1905: "Cast Iron Pan"

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1905: "Cast Iron Pan"

Postby TV4Fun » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:09 am UTC

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Title Text: If you want to evenly space them, it's easiest to alternate between the Arctic and Antarctic. Some people just go to the Arctic twice, near the equinoxes so the visits are almost 6 months apart, but it's not the same.

In what I believe to be the first time since at least 2012, XKCD was updated before QC.
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:25 am UTC

Fridays tend to be early updates. I've seen just-after-East-Coast-midnight ones before. Still EDT, is it, that side of the pond? I forget which end of Daylight Savings doesn't match our Daylight Savings switching...

(Soap never touches the metal inside my pans. That's teflon for you.)

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby TV4Fun » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:27 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Fridays tend to be early updates. I've seen just-after-East-Coast-midnight ones before. Still EDT, is it, that side of the pond? I forget which end of Daylight Savings doesn't match our Daylight Savings switching...

(Soap never touches the metal inside my pans. That's teflon for you.)

Yes, it's still daylight savings here until November 5th.
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby da Doctah » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:33 am UTC

I was reminded of this attitude yesterday when I used the restroom at a local health-food store. Big signs insisting that you wash your hands with soap under hot running water for a minimum of 25 seconds before returning to work. Right next to a faucet that shuts off automatically after five seconds and never gets warm.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:41 am UTC

TV4Fun wrote:Yes, it's still daylight savings here until November 5th.
It's only BST here until October 29th when we're back to GMT. (I knew it was end of month vs start of month, but had forgotten whether it was abutting ends of two months, rather than opposite ends of the same month. I could have looked it up.) But that's a very quick derail that probably should go no further. ;)

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:04 am UTC

And don't make the classic mistake of creating the iron filings for cleaning the pan FROM the pan.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby keithl » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:53 am UTC

I used to filings-season my cast iron pans at the poles, but the magnetic field is too strong there; the residual magnetism in the pan ruined my best dishes.

Now ESA launches them out of the Guiana Space Center for me. The field at 5 degrees north is still substantial, but a high parabolic trajectory above the magnetopause gives the best results. I always launch a few extra, in case the Chinese test their ASAT weapons on them.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby niauropsaka » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:35 am UTC

You can just re-season cast iron. It's really not that hard.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby balthasar_s » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:40 am UTC

niauropsaka wrote:It's really not that hard.
If the iron is not that hard, then something went wrong, obviously. Irons should be hard.
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby speising » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:43 am UTC

niauropsaka wrote:You can just re-season cast iron. It's really not that hard.

which season ist best?

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby cellocgw » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:16 am UTC

balthasar_s wrote:
niauropsaka wrote:It's really not that hard.
If the iron is not that hard, then something went wrong, obviously. Irons should be hard.


heh heh heh he said "hard" aheh aheh.

I've always used soap, since I hate residual oil&seasoning smells, but never any kind of harsh scrubbing thing. Rinse well, put on medium heat, and once the water evaps, re-season lightly with a little veg oil.

But more recently, I've discovered the steel pans, like this one . They are fantastic, close to non-stick, and much lighter than cast iron.
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby otocan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:28 am UTC

If it's not dishwasher safe, I don't want it.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby speising » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:39 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:re-season lightly with a little veg oil.

that's not what seasoning is. seasoning means burning in that oil at high temperatures, in multiple layers. Apparently it polymerizes and bonds to the metal at high temps (ie. 450°F oven for 30 minutes).

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Flumble » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:31 pm UTC

Seasoning is adding spices. You add spices to food, not to pans. Unless you want to eat the pan.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby qvxb » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:42 pm UTC

Bronze rules!

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:53 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:Seasoning is adding spices. You add spices to food, not to pans. Unless you want to eat the pan.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby orthogon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:41 pm UTC

I assume that cast iron pans are some kind of fresh hipster hell that had passed me by. Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing, in the same way that not having gears on a bike is the new having gears on a bike?
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby richP » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:07 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:I was reminded of this attitude yesterday when I used the restroom at a local health-food store. Big signs insisting that you wash your hands with soap under hot running water for a minimum of 25 seconds before returning to work. Right next to a faucet that shuts off automatically after five seconds and never gets warm.


