extremely easy roasted potato cooking instructions:

Oven at 400

Fingerling potatoes cut diagonally, small potatoes cut once, larger cut 2 times resulting in medium size chunks of potatoes

Put the potatoes in a cast iron skillet, drizzle olive oil on them, season with salt and pepper

I use both hands to mix all of the potatoes together and evenly spread the oil salt and pepper of all of them

Put them in the oven.  Every 10 minutes pull the CIS out of the oven and stir / mix the potatoes with a wooden spoon.  After about 40 minutes they should be done.  After they were done this last time I made them, I left them in the oven (after cooking 40 minutes) and set the oven temp to 225 and just let the oven cool down.  When I finally pulled them out to serve for dinner, that sitting time I think helped them brown a little bit.  They are very simple, and don’t require a ton of maintenance to keep up with while you are cooking.  Enjoy…

Funny story.  If you burn the crap out of something just boil water in it. That will lift the gunk. 

Never ever go above medium. I hear my pan to medium, medium low. 

When you get some cash get a Le Cruset enamel coated cast iron pan. Cooks the same but clean up is a breeze. 

Oh, potatoes sounded great. How’d they taste?

Edited by boots11234
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41 minutes ago, boots11234 said:

Funny story.  If you burn the crap out of something just boil water in it. That will lift the gunk. 

Never ever go above medium. I hear my pan to medium, medium low. 

When you get some cash get a Le Cruset enamel coated cast iron pan. Cooks the same but clean up is a breeze. 

Oh, potatoes sounded great. How’d they taste?

Thanks... I will remember that (boiling water) but hopefully I won't need to use the advice haha.

You know, I recently read an article where a chef said that the 'searing hot pan' you often hear about in recopies in order to sear meats isn't really necessary.  The article recommended what you said, medium to medium high, and the longer cook time could actually result in more browning and more flavor.  Lesson learned.

We actually have a Le Cruset dutch oven.  I just checked out the skillets.  That looks like a good idea.  If I expand my collection I will consider that route.  My wife really likes Le Cruset so I think she would like that option better.

They tasted great.  Even though butter is not used to make them, they taste buttery.  I am relatively new to cooking so I still have a tough time getting the right amount of salt but it worked out well this last time.  I've made them several times before and they turned out good each time... but I think this time when I left them in the oven to finish it added a little browning and it made them better.

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Slightly off topic, but here's a good place to ask: in regards to the Le Cruset dutch oven mentioned above, I have a question on cleaning. My father-in-law accidentally burned a good bit of plastic directly in his Le Cruset, so it's covered with a thin layer of burned plastic. I've taken a wooden spoon and scraped out the easy, thick parts, but there's a ton left. What's a good way to get off the rest? I've seen baking soda and vinegar, baking soda and boiling water, even nail polish remover. I don't want to mess up the enamel part while still getting the burned plastic off. Any ideas?

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2 hours ago, joker said:

Slightly off topic, but here's a good place to ask: in regards to the Le Cruset dutch oven mentioned above, I have a question on cleaning. My father-in-law accidentally burned a good bit of plastic directly in his Le Cruset, so it's covered with a thin layer of burned plastic. I've taken a wooden spoon and scraped out the easy, thick parts, but there's a ton left. What's a good way to get off the rest? I've seen baking soda and vinegar, baking soda and boiling water, even nail polish remover. I don't want to mess up the enamel part while still getting the burned plastic off. Any ideas?

Try bar keepers friend first. Use non-abrasive pad. WD40 May also loosen it up. 

 

Keep father  in law out of kitchen. 

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Thanks, I just ordered the BKF plus non-abrasive scouring pads and will let you know how it turns out. One of the reviews on Amazon was actually an old Le Cruset dutch oven that was brought back from the dead, so there's some hope that it will do the trick.

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:shrug:  I sear meat all the time in my Lodge CIS.  Cleans with hot water and a wipe, even when the old lady burns stuff in it.

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Forgive me father for I have sinned, I bought a Carbon Steel Frying Pan and I LOVE IT!

My family has been using cast iron pans back to the early 1900's (My father has my great great grandmothers pan) and we have always swore by them. In my late 20's, early 30's I tried to go my own way with some fancy calphalon etc but always found my way back to cast iron. That was until this past weekend. A chef friend of mine was telling me how great these "Black Steel" (another name for carbon steel) pans are and strongly suggested I try one instead of my cast iron. I did and after a week of use I can safely say they are better than cast iron in every way. 

