Bought Myself Something Special Today For The Kitchen

moonwolf_gwFebruary 22, 2012

Hi everyone,

Well I did it. I bought my first cast iron skillet today at Wal-Mart. It's already seasoned and the little piece of paper attatched to the bottom inside the skillet gives instructions on how to care for it. I cannot wait until I first use it. It will definitely be used for fried green tomatoes and fried chicken. :) If I'll remember, I'll post a picture of it tomorrow.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

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Congratulations! You are in for some good cooking!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 11:57PM
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Cast iron is pretty much indestructible! If food slides out... just wipe well with paper towels. If pan needs to be "washed"... NO soap, lots of HOT water, cheap-o salt and a scrubby if needed, back on burner till HOT and a dab of... I use bacon grease?! Best thing you can do is USE it and USE it often!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:10AM
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You'll love it, and I bet you wind up with more. We have a round griddle that's only for tortillas and eggs...better than any non-stick pan. And I couldn't live without my skillets.

Do you like junk stores and yard sales? We dug through a wheelbarrow full of cast iron at a yard sale last summer and found a gorgeous, really well-seasoned 10" skillet. The guy said, "Oh....I'd have to have twelve bucks for that one." No problem. You could tell he was thinking, "Drat...I should have said $20". The thing is smooth as glass, inside and out.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:55AM
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Good for you Brad. You will get many years of use out of your new skillet.

Just so you know, I have well seasoned cast iron pots that get washed in hot soapy water every time they are used.

Once your pan is well seasoned, don't be afraid to clean with soapy water. Soap won't hurt your pan.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:10AM
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There's a zillion ways to maintain it, but the key is don't scour away the seasoning. If some misguided neat freak takes an SOS pad to it, though, it's not difficult to reseason.

One of our great resources here on the Forum is a guy named Dan. He's a retired chemist whose hobby is collecting/restoring/using cast iron implements. Some of his wisdom is found in the link.

One hint: grapeseed oil is great for seasoning. I like it because it's a neutral taste and has a high smoke point, so I cook with it (it's great for high temp wok cooking); it's worth getting a little, though, just to maintain the seasoning.

Until the seasoning is developed, here's a way to handle anything that's stuck on the pan. Fill the pan with hot water to cover the stuck on food. Bring the water to a boil and then turn off. Let it sit a bit while you finish cleaning up the rest of the kitchen. Pour out the hot water. If you need to scour a little, just use some dry salt and a dry paper towel. Rinse with hot water, then put the pan back on the burner for 30 seconds or so to drive off every last bit of water. Then put a tiny bit of oil in the pan and smear it around with a clean paper towel.

Here is a link that might be useful: cast iron thread

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Thank you, everyone for the tips and hints on how to care for my new cast iron skillet!

Katiec, I LOVE to go to the second hand/resale stores and mom and I used to go to yard sales. I just might have to ask her if we can start doing that again when spring comes. You got yourself a real bargin!

I'll try and get a picture posted sometime today. Thank you again, everyone!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Here's my new skillet! It's 10 1/4 inch. I can't wait to cook with it! Enjoy! Thank you again, everyone for the tips and hints!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Whoo-hoo!! next you have to post pics of something wonderful cooking in it!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 4:28PM
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Hooray for you, Brad. the more you use it, the better it'll be.

I love cast iron, my favorite one is a skillet that I got in 1974, it's slick as Teflon.

Like Ann T, I do u8se soap on my cast iron if I think it needs it but most times it just needs a wipe with paper towels and maybe a quick scrub with some salt and a cloth if something really sticks. I did have someone use a Brillo pad on my favorite pan once, and it definitely screwed up the seasoning, but I just used it to fry donuts a couple of times and it was all good again.

I got a nice old Griswold deep chicken fryer for just a couple of bucks at a yard sale a few years ago, the owner said they had a matching skillet they would try to find for me. Never did get the skillet, but I got a magnificent old cast iron skillet.

You're gonna love it and I understand that the raw cast iron is still made in Tennessee. The Lodge enameled stuff comes from China, unfortunately, but I think your pan is still produced here.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Bizzo, don't you worry! I'll definitely post pictures when I cook in it for the first time!