Plus, you got soap from an automated dispenser (so you didn't have to touch anything), water from an automated faucet (no touchy again) and dried your hands with either towels from an automated dispenser or hot air from an automatic dryer. Perfect, your hands were now clean and germ free. Until you have to grab the handle on the door to exit the restroom.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby DanD » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:39 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I assume that cast iron pans are some kind of fresh hipster hell that had passed me by. Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing, in the same way that not having gears on a bike is the new having gears on a bike?


More of a foodie thing, which doesn't completely overlap with hipster. Well cared for cast iron is actually really nice to cook in, a better non-stick surface than teflon, extremely uniform heat, last pretty much forever (my teflon pans are dying after a mere 16 years), etc.

And despite the mythology around them, caring for them isn't all that difficult.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby DanD » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:44 pm UTC

niauropsaka wrote:You can just re-season cast iron. It's really not that hard.


It really isn't. I got a couple of used pans that I didn't trust the seasoning on, so I burned it off (in the oven during a self clean cycle). A light layer of food grade flax seed oil (the low smoke point makes it easy to burn on, and it polymerizes beautifully. Boiled linseed oil is the same oil, but has some added drying agents which are not food safe, find flax at your local health food store), pop it in the oven for 30 minutes, let cool. Repeat a couple of times if you want to.

I do hobby level blacksmithing, and tend to use the same approach to finish most of my work, especially cooking and dining implements.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Cygnwulf » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:55 pm UTC

I do enjoy cooking on a cast iron. It holds heat well, gives an incredible sear to meat, and like has been said before is actually easier to clean than most nonstick cookware. Plus, it's heavy enough on the stovetop that I don't have to hold on to it with one pan while stirring with the other. And while it's not that old, my mom's are older than i am and work equally well.

My 'care' for it is, scrub well with water under hot water, (just takes a nylon bristle brush, nothing fancy here, and most of the food comes of easily) then dry on the stove top or in the oven, while still hot give it a quick wipe with thin vegetable oil, heat it till it just starts to smoke, then let it cool and put it away. It doesn't take long at all,and using the stove to dry it actually is more fun than drying dishes with a towel.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Reka » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:55 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing...?

Cast iron cookware isn't actually medieval (it's post-industrial-revolution), and it's not actually all that high-maintenance, despite the widespread urban myths that this comic is making fun of.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby buddy431 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:03 pm UTC

DanD wrote:
orthogon wrote:I assume that cast iron pans are some kind of fresh hipster hell that had passed me by. Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing, in the same way that not having gears on a bike is the new having gears on a bike?


More of a foodie thing, which doesn't completely overlap with hipster. Well cared for cast iron is actually really nice to cook in, a better non-stick surface than teflon, extremely uniform heat, last pretty much forever (my teflon pans are dying after a mere 16 years), etc.

And despite the mythology around them, caring for them isn't all that difficult.


They do not, in general, have "extremely uniform heat". Cast iron is a terrible heat conductor. They will be heated where your burner is heating. If you have an electric stove with a nice wide, uniform burner, then they will have uniform heat. In general, especially with a gas burner, the heating will be quite uneven.
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:07 pm UTC

I'm guilty of telling people they don't deserve cast iron pans if they aren't willing to do x with it.

This is highly contentious but flax seed/linseed or any other fancy oil is overrated. It looks nice, but it's not durable seasoning at all. I'll stick with cheap olive oil or any old veg oil.

I think the reason we think our pans are low maintenance is that we constantly use them. If we gave a newbie a rusty old pan, and told them to reseason, that would be a struggle.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Velo Steve » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:14 pm UTC

Reka wrote:
orthogon wrote:Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing...?

Cast iron cookware isn't actually medieval (it's post-industrial-revolution), and it's not actually all that high-maintenance, despite the widespread urban myths that this comic is making fun of.


It's odd that the sellers of these things perpetuate this myth by including very difficult-sounding instructions. I'm sure some customers just put the pan back on the store shelf and walk away.

My approach is similar to others here - after the lightest washing that will do the job, I wipe on a few drops of olive oil and heat just until the oil smokes a little. By then the water has boiled away and any gaps in the seasoning are at least not going to rust before the next use.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:40 pm UTC

richP wrote:Plus, you got soap from an automated dispenser (so you didn't have to touch anything), water from an automated faucet (no touchy again) and dried your hands with either towels from an automated dispenser or hot air from an automatic dryer. Perfect, your hands were now clean and germ free. Until you have to grab the handle on the door to exit the restroom.