Carbon Steel vs Cast Iron

  • Much Lighter than Cast Iron
  • MUCH, MUCH easier to season and obtain that true "non-stick" surface in compared to Cast Iron
  • Carbon Steel Heats up and cools down much faster than cast iron
  • The Sides on a Carbon Steel pan are lower and have are not as straight up as Cast Iron thus they are more conducive to frying/sauteing, easier to flip eggs and pancakes
  • Two to three times the price of Cast Iron
  • Longer, angled handles make the Carbon Steel pans much easier to handle
  • Silicone Handle Covers are much tighter and feel better on the pan I bought vs my experience with the silicone handles for my cast iron pans
  • They are to be treated the same way you treat your current Cast Iron pan when it comes to cleaning and storage

 

The Seasoning Process

After a ton of research I purchased the Matfer Bourgeat 11-7/8 pan for $50 on Amazon and followed their instructions on seasoning with a slight alteration per some videos I watched. I bought 4 large idaho potatoes, peeled them, split them into two equal piles. While I was doing this I had filled the pan with water and boiled it for about five minutes. I then washed it with hot water and dawn detergent and brushed it aggressively with a stiff brush. This process removed the protective coating the pans ship with. Then on medium heat I added 2/3 of a cup of Salt, half a cup of the highest smoke point oil you have (I used peanut) and the skins of two potatoes. You keep moving this mixture around the pan for 15 minutes,  then remove from the heat, dump the mixture out, wipe the pan clean (ITS HOT, be careful) and then repeat the process. After you do this for the 2nd time, wipe it clean again, put a table spoon of the same oil in the pan, wipe the pan completely with a paper towel and let it sit on medium heat for five minutes and it's ready to use. The pan will have turned from a bright silver to a dark brown at the center to a carmel color the further out from the center you go. After this process the pan was like a sheet of glass. I couldn't believe how well food moved around the pan with just a bit of oil in it. The pan is completely non-stick with a bit of oil in it.   Here is a pic of some sausages I cooked immediately after I seasoned the pan.

 

 

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On 11/30/2018 at 8:52 AM, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

Forgive me father for I have sinned, I bought a Carbon Steel Frying Pan and I LOVE IT!

My family has been using cast iron pans back to the early 1900's (My father has my great great grandmothers pan) and we have always swore by them. In my late 20's, early 30's I tried to go my own way with some fancy calphalon etc but always found my way back to cast iron. That was until this past weekend. A chef friend of mine was telling me how great these "Black Steel" (another name for carbon steel) pans are and strongly suggested I try one instead of my cast iron. I did and after a week of use I can safely say they are better than cast iron in every way. 

Carbon Steel vs Cast Iron

  • Much Lighter than Cast Iron
  • MUCH, MUCH easier to season and obtain that true "non-stick" surface in compared to Cast Iron
  • Carbon Steel Heats up and cools down much faster than cast iron
  • The Sides on a Carbon Steel pan are lower and have are not as straight up as Cast Iron thus they are more conducive to frying/sauteing, easier to flip eggs and pancakes
  • Two to three times the price of Cast Iron
  • Longer, angled handles make the Carbon Steel pans much easier to handle
  • Silicone Handle Covers are much tighter and feel better on the pan I bought vs my experience with the silicone handles for my cast iron pans
  • They are to be treated the same way you treat your current Cast Iron pan when it comes to cleaning and storage

 

The Seasoning Process

After a ton of research I purchased the Matfer Bourgeat 11-7/8 pan for $50 on Amazon and followed their instructions on seasoning with a slight alteration per some videos I watched. I bought 4 large idaho potatoes, peeled them, split them into two equal piles. While I was doing this I had filled the pan with water and boiled it for about five minutes. I then washed it with hot water and dawn detergent and brushed it aggressively with a stiff brush. This process removed the protective coating the pans ship with. Then on medium heat I added 2/3 of a cup of Salt, half a cup of the highest smoke point oil you have (I used peanut) and the skins of two potatoes. You keep moving this mixture around the pan for 15 minutes,  then remove from the heat, dump the mixture out, wipe the pan clean (ITS HOT, be careful) and then repeat the process. After you do this for the 2nd time, wipe it clean again, put a table spoon of the same oil in the pan, wipe the pan completely with a paper towel and let it sit on medium heat for five minutes and it's ready to use. The pan will have turned from a bright silver to a dark brown at the center to a carmel color the further out from the center you go. After this process the pan was like a sheet of glass. I couldn't believe how well food moved around the pan with just a bit of oil in it. The pan is completely non-stick with a bit of oil in it.   Here is a pic of some sausages I cooked immediately after I seasoned the pan.

