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BEV1616 Posts: 370
11/9/10 6:39 A

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Ani, thanks for the detailed info!!! I will give it a whirl! :)

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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
11/8/10 10:42 A

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Cast iron is wonderful and not hard at all. The difficulty that scares people is in how to clean them. Think about this. When you heat up your cast iron skillet all the bacteria is killed. You don't need soap. Soap and detergent will ruin the seasoning that you are trying to build up on your cast iron pan.

If the pans haven't been used for a long time rinse them out with hot water (NO SOAP!), wipe them dry with a clean cloth, put them on a burner over med heat, let them heat up pretty hot, drizzle a bit of oil on, wipe it all over the cooking surface with a paper towel and let the pan cool. When it is cool wipe it down again with a paper towel to make sure there isn't any loose oil left and put the pan away or leave it out with a towel draped over it to protect from dust. Keeping your cast iron in the oven is a great way to keep it clean and ready to go and out of the way--unless you are using your oven several times a day. In that case it might be a hassle to be removing them and putting them back all the time. You can also leave them on top of your stove upside down.

If you use your cast iron for "healthy Sauté" then you will have to re-oil it every time because water cooking will destroy the seasoning and expose your pan to rust. You see, that nice layer of oil that continues to work itself into the iron over time needs to be left to do just that.

After use, depending on the state of the seasoning, you often don't even have to wash the pan. Just add a tiny bit of oil to the pan while it is still hot,wipe out well with a paper towel or newspaper and put it away. Honestly, the high heat of cooking will kill the germs. If stuff is stuck on the pan, run hot water over it, scrub with something rough like a scrubby pad or gently pick or scrape it off with a spatula (avoid metal scrubby pads unless you have those wonderful soft metal flash pads). If this happens make sure you oil the pan well, put it back on the burner for just a few minutes over med/low heat (DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN WHILE THIS IS HAPPENING--YOU DON'T WANT TO ACCIDENTALLY FORGET YOUR PAN IS ON THE HOT BURNER!) Of course, if you do accidentally do this all you have to do is re-season the pan which will be a bummer if you have been building up a nice layer of seasoning on it--you will have to start all over again!. When the pan is nice and hot, wipe it with paper and let it cool.

Really, these things only take seconds and you might just find that taking care of cast iron cookware is a whole lot easier than other types of cookware.

The only drawback to the iron stuff is that it is heavy so if you have wrist/arm problems it might not work for you. On the other hand, you can cook and get an upper body workout at the same time...lol

Do these things and in no time you will have a set of beautiful shiny, black, well-seasoned iron skillets sitting in your kitchen. It will make you feel so...so...culinary!

Edited by: ANIDUCK at: 11/8/2010 (10:47)
Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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BEV1616 Posts: 370
11/8/10 7:02 A

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I use a great set of stainless steel pots and pans that were my grandmothers....in perfect shape, they look new and she used them everyday. I also have 2 of her cast iron skillets....and don't laugh, but I don't use them because I don't want to ruin them! I know I need to get comfortable with using them...but I'm not accustomed to cast iron cooking and I keep thinking that I'll totally mess them up.

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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
11/8/10 12:29 A

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The smooth glass top range I have is the first and the only one I'll probably ever have. It has been pretty well abused; scuffed, burnt, scorched by me and my dh but it still looks really good when I take the time to clean it with that special cleaner stuff. I don't do that very often because I don't care if it looks a bit scruffy. As long as it works well I'm good.
Maybe there are different quality glass stove tops; I don't know. this one was on sale and pretty cheap when we needed a range and decided to try it. Personally I don't like it because it takes so long to heat up and cool down. When I make rice I have to turn on one of the back burners to low while I bring the rice to boil on the front burner so when it does boil I can just move it to the back burner to cook.

I do miss using my iron cookware. It's in storage, all seasoned and ready to go for when I get a gas or propane stove. Some of my pieces I have had for 35 to 45 years.

Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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ADAPTABLE_ELLEN's Photo ADAPTABLE_ELLEN Posts: 6,709
11/7/10 7:20 P

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Thanks for the info Ani. I recently learned to brown pork chops and then simmer them in a bit of apple juice to get the part by the bone cooked without drying out the rest of the chop. Water, juice or broth should solve my veggie problems too.

When I had a regular stove, I forgot the plastic baby bottles that were sterilizing in the stainless soup pot. I woke up to the smoke alarm and the pot was filled with blackened melted plastic. I put out the flames, tossed the whole thing in the sink and filled it with cold water. The next morning, the plastic lifted right out and I still have the pan. The bottom is still flat enough to use on the cooktop, but I use the crockpot more often now. When I win the lottery, I'll buy us both at set of Earth Chef, just don't hold your breath. :)

My husband has destroyed one glass cooktop and scratched the second. I got the first one when he burned up the kitchen, so he's totally destroyed two stoves and is working on his third. He's limited to mostly cooking on the grill and isn't allowed to have lighter fluid or propane!

I have some pears and apples ready to cook and a bit of leftover apple juice. I think we'll have a fruit dessert to go with the crab stuffed zucchini!

Remember, nobody can go back to the very beginning and make a brand new start, but anyone can start here and make a brand new end.

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results."

Ellen


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ANIDUCK's Photo ANIDUCK Posts: 10,845
11/7/10 6:48 P

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It's pretty hard to scratch a glass smooth top range even with cast iron. the main problem with cast iron that I found out about is that cast iron, when it gets older will buckle across the bottom like some thinner types of stainless steel and copper will do. this creates air space between the burner and the pot so you get uneven heating which I find very frustrating. If you have a smooth top range you will get best results from very sturdy, super flat cookware. I think Laura's got the very best you can buy and some day, when I'm rich (hahahah) I'm going to get me some. In the mean time I will use my very heavy bottomed (and very flat) restaurant quality stainless. I actually love my pans and find they work very well and clean up in a jiffy even when I've browned meat at a high heat in them. They are amazing!