Generally employees are instructed to use one of those paper towels to open the door, and then throw it away in the trash can by the door and let the door swing closed behind them. (Before automated faucets, it was also procedure to leave the water running while drying your hands, then turn it off with the paper towel too).
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Zinho » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:55 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I assume that cast iron pans are some kind of fresh hipster hell that had passed me by. Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing, in the same way that not having gears on a bike is the new having gears on a bike?

I can't speak to hipsters, other than to note that you can purchase cast iron at Aldi now, so it's gone mainstream and the hipsters are likely to get over it soon.

From the perspective of people who have been using cast iron recreationally because roughing it is fun, cast iron is fun for using over a charcoal fire, but is less practical for cooking over a kitchen range. It has great thermal mass, but poor conductivity and tends to heat unevenly. It's easy to end up with hot spots and cold spots on your pan, which is less than ideal. You can do amazing things with it if it's preheated to a specific temperature in an oven; I've heard that pizza crust cooked in cast iron can be fantastic.

speising wrote:
cellocgw wrote:re-season lightly with a little veg oil.

that's not what seasoning is. seasoning means burning in that oil at high temperatures, in multiple layers. Apparently it polymerizes and bonds to the metal at high temps (ie. 450°F oven for 30 minutes).

Herein lies the rift between the soap and no-soap cast iron users. Cast iron in its natural state is porous, and will trap soap and flavor your food with soap similar to those unsealed ceramic baking stones that were a fad a while back. People who take their cast iron camping and clean it by turning it upside down over their fire won't use soap because their seasoning takes a pretty bad hit due to the rough treatment, assuming that it gets properly seasoned at all. Foodies using it in the kitchen can keep it sealed well with a layer of polymerized oil, and have no problem with their food tasting like soap after a quick wash.

For what it's worth, I've replaced all my teflon skillets with cast iron of late (I got the cast iron for free), and haven't regretted it. I've trained my kids to do the dry-on-the-stove method of maintaining the seasoning, and it's one of their favorite parts of doing dishes. If I get a line on good stainless steel or copper I may swap out, though; the seasoning trick works just as well on pretty much any surface, and lasts decently as long as you aren't taking a brillo pad to it.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby freezeblade » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:51 pm UTC

Velo Steve wrote:It's odd that the sellers of these things perpetuate this myth by including very difficult-sounding instructions. I'm sure some customers just put the pan back on the store shelf and walk away.


Honestly, 95% of cast iron in stores isn't worth buying anyway, as the cooking surface is left rough and pebbly. Cast iron pans and dutch ovens of old have smooth machined surfaces, which create a very good non-stick surface. Put that newly made crap back on the shelf, and get to goodwill or an estate sale for something made pre-1960's or so.
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:46 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I assume that cast iron pans are some kind of fresh hipster hell that had passed me by. Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing, in the same way that not having gears on a bike is the new having gears on a bike?

Funny, I hadn't heard of a rise in popularity of velocipedes, boneshakers and old ordinaries... Practicallly every modern bike (that isn't actually a kick-scooter) has gears, at least one for the pedal-set(s) and at least one for the driving wheel(s)... And ones without chains have even more gears.

(Still, your intended point that an old concept had resurfaced among the populous is fairly true, though such machines have never really fallen out of use in some other parts of the sport...)

:P

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby GlassHouses » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:13 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
orthogon wrote:I assume that cast iron pans are some kind of fresh hipster hell that had passed me by. Is high-maintenance medieval cookware the new thing, in the same way that not having gears on a bike is the new having gears on a bike?

Funny, I hadn't heard of a rise in popularity of velocipedes, boneshakers and old ordinaries... Practicallly every modern bike (that isn't actually a kick-scooter) has gears, at least one for the pedal-set(s) and at least one for the driving wheel(s)... And ones without chains have even more gears.

(Still, your intended point that an old concept had resurfaced among the populous is fairly true, though such machines have never really fallen out of use in some other parts of the sport...)

