Monday, December 17, 2018

Old Cast Iron

I've been looking at cast iron cookware sites recently, ad a couple of nights ago decided to look at our personal collection, which is mainly a using collection of Lodge cookware. There is nothing wrong with Lodge cookware once you get past their current practice of pre-seasoning their cookware, which feels about like a truck bed liner.  Some of their earlier stuff is very slick indeed, and Belle had some pieces hanging int he rack which were crusty, from decades of cooking and baking.  With her permission, I decided to clean them using the oven cleaning method.

Using the oven cleaning method, you basically put the pieces into your oven and set it on the automatic cleaning cycle.  When it cools the cookware is clean, with all the crusty bits reduced to ash.  Wash it thoroughly and re-season it, ad it looks as good as new.  I did that, and sure enough, it worked fine.  I put them in the oven last night, and when I came home from work today, I washed them, and did one re-seasoning.

L-R.  Lodge #4, Birmingham Stove ad Rage #3, and Birmingham #5.
All the crusty bits are gone, and the lettering is now readable on each piece.  That little #3 in the middle is a post-'68 BSR, since it's marked "MADE IN USA", ad the #5 on the right is a pre-68.

Same skillets L-R.  The Lodge on the left and the BSR on the right are  smooth as glass and are Belle-s go-to cornbread pans whenever she wants to make a small pone.    I'll give them a another seasoning tomorrow when I get in from work.  I've heard that flaxseed oil is very good for seasoning cast iron, and I picked up a small bottle today just for this purpose. 

I've cooked on cast iron my whole life, it's generally my go-to cookware for frying, roasting or baking, but I've never taken the time to research it.  I have cast iron from small to large, and use it just like any other tool.  I won't go out of my way to get an old Griswold or Wagner, but I don't turn them down either.  It's just that my current collection is either Lodge or Birmingham Stove and Range (BSR), and I've never felt the need for anything  else.

I do have a nice Stargazer skillet on order, though.


BobF said...

What, no cornbread fingers pan? :-)

Once in a while I get the urge to drag mine out, but it's a heck of a lot more a chore to clean than anything else. It has little ears of corn, read individual kernels, molded into it to make the top of the cornbread look like.. well, you know. They don't turn out all that detailed, so the cleaning trouble is hardly worth it. Yet, I sometimes...

zdogk9 said...

I use my corn bread finger thingy for an ingot mold for casting bullets.
For cooking I have a lodge #10 a Griswold #8 a BSR #8 a Wagoner #8 four or five dutch ovens,and, Hell! we've got almost as much cookware as we have guns

Howard Brewi said...

Since we are off grid and don't have a self cleaning oven we dump cast iron that needs cleaning into the fire when we are burning brush. Does a great job with two or three hours in a bonfire.

Anonymous said...

Very nice set of irons. Mom was a fan of cast iron. She had only two pans that weren't, a Reverwear copper bottomed skillet and a cheap tinny skillet for cooking a breakfast egg really quickly. Material was paper thin - heated very quickly. She loved that thing.

Her cooking was what she missed the most she became ill. Not that others cooking was bad, she just missed how SHE did it and the flavors.

RIP Mom - we miss you.

I have a flat bottomed bean pot that holds approximately 3 quarts. No idea who made it, no identifying marks, but I like it for cooking stews and beans on a fire built on grade. Not too bulky, about half the capacity of a dutch oven but lighter and that was what counts (for me anyway, a good dutch oven is an AWESOME cooking implement !).

Thank you sir.