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Ridged cast iron skillets...


Jan Primus
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I need a skillet primarily for steak that I can make pronounced grill marks with. I have heard that ridged cast iron skillets from lodge are a pain in the you-know-what to clean so that is not for me. The Le Creuset has some sort of coating and I'm wondering if it is easy to clean and leaves nice grill marks? I don't mind spending the extra $$ for this skillet since it should last forever.

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I need a skillet primarily for steak that I can make pronounced grill marks with. I have heard that ridged cast iron skillets from lodge are a pain in the you-know-what to clean so that is not for me. The Le Creuset has some sort of coating and I'm wondering if it is easy to clean and leaves nice grill marks? I don't mind spending the extra $$ for this skillet since it should last forever.

I can tell that it's also a B to clean! I don't worry about it as at the high temps I use to grill a steak the nasties are bound to be cremated! :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have a Le Creuset.

It isn't easy to clean back to like new.

But I learned that's not the way to go.

The idea is to just gently wipe it out, like a wok.

Not to bother, or worry about scrubbing it hard.

And, over time, let it build up an internal non-stick patina.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I have one. You can come 'n' git it. Nothing lasts forever, but cast iron is a contender. Mine is un-enameled Wagner Wear/Griswold, which I believe is pre-Lodge and a little heavier. I just can't stand the smoke and grease of indoor grilling, so I haven't used it for years. I wouldn't call it a thing of beauty--but I venture to guess that for most of you who have and use one it's the least pristine pan in your kitchen. I found it much harder to take care of than my regular cast-iron skillets.

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I've got a Wagner ridged pan (similar to the Lodge). After I remove the meat, I put some water in it while it's still hot and let it soak while I eat the steak. It's then easy to clean with a plastic dish brush. No, it doesn't remove the seasoning. I don't use soap.

This pan will outlive me.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I need a skillet primarily for steak that I can make pronounced grill marks with. I have heard that ridged cast iron skillets from lodge are a pain in the you-know-what to clean so that is not for me. The Le Creuset has some sort of coating and I'm wondering if it is easy to clean and leaves nice grill marks? I don't mind spending the extra $$ for this skillet since it should last forever.

I can tell that it's also a B to clean! I don't worry about it as at the high temps I use to grill a steak the nasties are bound to be cremated! :biggrin:

I have the LC skinny grill( came free with the dutch oven). I don't do dishes in my house, but my spouse says its a pain in the arse to clean!! I currently use Cuisinart Griddler and those grill plates are a dream to clean( so says my spouse)

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I need a skillet primarily for steak that I can make pronounced grill marks with. I have heard that ridged cast iron skillets from lodge are a pain in the you-know-what to clean so that is not for me. The Le Creuset has some sort of coating and I'm wondering if it is easy to clean and leaves nice grill marks? I don't mind spending the extra $$ for this skillet since it should last forever.

I can tell that it's also a B to clean! I don't worry about it as at the high temps I use to grill a steak the nasties are bound to be cremated! :biggrin:

I have the LC skinny grill( came free with the dutch oven). I don't do dishes in my house, but my spouse says its a pain in the arse to clean!! I currently use Cuisinart Griddler and those grill plates are a dream to clean( so says my spouse)

My griddler is pre-heating as we "speak". Love it, love it, love it. It is about to feel the loverly flesh of some fresh fish. The grill plates go in the dishwasher!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Having used both Lodge and LC stovetop grill pans, I'd say there's not much difference in cleaning them. I think, in fact, that the Lodge takes the edge because there's a bigger space between the ridges, so it's easier to get between them.

For cooking, I've come to prefer the Lodge. It's heavier, and I think you get more attractive grill marks from the wider ridges. At at about half the price, the Lodge wins on that count, too.

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I have 3 lodge grill pans, a double burner grill/griddle, a 12" and probably a 6" as well. I love them. The 2 burner lives in the oven and makes bacon on a regular basis. The 12" Is the primary weapon of choice for fish or lamb or what ever I may want to cook right now . The baby one I use when the 12" is dirty and I am to lazy to clean it or for the middle of the night lamb chop.

The best thing about my lodge is that a butter knife or at least my butter knife fits very conviently between the ridges. So if i need to chisel something out I have a ready dishwasher safe tool with which to do it.

But as has been stated many times before, nothing sticks to my cast iron. And I have a lot of it. As long as you get anything loose that might stick before the pan cools, you shouldn't have a problem. I tend to use table salt to scrub it out with or absorb excess oil or bacon fat and carry it away.

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Get the Lodge. Lodge grill pan

Maybe not as pretty but you can't beat the price!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I need a skillet primarily for steak that I can make pronounced grill marks with.

Why do you feel the need for "pronounced grill marks"? It's not adding to the flavor (just cosmetics), and you'll probably make a better steak with a non-ridged cast iron pan...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I need a skillet primarily for steak that I can make pronounced grill marks with.

Why do you feel the need for "pronounced grill marks"? It's not adding to the flavor (just cosmetics), and you'll probably make a better steak with a non-ridged cast iron pan...

Good question...yes, I want the grill marks for looks. I just find a steak to be so much more appatizing with those cross-hatch marks. It may not taste better, but in my head it does.

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I have three types of cast iron for indoor steaks and chops.

The plain cast iron fry pan is best because I can get it very hot and it has the best heat transfer (pan to steak). No marks, but the best steaks and chops, and a good saucier.

The ridged cast iron griddle is also very hot, but heat transfer to the meat is not so good in the depressions.