:P


I have scratched my head many times about the supposed coolness of "fixie," i.e. one-speed, bicycles.

I grew up in the Netherlands, where everyone rides bikes. At around age 11, I finally outgrew the bike that I had had since age 6, and when we went to the bike shop to get me a new one, I insisted on getting one with a three-speed hub.

This was in a family where kids insisting on anything never ended well, but the three-speed thing felt important enough to risk parental anger.

The hub in question, a Torpedo with back-pedal brake, added about 50 guilders, or $25, in 1976 money, to the cost of the bike, or about 10%, and it increased the weight of the bike by maybe half a kilogram, or one pound, including the shifting lever and cable. And in terms of maintenance, which is negligible for bikes to begin with, this hub added basically nothing.

Why anyone would specifically choose to not have something like that, when the cost is so tiny and the benefit so great, is completely beyond me. Unless "hipsters" are people who only show off their hip choices, while eleven-year-old, 5'1" (155 cm) me actually had to cycle to school every day, 5 miles each way.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:43 am UTC

Depends. Like half-hidden behind one of the links, the sport of hillclimbing has kept fixed-wheels because multiple-ratio gearing is often overkill and utterly unused for hills that the fastest climbers can finish in not much more than a minute, and would be dead-weight (as would a free-wheel). Less dedicated riders might ride a road bike with triple-front and 6-8 rear derailleur, say, but they'd probably also remove their bottle-cage(s) from the frame. I remember, however, when riders would arrive with rear-wheels built with two fixed sprockets on opposite sides of the wheel, to give a choosable option of either of two gear-ratios by removing and reinserting the wheel the other way round if they thought that was better.

And, for track cycling, weight is king. Fixed-gear and no brakes1, and often other shavings (see rules on handlebars), is standard for a machine that either tactically dawdles or else goes at the fastest (non-fairing, possibly derny-paced) HPV speeds on (banked, but otherwise) flat tracks.


As to MAMIL uptake of fixed-wheel (those MAMILs that aren't just age-old cyclists that did always ride that sort of thing that just happen to be wearing modern bright clothing indistinguishable from the latest 'converts'), it's probably a combination of hipster retro-seeking and successful marketing by certain bike-store chains.

In the UK, there's a lot of participation in cycling by Cyclists who (dwindling, perhaps, but still are numerous) have been cyclists since before it was Cool, but there's also a lot of People On Bikes who were inspired perhaps by Froome or Wiggins, or as early as Boardman or (for a time) Armstrong, but never ever heard of Burton or Simpson or Mercx (let alone watched them race or even rode in the same event as them!). And these POBs also don't obey traffic lights, ride on pavements (contrary to 1835 Road Traffic Act and successor regulations) and cause other nuisance, and causing problems to the reputation of Cyclists-proper just because they're indistinguishable in the view of the average motorist (who is a lot less educated about cycling than your average Continental driver is - by my experience of the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Denmark especially).

But that's a British POV, with a different profile of local cycle-sport (and leisure, and commuting!) from over your way. I think we, as a nation, bought into the "the bike is for a person who can't drive" mantra, some decades ago, and thus the disconnect in the attitudes of modern 'discoverers' of cycling, who just seem to keep on 'reinventing the wheel' in many different ways, to varying degrees of literalness. See also "egg rings", L-shaped pedal-cranks, 'novel' methods of configuring handlebars, the Front Stoker Tandem, etc...

1 Which is illegal for road use - front brakes must be fitted, and rear brakes (of whatever kind2) if a free-wheel hub is in use.
2 There's a good anecdote about a back-pedal brake and a policeman who thought he'd found an illegal bike. But that's also just further digression.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:37 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:In the UK, there's a lot of participation in cycling by Cyclists who (dwindling, perhaps, but still are numerous) have been cyclists since before it was Cool, but there's also a lot of People On Bikes who were inspired perhaps by Froome or Wiggins, or as early as Boardman or (for a time) Armstrong, but never ever heard of Burton or Simpson or Mercx (let alone watched them race or even rode in the same event as them!). And these POBs also don't obey traffic lights, ride on pavements (contrary to 1835 Road Traffic Act and successor regulations) and cause other nuisance, and causing problems to the reputation of Cyclists-proper just because they're indistinguishable in the view of the average motorist (who is a lot less educated about cycling than your average Continental driver is - by my experience of the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Denmark especially).

