Armed Polite Society
September 30, 2020, 08:35:15 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: R.I.P. Scout26
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Vintage cast iron  (Read 1320 times)
Kingcreek
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 2,180


« on: June 22, 2020, 07:58:07 AM »

I have used vintage cast iron since college in the 1970s. Had a few pieces when I was married to my first wife (the evil one). She discovered them and bought a couple on yard sales, almost burned my house down when seasoning them and lost interest in cast iron then lost interest in me.
I still have and use a Dutch oven, chicken fryer, and skillet. My current wife (the sweet one) for the past 30 years is the empress of the kitchen but she regularly uses the cast iron properly as well.
I have had a stack of sad neglected cookware in a corner of the workbench since we moved here 23 years ago. Some left behind by the evil one. I have been slowly working through the stack. I thought I would have some to sell when done but now that they are all cleaned and properly seasoned, I have found a place for all but one. I tossed one warped skillet and one that I discovered a crack in after stripping it down. My wife has claimed a couple additional sizes. I have equipped my camping chuck box with its own set. I have 2 skillets for sometimes use on the grill.
The difference in smoothness of the inside surface and cast quality of the good old American foundry stuff is significant. I have griswold, Wagner, and Erie brands. I think everything is probably pre 1940 and a couple are likely late 1800's.
The propane Webber grill worked great for heat stripping and reseasoning without making a mess in my wife's new oven.
Report to moderator   Logged

What we have here is failure to communicate.
charby
Necromancer
Administrator
Senior Member
*****
Posts: 26,603


APS's Resident Sikh/Muslim


« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 08:33:45 AM »

I have a newer 13.25" Lodge, took me about 8 years of cooking with it to have almost as glass smooth as my older iron.
Report to moderator   Logged

Iowa- 88% more livable that the rest of the US

Uranus is a gas giant.

Team 444: Member# 536
Kingcreek
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 2,180


« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 10:43:21 AM »

Lodge is ok if you can't find the good vintage stuff. They advertise as pre seasoned but it would more accurately be described as rust preventative. Lodge is also a vintage label as there is some old lodge out there.
Bacon grease has been far above any canola veggie oil I've tried although Crisco is said to work. Lard works very well but really who has lard in their pantry anymore? I tried canola and then stripped it and started over.
I did pan seared pork chops in skillet on the grill last night and cleaned up perfectly with course salt a little water and a clean scrap of tee shirt.
Report to moderator   Logged

What we have here is failure to communicate.
Mike Irwin
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 32,767


I Am Inimical


« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2020, 03:31:44 AM »

I've gone after more than a couple of new cast iron pans with a disk and valve grinding compound to smooth them out. Takes awhile, but if you're careful you can get the glassy smooth finish you're looking for.
Report to moderator   Logged

Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.
Ben
Administrator
Senior Member
*****
Posts: 32,257



« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2020, 05:00:48 AM »


Bacon grease has been far above any canola veggie oil I've tried although Crisco is said to work. Lard works very well but really who has lard in their pantry anymore? I tried canola and then stripped it and started over.


I have become a fan of flaxseed oil for seasoning. I had read about it but never tried it. Then a few years ago I accidentally ruined one of my (non-vintage) Lodge pans. I decided to try it. I had to order it off Amazon because it's not widely available. After prepping the pan, I went through three iterations of seasoning. Stank like hell. When I was done though, I ended up with what is now my best pan. The flaxseed oil just does an excellent job of filling the pores and creates a hard finish.

I've read a lot about grapeseed oil as being even better, as well as cheaper. I'll probably try it the next time i have to season from scratch. For between use maintenance, I just use lard or canola oil.

On the lard, you mean some people DON'T have lard in the pantry?  grin
Report to moderator   Logged

"I'm a foolish old man that has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop."
Kingcreek
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 2,180


« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 07:29:01 AM »

The good thing is, if you totally ruin a proper seasoning you can start over.
I put the scabby old rust and crud ones upside down on the propane grill on high for an hour (about 550f) then just turned off the heat and let them cool down on their own. I used abrasives where needed then course salt and vinegar scour before rinsing drying with heat and then seasoning in several stages.
I find myself using one more and more on the grill, like for sautťed onions or a side veggie.
Started with a stack, junked 2 and only ended up with a surplus of 1, maybe. I have to decide which to keep between an 8" and a 7.5". Handy size. Maybe I'll keep em all. I'll never need to buy another... Oooh unless I come across a nice griddle...
Report to moderator   Logged

What we have here is failure to communicate.
T.O.M.
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 5,836



« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 01:22:43 PM »

When I was still involved with the Boy Scout Troop (both my sons are aged out), I found an old dutch oven and a couple of large skillets.  They had been neglected, rusty, and just sad.  Took them to the next camping trip with some fine sandpaper, some steel wool, some Scotch sponges (the green abrasive ones), Dawn, and some real lard obtained by a Troop dad who owned a restaurant.  Sanded it all, scrubbed with steel wool.  Washed with Dawn and Scotch pad.  Let it dry to make sure we got all the rust.  Built a nice fire a stuck the cast iron in.  When it was good and hot, brushed lard on it all, then back in the fire.  Put on a few coats of oil.  Old times were impressed a young guy like me (I was 44 at the time) knew how to take care of the good stuff.
Report to moderator   Logged

No, I'm not mtnbkr.  Wink

a.k.a. "our resident Legal Smeagol."...thanks BryanP
"Anybody can give legal advice - but only licensed attorneys can sell it."...vaskidmark
Mike Irwin
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 32,767


I Am Inimical


« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2020, 03:19:13 AM »

The only problem with bacon grease is that it has salt in it. If you don't get the oil totally burned off the salt can stay under what remains and cause rusting. If you get that nice glassy finish of a good carbon seasoning, though, the salt will rinse right out.

