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Been looking into buying some heavy cookware, eventually wanna get an iron skillet and dutch oven so I can do practically anything with iron, gonna worry about the skillet first.
Everything I've seen is pretty split, some people say find an old Griswold or bust, other people say Lodge is ok, just takes some seasoning. Are there any brands I should look for/steer away from? I'd like to not pay more than like $40 for my skillet, but if a little extra will give me a real return, l'm willing to stretch a little.
As for seasoning, I just scrub it with salt and rinse (initially), dry, then rub it down with canola and throw it in the oven at 450 until the oil burns in, repeat until I have a black nonstick surface? And reseason after cleaning for storage?
Any recipes would be appreciated as well. I'm looking forward to searing some steaks, as well as pan chicken frying chicken, steak, and hash browns.
I only ever use a cast iron skillet to blacken fish, but it works like a charm for that job. I'll typically grab a couple of redfish filets from HEB, or red snapper if redfish is not available.
Heat the skillet for a good 10-15 minutes to get it hot. Don't coat it with anything, the butter will keep the fish from sticking.
Melt some butter. Coat both sides of the filets with butter, then dust it liberally with blacken seasoning (Tony C's makes one). Put the filets directly on the skillet on medium-high-ish heat. Flip after ~4 minutes and cook another 4 minutes. 8-10 minutes total cook time for thick (3/4") filets. 1/2" filets of fish (like tilapia, catfish, etc) will go super quick, like 4-5 minutes total.
This usually makes quite a bit of smoke, so I do this outside on the grill. Gas probably works better, but I don;t have a gas grill so I use charcoal and set the skillet directly on the coals.
One other thing, if there's a better combination than blackened fish with a glass of good bourbon (I prefer Knob Creek, but Woodford or Makers will suffice), then I haven't found it. That spice from the seasoning coupled with fresh fish pairs so well with smooth, flavorful bourbon. You're welcome.
This post was edited by RedTail07 17 months ago
I bought a Lodge Logic dutch oven from REI and like it, but I use it camping and kayaking in the traditional fashion (coals only). They've got skillets for $29.
I'm certainly no expert though.
Good stuff. Never got into cooking fish, seems a lot easier to fuck up than red or white meat, but a good blackened fillet and bourbon sounds awesome. Just gotta make sure my pan is seasoned well first so I don't break the fish into a trillion pieces. I've got no problem with charcoal, I was raised on grilling with wood. I'd think it would work better than my tiny gas stove burners, only problem is I just have a little Weber grill. So I might be stuck with my stove for now.
And I'd love to do a Dutch oven campfire style, seems like a pretty cool way to cook. What do you put in there Cam?
Spend the money and get some quality enameled stuff, you won't regret it.
If you do go Lodge, understand that they take some work with sandpaper to get them to the quality that the old Griswold stuff was made to.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by JavelinaAg 17 months ago
What's the advantage of enamel? I'm guessing heat retention and less problems with rust and seasoning? Do I get one with enamel just outside, or inside as well?
And what do you use sandpaper for? Haven't heard of that.
It's like a crock pot. Really easy.
Biscuits in the morning, stew/chickens/pork chops/vegetables/anything you'd cook in an oven in the evening.
Some filets are more delicate than others and thus are not good for blackening. Redfish and snapper are not delicate at all and are perfect for blackening. You really can't mess those up.
If you think the filets are getting close to done, stab them with a fork in the thickest part, and twist the fork. If the fish meat flakes apart, them'rr dun.
cam, where do you kayak?
"I like Bears and if you're going to be a bear, UMMMMM, BE A Grizzley"
The biggest advantage of enamel is that it protects the cast iron, you don't have to worry about it rusting or reacting with acidic foods (think tomatoes in chili), they are easier to clean because you can use soap and they look nice in the kitchen, which is a plus when you don't have to listen to your wife bitch about the "ugly" cast iron everywhere (ask me how I know). I have a ton of cast iron that I still use when camping or grilling, but I cook all the time inside with cast iron as well because it just makes better food.