 

 

I just bought the same pan because of your post and it just arrived. I figure if you researched it, cool, save me some time. 👍🏼

I’ve been collecting the old Griswold pans for the past year and wanting to try carbon steel to compare. First impression, it’s actually considerably heavier than vintage cast iron (I bought the 12 5/8” which is closest to my #10 1920’s Griswold). If we’re comparing it to modern Lodge crap then yes, the steel is lighter. But I like the longer handle and more angled sides, and obviously this steel is smoother than any era of cast iron. Can’t wait to get it seasoned and put it through its paces. 

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The carbon steel kills cast iron, hate to say it. Much better heat transfer, really nonstick even when new, and easier to work with. Just did some bacon, then some veggies in the bacon fat, and then eggs in avocado oil. Great pan.

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I also did the seasoning process that buddy ball posted above before I cooked anything, so that’s important to mention. The pan builds up a nice dark patina as you use it. 

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On 11/30/2018 at 5:52 AM, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

Forgive me father for I have sinned, I bought a Carbon Steel Frying Pan and I LOVE IT!

My family has been using cast iron pans back to the early 1900's (My father has my great great grandmothers pan) and we have always swore by them. In my late 20's, early 30's I tried to go my own way with some fancy calphalon etc but always found my way back to cast iron. That was until this past weekend. A chef friend of mine was telling me how great these "Black Steel" (another name for carbon steel) pans are and strongly suggested I try one instead of my cast iron. I did and after a week of use I can safely say they are better than cast iron in every way. 

Carbon Steel vs Cast Iron

  • Much Lighter than Cast Iron
  • MUCH, MUCH easier to season and obtain that true "non-stick" surface in compared to Cast Iron
  • Carbon Steel Heats up and cools down much faster than cast iron
  • The Sides on a Carbon Steel pan are lower and have are not as straight up as Cast Iron thus they are more conducive to frying/sauteing, easier to flip eggs and pancakes
  • Two to three times the price of Cast Iron
  • Longer, angled handles make the Carbon Steel pans much easier to handle
  • Silicone Handle Covers are much tighter and feel better on the pan I bought vs my experience with the silicone handles for my cast iron pans
  • They are to be treated the same way you treat your current Cast Iron pan when it comes to cleaning and storage

 

The Seasoning Process

After a ton of research I purchased the Matfer Bourgeat 11-7/8 pan for $50 on Amazon and followed their instructions on seasoning with a slight alteration per some videos I watched. I bought 4 large idaho potatoes, peeled them, split them into two equal piles. While I was doing this I had filled the pan with water and boiled it for about five minutes. I then washed it with hot water and dawn detergent and brushed it aggressively with a stiff brush. This process removed the protective coating the pans ship with. Then on medium heat I added 2/3 of a cup of Salt, half a cup of the highest smoke point oil you have (I used peanut) and the skins of two potatoes. You keep moving this mixture around the pan for 15 minutes,  then remove from the heat, dump the mixture out, wipe the pan clean (ITS HOT, be careful) and then repeat the process. After you do this for the 2nd time, wipe it clean again, put a table spoon of the same oil in the pan, wipe the pan completely with a paper towel and let it sit on medium heat for five minutes and it's ready to use. The pan will have turned from a bright silver to a dark brown at the center to a carmel color the further out from the center you go. After this process the pan was like a sheet of glass. I couldn't believe how well food moved around the pan with just a bit of oil in it. The pan is completely non-stick with a bit of oil in it.   Here is a pic of some sausages I cooked immediately after I seasoned the pan.

 

 

Hmm, I might have to try some ribeyes in this for comparison. I tossed my bbq after discovering the cast iron method.

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On 11/30/2018 at 5:52 AM, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

Forgive me father for I have sinned, I bought a Carbon Steel Frying Pan and I LOVE IT!