Also, I really use VERY little oil in cooking on the stove top. I cook almost all my veggies and even reheat things like meat loaf or cooked rice in a little bit of water. The guy on the "World's Healthiest Foods" website calls this "healthy sauté". I didn't know it had a name!! I've been "sautéing" foods in water for a long time--I love it. Add a bit of lemon juice and s&p to the water and it makes your veggies pop! Drizzle a bit of olive oil over on the plate and yum!

You can do apple or pear slices that way with a bit of cinnamon and...whatever and you've got an instant dessert. No oil needed.

Hospitals are terrific for traumatic care; for acute care. They do a really, really good job in saving lives when it’s a sudden bleeding emergency. But in terms of chronic care, they’re terrible; (that is) in terms of the illnesses that most people have, endure, that cost the most money, that last the longest and ultimately die from. -Dr. Andrew Saul


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ADAPTABLE_ELLEN's Photo ADAPTABLE_ELLEN Posts: 6,709
11/7/10 2:49 P

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I'll have to give it a try on mine. It's pretty scratched up anyway, so couldn't make it any worse! I have a few pieces in the rv which has a propane stove. The griddle does make excellent pancakes.

Remember, nobody can go back to the very beginning and make a brand new start, but anyone can start here and make a brand new end.

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results."

Ellen


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ELECTRALYTE's Photo ELECTRALYTE Posts: 10,207
11/7/10 2:38 P

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I use cast iron on my smooth top, doesn't hurt it.

“it's been up to me to inspire me.”
~ Eric Clapton ~

"Atheism is a non-prophet
organization"
~George Carlin~

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
~Jimi Hendrix~

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
~John Lennon~

70 lbs. done!


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ADAPTABLE_ELLEN's Photo ADAPTABLE_ELLEN Posts: 6,709
11/7/10 12:00 P

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Thanks. Amazon has a few Earthchef products and they are priced similar to Cuisinart and Greenpan, which are also ceramic, but not great non-stick pans. I added one to my wishlist and maybe I can catch a deal. I'll also be watching for deals at Kohl's.

Triple ply stainless can be dangerous if you get the heat too high and my husband only knows two settings - High and Off, so I've avoided those.

AllClad is great, but super pricey as is Le Crueset. Plus they both started manufacturing in China, so the trust factor is zero.

Remember, nobody can go back to the very beginning and make a brand new start, but anyone can start here and make a brand new end.

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results."

Ellen


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FIT_ARTIST's Photo FIT_ARTIST SparkPoints: (110,603)
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11/7/10 11:17 A

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I use EarthChef. It's a ceramic coated non-stick surface. Completely natural and toxic free.
Stainless is a less expensive option. Or glass. And cast iron. Although they aren't non-stick

www.earthchef.ca/aboutEarthChef.html

Edited by: FIT_ARTIST at: 11/7/2010 (12:31)
~Laura

"If it tastes good; Spit it out!" ~ Jack Lalanne

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ADAPTABLE_ELLEN's Photo ADAPTABLE_ELLEN Posts: 6,709
11/7/10 10:52 A

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Gosh, I had a great set of stainless years ago, but the bottoms weren't flat enough to use on the glass cooktop. They're buried somewhere in the basement.

So how much oil do you have to use to cook an omelet? Will cooking spray be good enough?

I go back and forth on whether it's worth it or not to use oils to cook with. Cutting back on oil/butter for cooking does eliminate a lot of calories.

Remember, nobody can go back to the very beginning and make a brand new start, but anyone can start here and make a brand new end.

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results."

Ellen


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MISS_BETH12's Photo MISS_BETH12 Posts: 3,982
11/7/10 10:39 A

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Ok we rent so we don't have a smooth top. LOL However, regardless, we use stainless steel. I got a really nice set as a wedding gift from my mom and I love them. They require a little extra care than nonstick, but totally worth it!

Edited by: MISS_BETH12 at: 11/8/2010 (10:26)
"Fall 7 times, get up 8." ~Chinese Proverb


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A*L*P*'s Photo A*L*P* SparkPoints: (70,443)
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11/7/10 9:56 A

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I also have a smoothtop stove and have gone with just stainless steel. I don't think any of the nonstick stuff is worth it. I would also love to go with cast iron but don't think it is good for the smooth top. I really want a gas stove and as soon as that happens, I am going 100% cast iron!

But until then, I would say to just go with stainless.

*Amber*
~ALP for the BLC~


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FERNCREST Posts: 761
11/7/10 8:19 A

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I use the cookware from the food network, it works really well. My cooktop is glass also but is a convection which means I have to use pans that are magnetic since it works on magnetism. But the stuff is great from the food network. You can get it at Bed Bath and Beyond or Kohls.

ADAPTABLE_ELLEN's Photo ADAPTABLE_ELLEN Posts: 6,709
11/7/10 7:27 A

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Unfortunately, I'm sitting in front of the tv watching paid programming. There are a couple of new non-stick cookware products that are supposed to be safe.

What pans are you using?

I've tried the "Green" pan that Target sells and it crowns and lost it's non-stickiness pretty quickly. Also tried Cuisinart's version which is not dishwasher safe. It is a much heavier pan, so crowning isn't a problem, but even though it's been hand washed, it too lost its non-stickiness very quickly.

My stove is a glass cooktop, so I don't think cast iron is an option.

Remember, nobody can go back to the very beginning and make a brand new start, but anyone can start here and make a brand new end.

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results."

Ellen


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