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Thread: Cast Iron... oh ya!
02-07-2012, 04:01 PM #1
Cast Iron... oh ya!
found some rusty cast iron skillets at the local thrift store, one was even a Griswold.. amazing how iron lasts forever, a little bit of cleaning and reseasoning and they look brand new. i looked on ebay and saw someone buying the same model griswold as mine for $58.. go thrift stores!
next stop: the swap meet.
- 02-07-2012, 05:58 PM #2
How did you reseason them? I have many cast iron pans, some Griswold from my grandmother. While I think G. is nice, IMHO the others are equally nice (and equal in vintage) sooo what is it other than name? DH loves it when I get out the pans cause he knows something good to eat will follow.
piney02-07-2012, 07:32 PM #3
while many manufacturers produced good cast iron between the 1870's and 1950's, griswolds are known for their consistency of quality craftsmanship and are usually easy to recognize hence their general popularity along with Wagner.
Griswolds are ground out of a single piece of iron so they are more solid in construction as well as having a VERY smooth cooking surface compared to other, sand-molded models. a finely seasoned griswold will likely give you the most nonstick surface you can get, assuming you have done it right.
you can take a look at my album here;
both are vintage, the one that looks rougher is not a griswold even though it was produced in the early 1900's, the heat rings are from the days of wood and coal burning stoves.
i have a new Lodge skillet which i love as much as my Kia, but its definitely not the best. The surface is grainy and it is much heavier than it really needs to be.
seasoning your cast iron to a state of perfection is relatively easy. put it in your oven upside down and set it to self-clean mode for about two hours to remove the previous seasoning, as well as any dirt and rust. then wash it out with some water and a rough scrubber, dry it in your oven at 200 for an hour to get all the moisture out, then very very thinly coat it with oil (coat it with oil then rub it all off with paper towels), and bake it in your oven at 450~500 for two hours, let it completely cool, then recoat it with some more oil, bake for another two hours, and repeat this process about 6 or 7 times till you get a very fine black nonstick surface by way of our good friend Polymerization. This is the best way to do it, and gets you the best results. Use pure organic flaxseed oil or alternatively soybean oil which is less expensive, but both have relatively high iodine values which entitles them to create a much better bond with your iron surface. here is a link to the complete technique, it was in a cooking magazine as well.
of course that is just one way to do it. if you want to just hurry up and use your pan, scrub it out real good with a rough sponge and alot of grainy salt, wash it, dry it out in your oven for a bit, rub it down with a bunch of lard and stick it upside down in your oven for about 4 hours at 400. it will be relatively nonstick after about the third time you cook something really greasy in it (like bacon).
anyway it depends how much time you want to spend and what kind of results you want. my lodge was lard seasoned a year ago, and it works great. alton brown recommends reseasoning every year but it never leaves my stove, never gets washed, and always stays really greasy. its kinda my all purpose everyday pan so naturally i don't care if looks really dirty all the time or how smooth the seasoning is.
here is a chart of what kind of oils you can use, the higher the iodine value the better your nonstick surface will be after seasoning. i wouldn't suggest cooking with flaxseed oil, but it works wonders for seasoning. it is here under linseed oil, flaxseed's non-edible cousin.
Oils and their melting points and Iodine Values
(Name) (Melting point in Celsius) (Iodine Value)
Coconut oil 25 10
Palm kernel oil 24 37
Mutton tallow 42 40
Beef tallow - 50
Palm oil 35 54
Olive oil -6 81
Castor oil -18 85
Peanut oil 3 93
Rapeseed oil -10 98
Cotton seed oil -1 105
Sunflower oil -17 125
Soybean oil -16 130
Tung oil -2.5 168
Linseed oil -24 178
Sardine oil - 185
good luck, and come hang out in the Cast Iron Cooking subforum sometime, its too quiet in there lately.02-08-2012, 07:41 PM #4
piney02-08-2012, 10:46 PM #5
I got all six of my cast iron skillets the same way you did OP. Now, I just have to find a cast iron dutch oven at a thrift store....
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