But that's a British POV, with a different profile of local cycle-sport (and leisure, and commuting!) from over your way. I think we, as a nation, bought into the "the bike is for a person who can't drive" mantra, some decades ago, and thus the disconnect in the attitudes of modern 'discoverers' of cycling, who just seem to keep on 'reinventing the wheel' in many different ways, to varying degrees of literalness. See also "egg rings", L-shaped pedal-cranks, 'novel' methods of configuring handlebars, the Front Stoker Tandem, etc...


With a few exceptions - Cambridge is known for its swarms of cyclists - mostly students, but also people who discovered that, for commuting around town, provided the town is set up for cyclists (bike racks, cycle lanes, etc) it's quicker door to door by bike than by car, particularly if there's traffic (or one-way systems). And then there's the notorious Boris-bikes in London...

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:44 am UTC

Yup, the "many seats of learning" is a thing. Of course, that's an otherness - gown and not town - and atypical of 'normal' people (also 'normal' Cyclists, by my own personal and challengable standards). Not yet seen a Boris Bike in the flesh (just some unloved regional variants on the theme, seemingly perpetually racked at transport hubs) and thus don't know their patrons' typical attitudes to their steed and their personal space to offer an opinion about this modern phenomenon.

Which is the point that I totally forgot to make, that actually has relevance to the comic. That there are those who have just moved with the times (or not - I still have toe-clips, rather than cleats/shoe-plates, but better than unadorned pedals) and then there's the Bold Rediscoverers of ancient practices who imbue retrotech with certain qualities just because it is perceived to be retrotech. Give or take some marketing-inspired "but now, because of Science, even better!" blurb to it.

Artisan iron pans are good for things, and seem to be capable of 'learning' what is put in them (because of their interior surfaces, one presumez) but are then vulnerable to soap. Fixed-wheel gives a direct leg-to-ground feedback in a lean and responsive way (bidirectionally, and without the slight hysteresis of the back-pedal brake) but has problems on wildly fluctuating terrains and practically deadly if you forget to not try to free-wheel.

Also, the users of both probably get overconfident with their choice and forget that their choice isn't the universally best choice at all times in all places, and that their personal zenith of perfection is transient at best, and likely arguable by others with their own variant fad (or stick-in-the-mud experiences) to wax lyrically about at the same time, both perspectives being of each's own 'ultimate answer', over the other.

Or something like that, I guess. I had better words prepared, the last time, but was distracted.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby ericgrau » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:48 pm UTC

Cygnwulf wrote:I do enjoy cooking on a cast iron. It holds heat well, gives an incredible sear to meat, and like has been said before is actually easier to clean than most nonstick cookware. Plus, it's heavy enough on the stovetop that I don't have to hold on to it with one pan while stirring with the other. And while it's not that old, my mom's are older than i am and work equally well.


I got a pantelligent, which is a bluetooth temperature sensing pan, and discovered why that is. When I drop meat onto my pan the temperature drops dramatically. Both instantly and for the next minute or so. Low enough that if you're not paying attention it will drop too low to brown the meat at all. A heavier pan such as cast iron will drop its temperature much slower.

The trick I found to sear well on an ordinary pan is first to preheat the pan a little above the temperature you want. 380F is what you want, so 420 or so is good to start for a 16 oz steak on a ~12 inch pan. Chefs say when olive oil just starts to smoke visibly which is about this same temperature. Or use a temp gun. That way the initial instant temperature drop brings it down to right where you want it. Right before the steak hits the pan, crank up the heat to maximum and keep it that way for a while as the steak cooks. I have a typical home gas stove which means about 30-40 seconds before I turn it down at all; yours may be different. The high heat counteracts the temperature loss that otherwise would happen during the first minute or so. When it's time to flip, first crank it up to maximum again, then flip.

I clean a normal gunked up pan by soaking it in water and dish detergent. Then I rinse it later and everything falls off the pan. If it's really tough gunk I wipe it for about 10 seconds with a sponge, resoak, and it comes off the 2nd time without fail. If I get lazy or make a mistake there are no extra steps involved to clean. If the pan isn't gunked up, I rinse it off immediately after cooking and that's it. I don't have time to clean with some such "easy" method that takes as long as cooking the dish all over again.