My family has been using cast iron pans back to the early 1900's (My father has my great great grandmothers pan) and we have always swore by them. In my late 20's, early 30's I tried to go my own way with some fancy calphalon etc but always found my way back to cast iron. That was until this past weekend. A chef friend of mine was telling me how great these "Black Steel" (another name for carbon steel) pans are and strongly suggested I try one instead of my cast iron. I did and after a week of use I can safely say they are better than cast iron in every way. 

Carbon Steel vs Cast Iron

  • Much Lighter than Cast Iron
  • MUCH, MUCH easier to season and obtain that true "non-stick" surface in compared to Cast Iron
  • Carbon Steel Heats up and cools down much faster than cast iron
  • The Sides on a Carbon Steel pan are lower and have are not as straight up as Cast Iron thus they are more conducive to frying/sauteing, easier to flip eggs and pancakes
  • Two to three times the price of Cast Iron
  • Longer, angled handles make the Carbon Steel pans much easier to handle
  • Silicone Handle Covers are much tighter and feel better on the pan I bought vs my experience with the silicone handles for my cast iron pans
  • They are to be treated the same way you treat your current Cast Iron pan when it comes to cleaning and storage

 

The Seasoning Process

After a ton of research I purchased the Matfer Bourgeat 11-7/8 pan for $50 on Amazon and followed their instructions on seasoning with a slight alteration per some videos I watched. I bought 4 large idaho potatoes, peeled them, split them into two equal piles. While I was doing this I had filled the pan with water and boiled it for about five minutes. I then washed it with hot water and dawn detergent and brushed it aggressively with a stiff brush. This process removed the protective coating the pans ship with. Then on medium heat I added 2/3 of a cup of Salt, half a cup of the highest smoke point oil you have (I used peanut) and the skins of two potatoes. You keep moving this mixture around the pan for 15 minutes,  then remove from the heat, dump the mixture out, wipe the pan clean (ITS HOT, be careful) and then repeat the process. After you do this for the 2nd time, wipe it clean again, put a table spoon of the same oil in the pan, wipe the pan completely with a paper towel and let it sit on medium heat for five minutes and it's ready to use. The pan will have turned from a bright silver to a dark brown at the center to a carmel color the further out from the center you go. After this process the pan was like a sheet of glass. I couldn't believe how well food moved around the pan with just a bit of oil in it. The pan is completely non-stick with a bit of oil in it.   Here is a pic of some sausages I cooked immediately after I seasoned the pan.

 

 

Nothing to be ashamed about.  I have been using a carbon steel wok for years and I absolutely love it.  I have never had much success with cast iron, the pebbled finish that is typical of so many is terrible IMO and I have never been able to get one seasoned well enough to get that real non-stick goodness everyone talks about.  And, yes, I have followed every seasoning rule book out there with no joy.  Throw in they are typically heavy and cleaning is a process rather than a simple function and I don't see the RoI.

Carbon steel seasons easily, develops non stick surface quickly and cleans in a heartbeat.  Great stuff.

I will probably jump back in with cast iron again because I hate that I haven't enjoyed it but I'm also in no rush.

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I bought the 10 1/4” Matfer to go with the 12 5/8” because I’m completely sold now. Just seasoned them both with the potato skins, salt and oil and they’re nice & black. I really can’t recommend these pans enough. Cooking is similar to cast iron, but MUCH more nonstick. Nonstick enough that I’m happy to finally throw the T-Fal in the trash. I look at these pans and I want to sear some scallops. Thanks @Buddy Ball 2K3 for the solid recommendation. :bowtie:

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On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2018 at 3:47 PM, Soootch said:

I just bought the same pan because of your post and it just arrived. I figure if you researched it, cool, save me some time. 👍🏼

I’ve been collecting the old Griswold pans for the past year and wanting to try carbon steel to compare. First impression, it’s actually considerably heavier than vintage cast iron (I bought the 12 5/8” which is closest to my #10 1920’s Griswold). If we’re comparing it to modern Lodge crap then yes, the steel is lighter. But I like the longer handle and more angled sides, and obviously this steel is smoother than any era of cast iron. Can’t wait to get it seasoned and put it through its paces. 

Lodge is crap?

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1 minute ago, jamny said:

Lodge is crap?