Annie, there is a tag that was on the skillet handle and it says Made In The USA right on it. Also, the paper shown on the skillet (in the picture), on the back, it gives the address of the manufacturing company and you're right! It's in Tennessee! Your skillet proves that cast iron is built to last! LOL

Now if I can find a Dutch oven, I'll be happy too! Might just have to ask mom if we can go to the seconhand stores soon! :)

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Brad, that's the same one we have. Love it. I use soap as well.

If you find an enameled cast iron pot, even Lodge, it might be made in China, just a heads up.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Congrats on your new skillet! It will be one of your favorite pans I'm sure. I remember your fried green tomatoes from last year. YUM!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 1:06AM
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Hey, at the link is a great deal if you're looking for a CI Dutch oven, and the lid functions as a small skillet as well. $35 including shipping. I just ordered one for myself.

That skillet you have would be perfect for cornbread. Here's my standard savory (i.e., not sweet) cornbread, perfect accompaniment for chili, beans or greens. Just be sure to grease it well--bacon drippings are excellent for that purpose, but you can use shortening or lard or oil. Whether you use white or yellow cornmeal isn't as important as how fresh the meal is, so buy your meal at a store that seems to have a good turnover of cornmeal--that's probably NOT at a snooty gourmet shop.

'Southern' (i.e., no sugar or flour) Cornbread

2 eggs, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups white cornmeal (but yellow is okay, too)
1 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven and greased baking utensil (skillet or 9 x 9 pan) to 450 degrees while mixing batter.
In a small bowl beat the eggs and mix in the buttermilk. In a mixer bowl, mix the baking soda, cornmeal and salt. Pour in the egg-buttermilk mixture and mix well until smooth.
Pour batter into the preheated pan, return to oven for 20 to 25 minutes. It's done when a knife inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean & dry.

Here is a link that might be useful: dutch oven with skillet lid

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:08AM
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That's a good buy, Arley, and there's one with longer handles too, which I'd like. I don't need one, I don't need one, and it ships free from Amazon Prime. Nope, don't need it.....

Cornbread, though, I could use some of that. I have a batch of beans in the Nesco roaster, slowcooking away and it's snowing hard here, cornbread would be perfect.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:22AM
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Sorry to rub it in, Annie, but it was 73 this morning in SC...if it makes you feel any better, though, it's gonna rain.

Here's a tip for cast iron dutch oven users (only for raw cast iron dutch ovens, not enameled). You can improve the snugness of the fit of the lid to the body of the oven. (Do this before seasoning the oven.) Go to an auto parts store and get a tube of valve grinding compound, similar to what's at the link. (there are other brands, of course.) It's a fine abrasive cream. Squirt some on the body of the oven, where the lid sets on the body, and set the lid on it. Rotate the lid on the body for several minutes. This smooths out any imperfections between the body and the lid.

Wash the lid and the oven body well with lots of detergent to get rid of the compound, then season the oven. Works great. I had an old camp oven on which the lid wasn't too snug. Did this trick and it seals up nicely now.

Here is a link that might be useful: grinding compound

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:39AM
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Congrats on your new purchase. As others have said, you'll love it. I have just one cast iron skillet and its in the motorhome. I have two different types of cast iron dutch ovens, one has little feet cast under it and a cast iron griddle. I had a cornbread cast iron in the shape of ears of corn, but, well, what happened to it is a long story. My 92 year old aunt gave me what looks like a skillet but is divided into pie shaped wedges for making cornbread. Haven't used it yet. Once you get hooked, it just keeps going on and on and on. Enjoy!!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:50PM
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Arley, I LIKE snow, I keep my house temperature at about 50F and anything close to 80F is getting way too darned hot for me. That's why I live in Michigan, it's seldom above 80, so rub it in to your heart's content. (grin) I'm happy with the snow.

The only thing I miss is gardening. By February, I'm ready to grow something outside! Unfortunately, outside isn't cooperating, LOL.

I did make my cornbread tonight in my cast iron skillet. Elery had two pieces and Cooper had a piece, so the two guys in my life are happy with it too.

bcskye, I have a cast iron pan that bakes cornbread in the shape of fish and another one that bakes kitten shaped muffins. It's kind of strange, eating cornbread kittens, so it seldom gets used.....


    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 10:50PM
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