The Le Creuset ridged pan is the least effective of the three: hardest to heat, and the enamel should not go over 450F according to LC. It doesn't make marks as well as the plain ridged griddle.

Plain cast iron can withstand much higher searing temperatures.

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The Le Creuset ... enamel should not go over 450F according to LC.

I think this is a mistaken understanding.

The "phenolic" (plastic) knobs on the lids of many LC casseroles are limited to 450F (which is kinda high for casserole cooking).

The enamel is of course happy to go way, way higher...

Personally, I like the short metal handle on my LC 'Grillit' as it makes it very simple to transfer the entire pan to the oven when I want to 'cook through' as well as to sear/brand the food...

I wouldn't want a ridged pan with a handle that wasn't oven safe.

It almost goes without saying that this sort of cooking does produce greasy smoke, and so is inevitably a severe test of your extractor fan, despite one's best efforts to minimise the amount of loose liquid! Oil the food, not the pan...

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I'm sure I read somewhere recently that you can just sprinkle rock salt in the grooves BEFORE heating and using, and the cleanup will be easy (and the meat won't be salty.) Can't find it now (I thought it was Cooks Illustrated), and haven't tried it yet, but it makes sense to me that it should work.

My Lodge grill pan was extra-cheap - Value Village special! The only way I'll ever get Le Creuset is if someone donates Grandma's trove to V.V. Stranger things have happened! :laugh:

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I have one. You can come 'n' git it.

HA! I'm with you on this one. I bought the square Lodge grill pan and I've used it twice in the last year. Why fill the house with all that smoke just to cook some meat. I guess it would be a good pan if you had a big range hood with enough power to suck your hair up like a Flowbee.

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The Le Creuset ... enamel should not go over 450F according to LC.

I think this is a mistaken understanding.

The "phenolic" (plastic) knobs on the lids of many LC casseroles are limited to 450F (which is kinda high for casserole cooking).

The enamel is of course happy to go way, way higher...

Personally, I like the short metal handle on my LC 'Grillit' as it makes it very simple to transfer the entire pan to the oven when I want to 'cook through' as well as to sear/brand the food...

I wouldn't want a ridged pan with a handle that wasn't oven safe.

It almost goes without saying that this sort of cooking does produce greasy smoke, and so is inevitably a severe test of your extractor fan, despite one's best efforts to minimise the amount of loose liquid! Oil the food, not the pan...

The warranty does not cover overheating of enamelled cast iron.

I managed to ruin the enamel of an LC pan on charcoal, and the company would not replace it on warranty.

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I have one. You can come 'n' git it.

HA! I'm with you on this one. I bought the square Lodge grill pan and I've used it twice in the last year. Why fill the house with all that smoke just to cook some meat. I guess it would be a good pan if you had a big range hood with enough power to suck your hair up like a Flowbee.

Count me among you. Mostly, I don't think a grill pan is very good at cooking meat. It's not like using a real grill, where the meat is getting lots of radiant heat from the fire and even more conduction heat from the grill (causing the grill marks). With a grill pan, just about all the heat is coming via conduction from the fins. This tends to equal, in my experience, dry unappetizing meat or meat that is not uniformly cooked. The only thing I could see using a grill pan for is as a "marking" pan -- cook the steak to the appropriate level of done-ness in a cast iron pan (either stovetop or in a low oven basted with butter), and meanwhile get the grill pan screaming hot. Then a quick sear, rotate, sear, flip, sear, rotate, sear to get the criss-crossing "grill marks" (which are purely aesthetic when using a grill pan anyway) and have done with it.

--

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I have one. You can come 'n' git it.

HA! I'm with you on this one....

Count me among you...

I'm beginning to agree; these days I'm more likely to use a regular flat-bottom cast iron pan for steak at home. My ridge pan gets more use for things like marking grilled veggies.

Another minus is that it's impractical (to say the least) to deglaze a ridge pan, so you can't easily make a pan sauce.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I'm sure I read somewhere recently that you can just sprinkle rock salt in the grooves BEFORE heating and using, and the cleanup will be easy (and the meat won't be salty.)  Can't find it now (I thought it was Cooks Illustrated), and haven't tried it yet, but it makes sense to me that it should work.

I just found it. It's from an Alton Brown "Good Eats" episode, "Tender is the Loin II" It's just regular kosher salt, not rock salt: "Oh, and here's a little trick. I really hate having to scrub out these little grooves, so a little bit of kosher salt down in there will catch any goo that shows up down there. And it makes the pan a lot easier to clean up. And don't worry about it burning. It's a rock!"

He uses a neat Staub square grill pan with low sides and a snap-on wire handle in that episode.

Edited by Special K (log)
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I have one. You can come 'n' git it. Nothing lasts forever, but cast iron is a contender. Mine is un-enameled Wagner Wear/Griswold, which I believe is pre-Lodge and a little heavier.

Sure, I'll pay for the shipping, send it to me. Do you have any how much money a "collector" will pay for an old Wagner or Griswold on EBay? I cannot get over how many people "collect" these things, and never use them for cooking, but for decoration. It totally pisses me off ...

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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I've been purging my kitchen of non-stick for stainless steel, carbon steel and cast iron over the years.

I've find it easy to clean cast iron by adding a little bit of water and resting on low heat for a few minutes. It deglazes the fond without hurting the patina, and tends to wipe clean.

My latest purchase was a Lodge 5qt. dutch oven. It's been used to deep fry tempura, roast beef and for chicken/andouille gumbo. Clean up has been easy.

-Jimmy

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