Not to trash their brand but if you’re comparing it with vintage cast iron or a quality carbon steel, it really isn’t good. I don’t know why they use that pebbly finish, it’s garbage. The Griswold & Wagner cast iron that our grandparents used was a lot lighter & smoother. 

I have a big 14” Lodge that I smoothed out with an angle grinder so it’s smooth like vintage cast iron, though still ridiculously heavy. It’s great for big batches of home fries when we’re cooking for a crowd.

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2 minutes ago, Soootch said:

Not to trash their brand but if you’re comparing it with vintage cast iron or a quality carbon steel, it really isn’t good. I don’t know why they use that pebbly finish, it’s garbage. The Griswold & Wagner cast iron that our grandparents used was a lot lighter & smoother. 

I have a big 14” Lodge that I smoothed out with an angle grinder so it’s smooth like vintage cast iron, though still ridiculously heavy. It’s great for big batches of home fries when we’re cooking for a crowd.

Thanks. Yeah, my Lodge (12") is my first exposure to cast iron and while I love it, it is heavy as ####. Really my only negative on it. Trying to one hand it while dishing out ain't easy. Might check out the carbon steel.

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Got a reversible cast iron griddle from my inlaws (they were in town and we celebrated xmas early).  Pretty excited to use this thing.  Anybody here have one?  What's the playbook on these?  One side for steaks/meats etc the other for veggies and stuff?  Can use inside for pancakes, bacon, but open for suggestions.

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On 12/6/2018 at 8:15 PM, Chaka said:

Nothing to be ashamed about.  I have been using a carbon steel wok for years and I absolutely love it.  

Do you reccomend a particular model? Hate my current wok, gonna pick one up. 

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6 hours ago, Nigel said:

Do you reccomend a particular model? Hate my current wok, gonna pick one up. 

Got a Joyce Chen one, maybe at home goods or Marshalls or something like that. Carbon steel is cheap and easy. You could spend a bit on a de buyer or a mauviel and I might go that route on a carbon steel skillet but it's probably way overkill. Dan Gritzer (& J. Kenji) over at serious eats don't think there is much value add to spending big on carbon steel so I'm good with doing the same.

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5 hours ago, Chaka said:

Got a Joyce Chen one, maybe at home goods or Marshalls or something like that. Carbon steel is cheap and easy. You could spend a bit on a de buyer or a mauviel and I might go that route on a carbon steel skillet but it's probably way overkill. Dan Gritzer (& J. Kenji) over at serious eats don't think there is much value add to spending big on carbon steel so I'm good with doing the same.

I'm also a fan of carbon steel woks. The Wok Shop in Sf (online and B&M) always has a good selection at cheap prices.

Gonna have to check out one of these carbon steel skillets now.  Can't believe I've never heard of it before now.  Especially as great as that wok is.

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1 hour ago, Nigel said:

@Chaka & @Ron Swanson - do you guys prefer flat or round bottomed woks? My current one is flat, unsure of functional difference between the two.

That depends on your heat source. Flat bottom is a little easier to  manage and store because it's stable but if you have a dedicated wok burner or burner cover that will stabilize the rounded bottom one then why not. If you have traditional flat burners I strongly recommended the flat bottom. Functionally I doubt you'll notice a difference.

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On 11/26/2018 at 1:24 PM, boots11234 said:

Try bar keepers friend first. Use non-abrasive pad. WD40 May also loosen it up. 

 

Keep father  in law out of kitchen. 

Big 👍 

The Le Cruset looks brand new, this stuff worked like a charm! There was a fair amount of elbow grease used over multiple attempts, but the end result was awesome. Thanks again, Boots!

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23 minutes ago, joker said:

Big 👍 

The Le Cruset looks brand new, this stuff worked like a charm! There was a fair amount of elbow grease used over multiple attempts, but the end result was awesome. Thanks again, Boots!

No worries. The powder works way better than the cream. Put the powder on a wet sponge that has that soft abrasive side and that stuff will clean anything. It’s magical!

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Parents got me a 10 inch refurbished Griswold cast iron skillet for Xmas.  That thing is amazing. Surface is every bit as non stick as a brand new teflon pan.  Made breakfast today with sausage, fried potatoes and eggs over easy.  Such a fantastic piece can’t wait to use it again.

This pan is 100x better than the newer cast iron that I use and like.  I have a feeling will be spending a few bucks on more of these pans.

