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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I think this *may* be a silly question.....<br>
Wich is most preferred for pots & Pans (I would love to get rid of ALL the teflon here... but about 1/2 are teflon & 1/2 are stainless. I also have a pricey copper one as well. WHats the scoop?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:
 

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If your cast iron is seasoned correctly and well, its better at non-sticking than teflon.<br><br>
I just used an egg pan I had seasoned last year some time and never used. Gave it a good rinse in hot water and dried. Fried up 4 (1 at a time) eggs and they slide out of the pan like water off a ducks back. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
I am collecting cast iron pans as I am really falling in love with them. I have stainless steel for the tings that I can or dont want to cook in stainless.<br><br><br>
Am waiting for my cast iron muffin pan to get here...
 

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I wouldn't get the copper if I were you. Copper is toxic in large amounts and the copper in the pans leaches into the food. We cook with cast iron and we love it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ahhh.... makes sense. Hmmm... I wonder then, why the copper ones (copper bottom as well) are so damn expensive?!?! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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Isn't the copper on the outside (plated on the outside or beneath the stainless steel so that it heats evenly)? Would it still leach into food?
 

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Copper conducts heat very well and evenly. It is awesome, but I prefer my cast iron pans first, then use the stainless pans with the copper bottoms for those things that I don't care to cook in my cast iron. (The copper bottom-only do not leach into the food.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Where have you all gotten your cast iron? Isn't it very expensive as well?<br>
What do I look for (if I happen to find something second hand)
 

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I was lucky enough to get my cast iron pans from my mom. She bought them when she was in college, about 1950. These are the pans she used every day when I was growing up. She would still be using them today but she bought one of those stoves that have a glass top, and they can't be used with cast iron for some reason. She was really bummed when she got home with the stove and read that in the manual. I, of course, was very happy! LOL These pans are perfectly seasoned from over 50 years of daily use. I love them. Mine are Griswolds, but I hear Lodge brand is fine too. I know I have seen them on Ebay, but I think shipping might be high because they are so heavy...? Look at your local thrift stores and yard sales, if you are comfortable with second hand ones. How you season them and how you treat them, wash them, etc. is what makes a good pan, don't worry about the brand too much. Oh, and be sure to get lids if you can.<br>
I also love Le Creuset pans, they are cast iron with porcelain enamel on them, so them come in lots of cool colors. I have two of them, but would love a whole set. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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yes, that's why I like them. Of course, you can use anything that will fit for a lid. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I get old cast iron off of E-bay or yard sales.<br><br>
The new cast iron IMO isnt made as well. The finish seems more lumpy in the new ones and I wonder how much seasoning I would have to do before I had a nice smooth surface inside. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> I hope that understandable?<br><br>
If you see older cast iron next to new I think youll see what I mean.<br><br>
Some pans come with lids other wise use whatever fits <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
E-bay is a good place to go just to look to see whats out there and what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
isnt shipping an arm & a leg??<br><br>
Whats a decent price scale here?<br><br>
What are they new?
 

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I've seen cast iron cheap (IMO) at Canadian Tire (hardware store) and Len's Mill (household goods warehouse). I've seen it at thrift stores. I paid $12 CDN for a pan that was about 12" across (if they even come in that size... I don't have it in front of me, it's a bit bigger than the regular pan that came in my teflon set).<br><br>
I think I see what momto l&a is saying. I haven't even cleaned off my pan yet, let alone seasoned it, but I have noticed that it is a bit bumpy. But, if you season the bumps, wouldn't they be non-sticky too?
 

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I got my medium skilet at walmart for $12 (oh by the way, I am all about cast iron), my little pan there for $9. my mom gave me a huge honkin' skillet for free (we are talking about 18" people. it totally rocks) and for christmas she got me a large dutch over at K-mart (martha stewart) for $50 which included a lid. it is enameled which I guess a lot of people don't likeb ut I htink it is wonderful. She has a lot of really nice peices in her collection (MS that is) and they are very resonably priced. I will never go back. also definitely look at thrift stroes. my friends got thier at savers for $3 each. even if they are trashed a good scrubbing and reseasoning work wonders. I wouldn't bother withon line buying. they are so heavy that you will pay more in shipping than you would for brand new.
 

