Bare cast iron fans: what size & shape?

awm03April 14, 2007

After making the decision to get a cast iron pan, it took all week to figure out what KIND of pan to get. So many choices...

Thought I'd start with a Wagner Ware 11 3/4 inch polished skillet to replace a humongous 5.5 quart stainless steel saute pan that delaminated (bottom disc separated from the pan). The pan should arrive "within 3 weeks." I guess American Culinary Corp. has to mine the ore first :)

What size/kinds of pans do you guys use? I'm interested in a 10" chicken fryer because several owners in other forums have said they think it's the most versatile pan, and the size is just right. Agree? Disagree? Does anybody own a round griddle and love it? Any comments on cast iron Dutch ovens? Or pizza pans?

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awm, I was following the other thread, and wondered, when people say they like the "smooth", does that translate to Wagner's "polished"? I've never owned a cast iron pan, but want to get one, and like you, want to be sure I start out with one I will use the most.

Also, is Wagner only available through the American Culinary website?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 4:42PM
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Hi dmlove. I don't know if the "smooth" surface that longtime owners of cast iron pans rave about is the exact same as Wagner's "polished" when properly seasoned. I'll know after the pan arrives & gets seasoned, and if I can ever get my hands on an old skillet to compare. In researching on the web, many have commented that Lodge cast iron cookware has a rough surface that needs to be worn smooth with use & seasoning. Thought I'd try the Wagner polished skillet as an experiment.

It looks as if the new Wagner Ware is only available through American Culinary's web site.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 6:50PM
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AWM, although the 10" Chicken Fryer isn't a bad choice, I prefer the 12" one as being more versitile.

If I had to be confined to just one cast-iron piece, that would be it.

If I had only two, they would be the 12" Chicken Fryer, and either a #10 or #12 Dutch Oven.

Three pieces would be those two plus a 10 inch skillet.

But, frankly, I use all 16 of my everyday pieces on a regular basis, and wouldn't want to give up any of them.

For pizza I would opt for a stone rather than cast iron.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 9:19AM
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16 pieces -- whoa! You are the cast iron king, LOL! So I appreciate your taking the time to comment, thanks. I have a 10" stainless pan that I like very much (Kirkland, disc bottom), but the actual cooking area is too small for family-sized meals. What's the cooking area of your 10" cast iron pan?

I have a pizza stone, but it reeks of burnt oil. Everyone complains when I use it. Thought cast iron might avoid this problem.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:29AM
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My 10 inch cast iron skillet has a bottom diameter of about 8 1/2 inches. Not big enough to cook for a family.

For that I have skillets up to 16 inches.

In stainless my largest is the Cuisenart 722-30H, which is a 12 inch skillet with helper handle. You can cook quite a bit in it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:55PM
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I want to get a 10 or 12-in cast iron skillet (although I'll take a look at that chicken fryer -- don't even know what shape that is). Can anyone else comment on the "polished" nature of the Wagner pans? Is polished good or bad as compared to Lodge Logic or other?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 12:31PM
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