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On 12/24/2018 at 6:12 PM, Pipes said:

Parents got me a 10 inch refurbished Griswold cast iron skillet for Xmas.  That thing is amazing. Surface is every bit as non stick as a brand new teflon pan.  Made breakfast today with sausage, fried potatoes and eggs over easy.  Such a fantastic piece can’t wait to use it again.

This pan is 100x better than the newer cast iron that I use and like.  I have a feeling will be spending a few bucks on more of these pans.

:thumbup:

My mom bought one of those rough bottom preseasond lodges and hated it. 

 

So I picked up and old Wagner at the fleamarket [1935/1950]  and cleaned it up for her. When she gets back in town it will be her Christmas gift 

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On 12/10/2018 at 1:55 PM, General Malaise said:

Got a reversible cast iron griddle from my inlaws (they were in town and we celebrated xmas early).  Pretty excited to use this thing.  Anybody here have one?  What's the playbook on these?  One side for steaks/meats etc the other for veggies and stuff?  Can use inside for pancakes, bacon, but open for suggestions.

I have a similar one an it has a permanent residence on my stove top. The smooth side is used for pancakes on a weekly basis. I don't have a nice lip like yours, so unless I'm only doing a small batch, I never use it for bacon since I don't have much to stop the grease.  I will also do a couple eggs. Use it frequently enough and door basic enough stuff that it is just a wipe down when done. 

I've honestly never used the grill side as I just got on the actual grill or regular cast iron skillet for steaks.

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On 2/20/2018 at 5:23 AM, pollardsvision said:

The livermush skillet is a BSR (Birmingham Stove & Range). It's my daily driver and great. It's probably stupid of me, but I don't cook in my more expensive skillets. Some of the rest of the CIS family.

I think Birmingham Stove & Range skillets are great, especially the Red Mountain Series. The early Century Series are good too. IMO, BSR rivals the famous skillets of their era, and can be found for a fraction of the price.

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On 11/30/2018 at 8:52 AM, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

Forgive me father for I have sinned, I bought a Carbon Steel Frying Pan and I LOVE IT!

My family has been using cast iron pans back to the early 1900's (My father has my great great grandmothers pan) and we have always swore by them. In my late 20's, early 30's I tried to go my own way with some fancy calphalon etc but always found my way back to cast iron. That was until this past weekend. A chef friend of mine was telling me how great these "Black Steel" (another name for carbon steel) pans are and strongly suggested I try one instead of my cast iron. I did and after a week of use I can safely say they are better than cast iron in every way. 

Carbon Steel vs Cast Iron

  • Much Lighter than Cast Iron
  • MUCH, MUCH easier to season and obtain that true "non-stick" surface in compared to Cast Iron
  • Carbon Steel Heats up and cools down much faster than cast iron
  • The Sides on a Carbon Steel pan are lower and have are not as straight up as Cast Iron thus they are more conducive to frying/sauteing, easier to flip eggs and pancakes
  • Two to three times the price of Cast Iron
  • Longer, angled handles make the Carbon Steel pans much easier to handle
  • Silicone Handle Covers are much tighter and feel better on the pan I bought vs my experience with the silicone handles for my cast iron pans
  • They are to be treated the same way you treat your current Cast Iron pan when it comes to cleaning and storage

 

The Seasoning Process

After a ton of research I purchased the Matfer Bourgeat 11-7/8 pan for $50 on Amazon and followed their instructions on seasoning with a slight alteration per some videos I watched. I bought 4 large idaho potatoes, peeled them, split them into two equal piles. While I was doing this I had filled the pan with water and boiled it for about five minutes. I then washed it with hot water and dawn detergent and brushed it aggressively with a stiff brush. This process removed the protective coating the pans ship with. Then on medium heat I added 2/3 of a cup of Salt, half a cup of the highest smoke point oil you have (I used peanut) and the skins of two potatoes. You keep moving this mixture around the pan for 15 minutes,  then remove from the heat, dump the mixture out, wipe the pan clean (ITS HOT, be careful) and then repeat the process. After you do this for the 2nd time, wipe it clean again, put a table spoon of the same oil in the pan, wipe the pan completely with a paper towel and let it sit on medium heat for five minutes and it's ready to use. The pan will have turned from a bright silver to a dark brown at the center to a carmel color the further out from the center you go. After this process the pan was like a sheet of glass. I couldn't believe how well food moved around the pan with just a bit of oil in it. The pan is completely non-stick with a bit of oil in it.   Here is a pic of some sausages I cooked immediately after I seasoned the pan.

