So I LOVE cooking on cast iron cookware, there is really nothing that does the same job as it, and while you have to treat them completely differently than stainless or non-stick cookware, that really shouldn’t be a problem.
The big thing with cleaning cast iron is not to remove the black seasoning, which is oil and carbon. So no soap. Also since it’s just a chunk of iron it’s not a good idea to soak it in water.
This simply means you don’t clean them, you scrape them, give them a good rinse with water if they need it, dry them, then lightly oil them. If things are really bad my favorite trick is to fill them with water and bring it to a hard boil, then dump the hot water out and scrape the now soft crud, and they retain heat so well it will self-dry in seconds and then you can again apply a light oil for storage.
Or just keep the thing on your stovetop, as you can easily cook every meal on one.
The big issue with cast iron is how to get one. I have two that I use all the time, but they’re both over 100 years old. My wife has a dutch oven and a griddle by Lodge, but they don’t get used often enough for me to comment on the quality, they certainly aren’t BAD.
Then I found this video:
Looks like Field is making Cast Iron just like the kind your Great Great Grandmother used to cook on. Looking at their prices they’re four times more expensive than a comparable Lodge, but if they’re as good as Cowboy Kent says, dropping over $100 on a skillet of this quality should be a no-brainer.
Think about it. I’m really not in the market for one, because my needs are met by the two skillets I have….which are over 100 years old! We talk about guns being durable goods, and I have a few guns that are in the age range of my skillets…but I don’t shoot those guns every day. In theory you could buy a Glock or a Mossberg 500 or an AR-15 and maintain it for 100 years, and have a still-shootable gun in 2118. But can you do that shooting it EVERY day, and shooting it HARD several times a week?
Meanwhile my skillet cooked a steak in a 500 degree oven PERFECTLY and then cooked me eggs the next morning, and has been running like that for YEARS. And we’re talking the price of a new Hi-Point.
I’d totally spend it, and I might go to them if I think I need something new.
I’ve tried the boiling water method, and while it usually works for MOST gunked up cast iron cookware, there are times when it doesn’t cut it.
In those cases, I use a more… Uh, “aggressive” approach:
Scrub what you can by hand, then take the skillet outside, coat it with a LOT of oven cleaner, put it in a plastic bag, then another plastic bag, tie it off, and let it sit in the hot sun for 12 hours or so. Wash with hot soapy water, dry thoroughly, and you’ve got a “clean slate”, so to speak. Then re-season with unsalted lard in the oven… Several applications of lard over the course of several hours in the oven.
FYI if your oven has a cleaning cycle, toss your skillet into that, then wash with water and a little distilled vinegar.
Ask me how I know.
And I re-seasoned with simple canola in a 400 degree oven. I think I did 3 -hour cycles, then I fried some bacon. Cooking fatty or well-greased food will be your best friend to a good seasoning.
I have a vintage Griswold, new Lodges, and a new Field & Co. The Field is spendy but worth every penny. Very well done skillet. It’s lightweight and super smooth.
Never had to re season a cast iron skillet. Clean em with brillo pads (or 3m green scratchy pads and soap) and then heat ’em dry. Then wipe some canola on ’em until you use ’em again. I’ve got 3 skillets and 9″ round griddle
If I burn something on the bottom, add Dawn dishwashing liquid and water and bring to a boil. let cool, then the above cleaning method.
They have a nice coating on the bottom that doesn’t stick often. You can burn cheese and it will wipe out.
I’ve had ’em over 30 years and they have never been re-seasoned. or lost their seasoning.
The only thing I use nonstick for is omelettes and crepes.