I've had my best seasoning successes with olive oil.
Report to moderator   Logged

Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.
charby
Necromancer
Administrator
Senior Member
*****
Posts: 26,603


APS's Resident Sikh/Muslim


« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2020, 04:02:40 AM »

The only problem with bacon grease is that it has salt in it. If you don't get the oil totally burned off the salt can stay under what remains and cause rusting. If you get that nice glassy finish of a good carbon seasoning, though, the salt will rinse right out.

I've had my best seasoning successes with olive oil.

Probably because of the lower smoke point. I think that is why look lard works well, smoke point  of 375 F.
Report to moderator   Logged

Iowa- 88% more livable that the rest of the US

Uranus is a gas giant.

Team 444: Member# 536
Mike Irwin
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 32,767


I Am Inimical


« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2020, 03:41:39 AM »

That's an interesting though regarding smoke point.

I've always seasoned my cast iron in the oven at about 350 deg. F. Depending on how much surface oil I have on it, it will take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to burn off completely. I've never tried any of the higher smoke point oils.
Report to moderator   Logged

Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.
Kingcreek
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 2,180


« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2020, 05:52:52 AM »

I go to 550 or higher to remove it. I keep it under 350 to put it on and season it but I never really paid attention to the exact temp.
The oil has to transform molecular something I donít recall to become that hard non stick coating.
Report to moderator   Logged

What we have here is failure to communicate.
Mike Irwin
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 32,767


I Am Inimical


« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2020, 08:02:09 AM »

"The oil has to transform molecular something I donít recall to become that hard non stick coating."

What it does is burn off the volatile hydrocarbons -- essentially drive off the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, leaving only the carbon atoms behind.

You can do that at high temperatures (which runs the risk of damaging the carbon layer if the surface gets too hot) or you can do it at lower temperatures, which takes longer time but generally gives you better results.

I generally do it when I'm cooking a covered casserole. You don't want to do it with something that cooks uncovered because a fair amount of smoke and nasty tasting compounds are created early in the process.

A lot of places say that you want a mix of "polymerized oils" and carbon, but I don't buy that. Polymerized oil is incompletely combusted oil. It's not as durable or as non-stick as a straight carbon coating and you also run the risk of incompletely polymerizing the oil, which can end with the stuff that's there going rancid.
Report to moderator   Logged

Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.
zxcvbob
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 9,689



« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2020, 01:15:08 PM »

I think you end up with a mixture of carbon black and varnish.  But I'm not sure how saturated fats make varnish.  Maybe the saturated fats in whatever oil you use provide the carbon and the unsaturated ones cross-link to provide the varnish.
Report to moderator   Logged

"It's good, though..."
Mike Irwin
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 32,767


I Am Inimical


« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2020, 03:20:24 AM »

A saturated fat means that it has hydrogen atoms in the chain and single bonds with the carbon atoms. It shouldn't make any different whether the fat is saturated or unsaturated when it starts breaking down.
Report to moderator   Logged

Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.
Kingcreek
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 2,180


« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2020, 06:13:24 AM »

"The oil has to transform molecular something I donít recall to become that hard non stick coating."

What it does is burn off the volatile hydrocarbons -- essentially drive off the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, leaving only the carbon atoms behind.

You can do that at high temperatures (which runs the risk of damaging the carbon layer if the surface gets too hot) or you can do it at lower temperatures, which takes longer time but generally gives you better results.

I generally do it when I'm cooking a covered casserole. You don't want to do it with something that cooks uncovered because a fair amount of smoke and nasty tasting compounds are created early in the process.

A lot of places say that you want a mix of "polymerized oils" and carbon, but I don't buy that. Polymerized oil is incompletely combusted oil. It's not as durable or as non-stick as a straight carbon coating and you also run the risk of incompletely polymerizing the oil, which can end with the stuff that's there going rancid.
That's why I like to do it outside on the propane grill. That and my wife the empress of the kitchen would go bug eyed crazy hostile if I did it in her new oven.
Report to moderator   Logged

What we have here is failure to communicate.
zxcvbob
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 9,689



« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2020, 10:07:41 AM »

My wife went nuts recently (and not in a good way) when I wiped down a neglected cast iron skillet with some old shortening and put it on a low burner until it just started to smoke.  I don't know what the problem was, I had the windows open and the vent hood on  rolleyes

I should probably buy a fresh can of shortening.  That one is at least 5 years old.  Still smells okay in the can...  It should actually be better for seasoning pans because the oxidation has a head start.
Report to moderator   Logged

"It's good, though..."
Mike Irwin
friend
Senior Member
***
Posts: 32,767


I Am Inimical


« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2020, 11:05:46 AM »

Shortening (at least the old partially hydrogenated version), is incredibly shelf stable. Once it's opened, though, it really should be used within a year or replaced as it will absorb nasty stuff and can taste off.
Report to moderator   Logged

Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!