 

 

I purchased a larger different brand than the Matfer and I have been very very happy with it. I got the "Mineral B 14" ($64.95 but now $90) and a neoprene handle grip . If you have been looking for a carbon steel pan I highly suggest this brand and using "Keepa" on Amazon shows that price should drop back down to $64.95. 

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On 11/30/2018 at 8:52 AM, Buddy Ball 2K3 said:

Forgive me father for I have sinned, I bought a Carbon Steel Frying Pan and I LOVE IT!

My family has been using cast iron pans back to the early 1900's (My father has my great great grandmothers pan) and we have always swore by them. In my late 20's, early 30's I tried to go my own way with some fancy calphalon etc but always found my way back to cast iron. That was until this past weekend. A chef friend of mine was telling me how great these "Black Steel" (another name for carbon steel) pans are and strongly suggested I try one instead of my cast iron. I did and after a week of use I can safely say they are better than cast iron in every way. 

Carbon Steel vs Cast Iron

  • Much Lighter than Cast Iron
  • MUCH, MUCH easier to season and obtain that true "non-stick" surface in compared to Cast Iron
  • Carbon Steel Heats up and cools down much faster than cast iron
  • The Sides on a Carbon Steel pan are lower and have are not as straight up as Cast Iron thus they are more conducive to frying/sauteing, easier to flip eggs and pancakes
  • Two to three times the price of Cast Iron
  • Longer, angled handles make the Carbon Steel pans much easier to handle
  • Silicone Handle Covers are much tighter and feel better on the pan I bought vs my experience with the silicone handles for my cast iron pans
  • They are to be treated the same way you treat your current Cast Iron pan when it comes to cleaning and storage

 

The Seasoning Process

After a ton of research I purchased the Matfer Bourgeat 11-7/8 pan for $50 on Amazon and followed their instructions on seasoning with a slight alteration per some videos I watched. I bought 4 large idaho potatoes, peeled them, split them into two equal piles. While I was doing this I had filled the pan with water and boiled it for about five minutes. I then washed it with hot water and dawn detergent and brushed it aggressively with a stiff brush. This process removed the protective coating the pans ship with. Then on medium heat I added 2/3 of a cup of Salt, half a cup of the highest smoke point oil you have (I used peanut) and the skins of two potatoes. You keep moving this mixture around the pan for 15 minutes,  then remove from the heat, dump the mixture out, wipe the pan clean (ITS HOT, be careful) and then repeat the process. After you do this for the 2nd time, wipe it clean again, put a table spoon of the same oil in the pan, wipe the pan completely with a paper towel and let it sit on medium heat for five minutes and it's ready to use. The pan will have turned from a bright silver to a dark brown at the center to a carmel color the further out from the center you go. After this process the pan was like a sheet of glass. I couldn't believe how well food moved around the pan with just a bit of oil in it. The pan is completely non-stick with a bit of oil in it.   Here is a pic of some sausages I cooked immediately after I seasoned the pan.

 

 

One of the main draws of Cast Iron is its ability to retain heat.  If it cools down much faster, I would find it inferior to Cast Iron. Am I missing something?

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On 11/9/2019 at 8:31 AM, Hastur said:

One of the main draws of Cast Iron is its ability to retain heat.  If it cools down much faster, I would find it inferior to Cast Iron. Am I missing something?

Yes. If you turn down the heat on a cast iron pan it takes longer to cool and thus you can burn what you are cooking. Carbon steel allows for better, quicker control of your pan temp. 

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So Santa brought a 10.5 inch Lodge CIS.  It doesn't mention anything about seasoning so I assume it's pre-seasoned. 

Should I still seasom it before first use? If so, how exactly?

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1 hour ago, JaxBill said:

So Santa brought a 10.5 inch Lodge CIS.  It doesn't mention anything about seasoning so I assume it's pre-seasoned. 

Should I still seasom it before first use? If so, how exactly?

It's probably preseasoned, but here's a good video on how to do it (or restore one).

ETA -- You don't do that everytime. Here's a video on general cleaning after cooking

Edited by gianmarco
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