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A few things. First, copper <i>does</i> leach through the stainless and into your food. My dr. has done the testing. Also, stainless leaches nickel into the food. This may not be so bad for someone who isn't super sensitive to heavy metals, but it seems prudent to avoid them when possible anyway.<br><br>
Cast iron cooks better than stainless anyway, IMO. It takes longer to heat up, but once it's heated, the heat is very even and consistent. As mentioned by others, when seasoned they're very non-stick, and because they're thick-bottomed and the heat is so even, things wouldn't stick as much anyway.<br><br>
As far as the bumpy-ness goes, as far as I know they've always been that way. It's just that use smooths them out, so the older they are the smoother they are. And from what I've noticed, the bumps actually <i>help</i> with the non-stick nature of the pans. I wish they wouldn't smooth out.<br><br>
And, yes, the enamel-coated (esp. Le Creuset), is fabulous! But I don't like their skillets. I much prefer the plain cast iron skillets, because I can use metal utensils in them, and they're easier to clean because they're not so bumpy as the Le Creuset (the bumps on them are a bit pointed and really tear up our sponges). But the enamel-coated pots and pans are good when you're cooking things that aren't good for cast iron, like acidic foods, or boiling water.<br><br>
Well, that's my 2 cents.<br><br>
Christie
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So I take it there are things that are against the rules for cast iron huh?? Like not boiling water & acidic stuff?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">
 

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I boiled a vinigar solution in mine the other day, the enameled one, and it left a stain but I am sure it will lift eventually. I boil water in it all the time. I cook speghetti sauce and boil water for hamburger helper in my regular ones all the time, no problems (with the pan anyway . . <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grossedout.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="gross"> to the HH though, my point was though . . . )
 

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Yes, well, I thought I was clear (but apparantly not) that I was talking about <i>plain</i> cast iron, not the enameled. If you boil water in the <i>plain</i> cast iron, the pot can rust (cast iron is very prone to rusting), and may make the water taste funny. Also, cooking a lot of acidic foods in the <i>plain</i> cast iron can ruin the seasoning, and can discolor the food and/or make the food taste funny. Neither is the end of the world, but makes more work for you (having to season the pans more often), and sometimes makes the food not taste so good. That is why I choose to use the enameled cast iron for such things as boiling water, simmering soups and stews, making spaghettie sauce (although I sometimes make that in my skillet <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: ), cooking fruit, cooking rice, couscous, and polenta. You get the idea. Basically, the enameled cast iron has all of the positive cooking attributes of plain cast iron, but it doesn't need to be seasoned, and it doesn't react with the food or rust. The drawback is that the enamel can chip, so you have to be really careful with it. Hope this clears up the confusion.<br><br>
BTW, someone mentioned that you aren't supposed to use cast iron on ceramic- or glass-top stoves. If you're careful not drag it across the cook-top or bang it down, there's no problem at all. I've been using mine on my glass-top stove for 3 yrs. now, and I've had no problems with it.<br><br>
Christie
 

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I paid $18 including shipping for my muffin pan. Its a nice older one.<br><br><br>
I wont buy new cast iron because it just isnt as nice or well made as the older stuff. Touch and examine a 100 year old peice and youll know what I mean.<br><br>
I pay a dollar or two for cast iron fry pans at yard sales. But find it cheeper to buy the more uncommon peices on ebay as around here they like to sock ya with a big ole price tag. Even including shipping its still cheeper to buy off E-bay. For example a nice old dutch oven they wanted $50 for at a yard sale went and looked at E-bay where there where many, $15 or so and whatever shipping was, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> 10 I think.<br><br>
You dont want anything that is cracked or too badly pitted from rust. Light rust is ok because you can wash it out and then season.<br><br>
Do a google search for cast iron seasoning and youll get a bunch of info.<br><br>
For seasoning I like to do a slow (200 or so) all day bake and the pan comes out with a really nice seasoning on it. Several seasoning are required if the peice hasnt been seasoned or doesnt have much of a seasoning. Also the first foods you cook in the pan should be a fatty foor to aid in furthering the seasoning.<br><br>
Crisco really does a nice job for seasoning. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br><br>
I have used cast iron since I was a very young child.
 
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