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Cast Iron Skillets/Griddles/Pans


EJRothman
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After reading through the newly revived chefmate cookware thread, I began to contemplate a purchase of the 8 piece set. I then began to wonder, however, if the included skillets would do me any good.

I have a couple cast-iron skillets which I use for anything that requires skillet work. I braise things, i sear things, I make paella, caramelized onions, etc.

Basically I see no need to use any other type of skillet than cast-iron.

So, to get to my question: When is a cast-iron skillet not a good choice. What makes a stainless steel skillet (such as the chefmate, an all-clad, etc.) better for certain tasks, and what are those tasks?

-Eric

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I think that when you have highly acidic foods, the cast iron could impart an off-flavor or color. Also, as my cast iron skillet is slowly building up its coating (through many pounds of bacon), I find that I'm having trouble getting it fully clean without losing some of the seasoning. Therefore, if I cook a piece of white fish in the cast iron, it's going to get some dark color (and not the good kind). Pehaps it's a problem with my hygeine

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My largest cast iron skillet is about 12 inches. This is pretty heavy for flipping when sauteeing. So I usually use stainless.

Cast iron is for letting stuff sit there, usually on medium heat.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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That works, Stone. But I use grilling pans for that (some are cast iron).

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I agree with the concern about acidic food and cast iron not always working well together.

I do much cooking in a large cast iron skillet and a cast iron dutch oven.

But for things like omelettes (and crepes, of course), I like a much lighter pan. I tend to shy away from using cast iron for foods that cook quickly and are easily overcooked--eggs, shrimp, fish, greens. Cast iron retains so much heat that simply removing it from a burner won't slow the cooking much at all.

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My largest cast iron skillet is about 12 inches. This is pretty heavy for flipping when sauteeing. So I usually use stainless.

Cast iron is for letting stuff sit there, usually on medium heat.

Being that I have no coordination, I don't flip my food when sauteeing. I just use a spoon to stir and turn. I also use cast iron on all heat ranges, depending on what I'm cooking.

Basically, my reason for starting this thread was to get some opinions on the benefits of stainless steel to determine if I should invest in a stainless steel skillet, or if cast-iron is fine for me.

-Eric

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EJRothman, well, you seem happy enough with what you have. Cast iron is great stuff.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Why not just consider the 2 skillets in the set an extra that you may or may not use much? The ChefMate set is still a bargain if you used the skillets for a saucer under a pot plant.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I've been using cast iron for about thirty five years. I have many cast iron pots and pans of all sizes and shapes; some of them belonged to my grandmothers and are probably seventy five years old or so and all are still in good shape.

But then I discovered All-Clad stainless and now have many of them. Stainless took some getting-used-to, but now I use it for everything except pan frying steak, some braises, heating tortillas, and toasting bread. (I toast my bread in an old cast iron bacon press.)

All-Clad stainless is great! Especially when it comes to deglazing. :smile:

Edited by Nickn (log)
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Agreed on cast iron for long/slow cooking. Actually, I probably use my skillet most for Sunday morning-type cooking: pancakes, French toast, etc. Also, it's vital for tarte Tatin.

What's the best way to clean a skillet? I usually pour boiling water in mine, then scrub out any solids with a plastic scrubby brush. But I have no idea whether that's how I should be doing it...

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What's the best way to clean a skillet?  I usually pour boiling water in mine, then scrub out any solids with a plastic scrubby brush.  But I have no idea whether that's how I should be doing it...

I'm just scared that I'll scrub off the protective coat of carbon. It's the same reason I don't brush my teeth.

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I bought my kid an all-clad omlette pan and hate it because the thing is so damn sticky. In fact, I find anything that's seriously fried -- potatoes say -- as opposed to something like lightly sauteeing green beans in olive oil, tends to stick to All-clads, even worse than to the aluminum pans. Finally got an old-fashioned non-stainless steel omlette pan, seasoned it up, and it works like a charm.

So, does my technique with the All-Clad just suck, or do others have the same problems?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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So, does my technique with the All-Clad just suck, or do others have the same problems?

Try putting the stuff in at a lower temp and then turning it up. Easier done with gas than electric. It took me awhile to get used to All-Clad, but now that I have there's no going back.

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I figure that if stuff sticks to the All-Clad while cooking, there will just be more crispy bits. :biggrin: I mostly use a wooden spatula to scrape in those cases.

I've got other similar saute pans (Leyse), but they WARP. :sad: All-Clad is tough, man, really tough. Don't believe their hype about treating it so gently. Great stuff.

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  • 11 years later...

does anyone know of any cast iron producers that are making pans from ductile cast iron?  Half the weight of traditional cast but just as strong. 

 

 

 

The only two I know about are Komin and Ferramica.   

 

 Ferramica , I only heard about while researching online and seems to only be available in Japan. 

 

Komin is available at williams sonoma  and  I almost bought the frypan at the Williams Sonoma Outlet in Frankenmuth just based on how awesome it looked and how lightweight it was. The matte black silicon Coating was the only thing that held me back.   Does anyone have experience on how the silicon coating wears on these pans and how  it reacts to high temps? 

 

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/komin-fry-pan/?pkey=ccookware-komin&cm_src=cookware-komin||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-

Edited by Ashen (log)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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does anyone know of any cast iron producers that are making pans from ductile cast iron?  Half the weight of traditional cast but just as strong. 

 

 

 

The only two I know about are Komin and Ferramica.   

 

 Ferramica , I only heard about while researching online and seems to only be available in Japan. 

 

Komin is available at williams sonoma  and  I almost bought the frypan at the Williams Sonoma Outlet in Frankenmuth just based on how awesome it looked and how lightweight it was. The matte black silicon Coating was the only thing that held me back.   Does anyone have experience on how the silicon coating wears on these pans and how  it reacts to high temps? 

 

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/komin-fry-pan/?pkey=ccookware-komin&cm_src=cookware-komin||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-

 

Dunno, lightweight cast iron seems like a weird no-mans land. If you want even, responsive, lightweight pans, go with clad SS. Cast iron is for when you want to store up a whomping amount of heat in a big chunk of metal.

Edited by Shalmanese (log)

PS: I am a guy.

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I'm with Shalmanese on this.  I'm not sure how a lightweight cast-iron pan could have as good heat retention as a standard pan.  How would it make up for the lost mass?  I have to admit, though: the Komin looks great.   :cool:

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