The sandpaper is for smoothing out the cooking surface on new cast iron. Lodge's pieces come reasonably smooth, but they are nothing like the surfaces on the antique skillets out there. Seriously, a Griswold looks like glass on the inside it's so smooth, the Lodge can be worked to have that kind of surface, but they certainly don't start out that way. If you're willing to spend about thirty minutes with progressively finer grits of sandpaper, you can make a modern skillet that is just as nice as one of the old ones, except for the fact that you have to work for years to get a perfect seasoning, but that's just how it goes with any piece of new cast iron.
Rivers within about 3 hours of Houston.
3 different legs of Colorado between Austin and LaGrange.
Basic rule is that you've got to camp on islands or obvious sandbars in the bed of the river. Lots of "guides" out there that will pick up one person at your takeout and drive them back to the truck at the put in point. 20 miles of river is a lot i you're stopping and fishing, and that usually only amounts to 5 or 6 miles of highway as the rivers twist and wind a lot.
That's awesome. We are trying to put together an April trip. We were hoping to do the Llano but it may take a monsoon to get the river flowing enough.
Which of the ones you have done was your favorite? Colorado was going to be our next choice.
The colorado is great for drop-lining cats. Honestly, Village Creek was probably my favorite. It's fairly narrow, but it's badass.
If you're in Houston, I'd do Village Creek or the Colorado. Honestly though, we've never had a bad trip. One word of warning if you do the Colorado: When they open the gates on Lake Austin, the river rises about 3 feet several hours later if you're downstream. Make damn sure your tent is several feet about the water level and your yaks are firmly tied to a tree or anchored. That's coming from a bad experience.
I wouldn't get enamel bc that will wear off....they are great for a while, but many uses catches up with you and the outside surface will scratch over time if you store it with other cookwear. The clings & clangs of them banging together will just wear it down cosmetically over the years.. Just find a Griswold iron skillet and buy it if you can. Otherwise, Le Crueset is a good brand, but expensive. You can always borrow a buddies circular sander (use sandpaper with carborundum Or aluminum oxide grits, not wood sandpaper) and make the inside as smooth as you can. then wash it with soap one time and rinse the shit out of it then let it dry. Now season it with an oil that has a high smoke point of your choosing (avacado oil is the best out there) in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour upside down on aluminum foil to catch any drip. Let it cool, wipe it down, repeat the seasoning process one more time and you are done. never wash it again, but just wipe the inside out with a damp paper towel to "clean it". If bits get burned on, just scrape it off with small putty trowel, re-wipe with oil and store it away.
Only real plus I see for enamel is the short term benefit of no seasoning and being able to immediately cook with acidic ingredients. I don't give a shit about aesthetics (I actually think a heavy cast iron pan looks much more authentic), and I definitely don't want to worry about the fragility of enamel. I like how a good bare cast iron skillet will last forever and is indestructible if cared for properly.
Never read about sandpaper before seasoning, how important is it? I assume it's kind of like accelerated aging for the pan, simulating years of heavy use to polish the surface to nonstick? Will I be ok just seasoning it a couple times before use, then seasoning it after each use?
Also I'm wondering if Griswolds are considered to be so good because they are well constructed, or if it's just because every Griswold you can find today is older than shit and is likely well seasoned.
This post was edited by Maroon Goon 17 months ago
Enameled cookware has it's own care concerns, but if you buy a quality piece and treat it right, the enamel will last as long as you do.
The sandpaper has nothing to do with the seasoning, it has to do with the actual finish on the pan from the manufacturing process. Back in the day, cast iron pans were actually finished by hand before they were sent to market. The smoother the surface, the better it works with a developed seasoning to make the pan nonstick. I could take a Griswold, a Lodge I go and pick up from Academy and a Lodge I've finished by hand with sandpaper, completely strip the seasoning off them by baking them at 500 degrees for a few hours if I wanted to. Then I could cook with each of the daily for ten years and let them all get a good glass black seasoning on them. The Griswold and the Lodge I finsihed would be much better skillets than the one I picked up at Academy and used as is.
That's what I'm trying to get at.
Found a Griswold #3 on ebay for like $35 after S&H, does this look good? Most of the others I saw for fairly cheap had a re-welded handle, chipped parts, or were just covered in rust.
don't hesitate and buy it before someone else does
it had 0 bids, I bid on it and there's line 10 minutes left. Sucks that there's a bigger one for cheaper, but it had some repairs done by the handle
did you get it?
Yup. Little small, but she'll do.
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