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Musing Aloud

Pam's thoughts on writing and life

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Cast Iron Pans
I've got a new obsession -- cast iron pans, especially frying pans.  Two reasons --

#1 is the cleanability of cast iron.  So easy!  After frying, put in a little hot water, heat on the burner to loosen any bits, scrape them up, pour them out.  Then dry the pan on the burner.  No soap, no scrubbing.

#2 is for the iron content and the environmental safety.  I tend to run anemic, so getting more iron in my body is a good thing for me. And then there's all the concerns about the leaching of aluminum and teflon in the new cookware.

The problem with using cast iron (or so most people think) is it sticking.  But in my research, I've found the main difference in pans that stick and don't stick is the pan's age.  The really old pans were made with a smooth surface, while the newer pans have a more pebbled thicker surfacer, and these newer ones are the ones that tend to stick, even with proper seasoning and conditioning.  So now I'm on the hunt at flea markets and thrift shops and yard sales for more cast iron.

I found an old pan that I think was my mom's in my cupboard (I'd forgot it was there!)  It had only a bit of rust in it, so was fairly easy to clean and then season in the oven, so I reconditioned it, fried an egg in it, and it did not stick at all!   I've found two really helpful blogs.  The first link has one article and the method of seasoning is a bit different from the other.  I think it might depend on the age of the pan which one you use.  The second link has several different articles on cleaning, re-conditioning and reseasoning.  Both come with handy-dandy pictures to show the process and the finished pans.  I honestly don't think you can go wrong with either method.  I used the hotter oven temp on my old pan and it turned out great.

I Believe I Can Fry

Black Iron Dude

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(Deleted comment)
They're also great for browning on the stove and then sticking in the oven to finish cooking. Read some of the articles on what to look for before you buy one. I believe most of the Lodge pans are the newer ones, although I think some of them can still be 15+ years old.

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