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ucim
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby ucim » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:39 pm UTC

ericgrau wrote:a bluetooth temperature sensing pan
What in the unholy ch*rp is that???? Cooking pans need to be connected to the internet nowadays????

Get off my lawn!

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:48 pm UTC

ericgrau wrote:I got a pantelligent, which is a bluetooth temperature sensing pan, and discovered why that is. When I drop meat onto my pan the temperature drops dramatically. Both instantly and for the next minute or so. Low enough that if you're not paying attention it will drop too low to brown the meat at all. A heavier pan such as cast iron will drop its temperature much slower.


Yeah, modern pans have low thermal mass, which means they heat up faster and take less energy to reach a given temperature, but they have almost no thermal inertia - put a chunk of room temperature meat onto one and it'll suck the heat right out because the pan can't hold much energy...

That's fine for cooking wet stuff (soups, stews, anything you boil) because the heat mostly goes into the water anyway, and the water will hold its temperature pretty well regardless of the pan. For frying or similar, you want a pan with more heat capacity so it'll hold its temperature.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby svenman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:00 am UTC

ucim wrote:
ericgrau wrote:a bluetooth temperature sensing pan
What in the unholy ch*rp is that???? Cooking pans need to be connected to the internet nowadays????

Get off my lawn!

Jose

Naah, stuff doesn't have to connect to the Internet per se, it has to connect to your smartphone. Bluetooth is one way to achieve that. The Internet is another one, which isn't involved in this case - unless you really want to.

Why has stuff to connect to your smartphone, you may ask? So that you'll know about it, of course!

Now where to get a pre-1960 Bluetooth-capable cast iron pan...
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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:49 pm UTC

Either Area 51, or Denmark/Norway.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby ericgrau » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:39 pm UTC

Lol.

But more seriously if you're stuck on using cast iron then what you can do is buy a temperature gun. Preheat to 390F, drop in the steak. When you lift it to flip, check the temp on the pan under the steak. Make sure it's around 385F or otherwise adjust heat as needed. +/-20F is fine, just shoot for best estimate. This way is more expensive than a regular pan and cheaper than a bluetooth pan. Or sans temp gun you can look for light smoking of olive oil. Which is a little hotter, but oh well. And/or a good strong sizzle when steak hits oil; take it back out and wait if it doesn't.

I'd just use a regular or bluetooth pan though.

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Re: 1905: Cast Iron Pan

Postby sardia » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:36 pm UTC

ericgrau wrote:Lol.

But more seriously if you're stuck on using cast iron then what you can do is buy a temperature gun. Preheat to 390F, drop in the steak. When you lift it to flip, check the temp on the pan under the steak. Make sure it's around 385F or otherwise adjust heat as needed. +/-20F is fine, just shoot for best estimate. This way is more expensive than a regular pan and cheaper than a bluetooth pan. Or sans temp gun you can look for light smoking of olive oil. Which is a little hotter, but oh well. And/or a good strong sizzle when steak hits oil; take it back out and wait if it doesn't.

I'd just use a regular or bluetooth pan though.

lol, looks who's being snooty about pans now. The hotspot thing is real...until you wait another few minutes. Thermal conductivity eventually heats up the whole pan (unfortunately including the handle) and the whole pan becomes ripping hot.

freezeblade wrote:
Velo Steve wrote:It's odd that the sellers of these things perpetuate this myth by including very difficult-sounding instructions. I'm sure some customers just put the pan back on the store shelf and walk away.


Honestly, 95% of cast iron in stores isn't worth buying anyway, as the cooking surface is left rough and pebbly. Cast iron pans and dutch ovens of old have smooth machined surfaces, which create a very good non-stick surface. Put that newly made crap back on the shelf, and get to goodwill or an estate sale for something made pre-1960's or so.
The supply of oldstyle cast iron is decreasing as they got lost, and degrade through disuse. Just grab any of the newer ones that are really heavy. Get a preseasoned one if the cook doesn't want to set up the seasoning. Then they can almost immediately start cooking. The biggest downside is the smoke from seasoning them. Some people hate any smoke. Those are usually the same people who hate flavor, but it's illegal to jail them.


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