Yes I know. That's why I'm asking. It seems to be 'iron', but not 'cast iron'. I'm with the Texan, not sure about the scientific atttributes. I bought a heavy steel (iron?) round flat pan at the flea market a couple of years ago. It's great for pancakes, french toast, grill cheese sandwiches but it had (notice had) a coating that is now gone and it's become hard to cook on, everything sticks. I think I paid 5$ for it whereas the one at de Buyer is about $90.
We're not getting much traffic here because of the holiday, maybe someone with more knowledge of these things will pop in later and shed some light.
Thanks podster - the pan I'm looking at, the 10" fry pan, is about $90. I don't mind making an investment in good cookware. I've bought lots of teflon pans at $20 or so, they warp, get scratched and need to be replaced. I Googled your phrase "the difference between mineral steel and mineral B steel" and found these...
Formed sheet steel can be heat-treated in the oven with lard/oil/tallow (the way you do cast iron) to build up a good coating, but since it's less porous, the coating can be more fragile. I'd think it would take several treatments before you could sear in it without food sticking. JMO.
Yes, I believe that is true and she was impressed with its even heat capability but what a waste. Gold is so soft. Diamond is also a good heat conductor but silver and copper are the standard I believe. Based on this post, I was trying see the difference between silver and carbon steel but I'm out of my league! I did learn some intereting tidbits about shaving razors and knife blades though. ;-)
I'd say that deBuyer pan is very specifically LOW carbon but again, I'm not sure what feature they are trying to promote.
I know high carbon steel will rust more readily than 'pure' iron. But, from the site below, the melting point of 'pure' iron IS about 300degC higher than grey cast iron (1530C vs 1230C respectively) - so, if some chef is using an oxy-propane or oxy-nat.gas or some other boosted fire source for cooking, I guess he might need those xtra 300degsC !
I have 4 cast iron skillets a 12" with cast iron lid, two 10" and an 8".
The 8" and one 10" I bought during my batchelor days over 60 years ago. The other two were inherited rom my Mother, and would be at least 30 years older. Being a klutz, they have seen their share of mistreatment, including occasional overheating. No breaks or chips. And, when properly seasoned ( a simple task), nothing ever sticks, and you can use any utensil any old way without dmaging the "coating:. Also, used reasonalby properly, they are nebver washed! Just wiped lean with a sponge, cloth, or aper towel, and maybe rinsed with just water, NO SOAP!
Searing meat? There is no better way!!
Cooking a nice steak? Simply place it in a hot, DRY, cast iron skillet for a couple of minutes on a side: looks and tastes atr leat asws good a if it had been grilled. Run a finger dampened with a drop of liquid smoke over the raw meat first and it tastes like it had been charbroiled.
If you mess up and either wash it with soap or overheat it, destroying the seasoned surface, then simply put it in a self-cleaning oven, then rinse and dry it, wet a folded paper towel with oil and wipe it over all surfaces of the pan, then heat over medium flame until it just begins to smoke, and let it cool. Nothing will stick. As time goes by and more oil/fat/grease is cooked in it, the coating will sontinue to improve even more.
A beef stew made in a cast iron skillet (or pot) simply tastes better. As does most anything cooked with cast iron!
I've got a work-horse of a 12" cast iron skillet that goes from searing pork chops to baking a chocolate cake in no time flat; no stick, no mess, and my cake doesn't taste like pork chops! =) I dearly love my cast iron!!
I use a food-grade mineral oil to keep it seasoned.
I own a deBuyer pan, its worth the investment if you love cast iron and want something similar. I treat it exactly like my cast iron as well... And try not to cry when my MIL scrubbed all the seasoning off - to clean it- " so it would be shiny again" :/
amxntransplant, do you not scrub the cookware at all? Just wipe with a damp paper towel? My cookware is brown around the top edges but I've been scrubbing with a non-soap type pad - like those dark green ones - to remove debris. I'm afraid I'm like your m-i-l, and want shiny. Is there a 12-step program? ;-)
Mary, I NEVER scrub my cast iron cookware... If it starts to get a build-up of what looks like cooked-on detritus, I may occasionally take a metal spatula to scrape it off and then re-season it. I figure the high heat kills any possible pathogens.
I've been using cast iron skillets for many, many years.
One should never use soap on them. When they get a build-up, simply run very hot water into the pan and wipe dry with a paper towel. Sometimes you will need to reseason the pan, but mine get a thick enough coating, that this is rarely necessary.
I used to own a self cleaning oven, and once in awhile would put a cast iron skillet, (up-side-down) into the oven when set on "self clean". You WILL have to reseason the pan if you do this.
Here's a link for Lodge, with their recommended method of seasoning their products:
I actually, regularly, use my scrubbie sponge on my cast iron, and it's still in great shape. I make sure it's soap-free, of course, and I clean it while it's under straight hot running water, but it really only just gets "wiped", for the most part, with the scrubbie thingie. (and yes, I use the rough scrubbie side). The skillet is still a happy glowing black. :)
[quote="MaryMcP"]amxntransplant, do you not scrub the cookware at all? Just wipe with a damp paper towel? My cookware is brown around the top edges but I've been scrubbing with a non-soap type pad - like those dark green ones - to remove debris. I'm afraid I'm like your m-i-l, and want shiny. Is there a 12-step program? ;-)[/quote]
:) LOL. I do use a scrubber on it when necessary - the difference is she uses soap and steel wool. She literally scrubs the seasoning off. The one I own is the one referenced in the OP - iron cookware, a deBuyer pan. Is that what you have?
If I clean it while its hot, a spatula and hot water will get all debris off. I usually run my fingers over the cooking service (AFTER it has cooled from the sink water LOL) . And if it feels smooth and slick - again still with seasoning- then I dry it with a towel, through it on stove and re oil on low for a short time. If nit, a regular green scrubby like you described with hot water does the trick. ALSO I love to put the pan back on the stove and boil a couple inches of water in it if something boils, THEN use a spatula to scrape out burnt parts, but doesnt unseason it to the same extent as the steel wool/soap/MIL treatment ;)
When I have kept my MIL away from it for long enough it becomes brown on the entire inside of thepan. Then she washes it and its back to the silver color. Lol. I notice every time she washes it, it suddenly starts burning all the food and sticking like crazy. Wonder why? ;) (I know why, that was sarcasm!) She refuses to use the pan, thats partially why ;) that and its super heavy.
I clean my cast iron pans the same way, I noticed many people posted links and thoughts on that so I wont beat a dead horse.
eta: i dont use a spatula/hot water every time, just to clarify. Only when things have burnt - which is more often than normal because someone unseasons my pan for me ;) NORMAL cleanup includes nothing more than a wipe down with a papertowel.
AMEN to that!! I've got this DH that loves to try to help in the kitchen... heh heh, when he does dishes, everything goes into the dishwasher except what he's learned over the years not to touch (giggle); all THAT stuff is left in a little pile for me. =) It makes me giggle every time he cleans up the kitchen, seeing my little "pile" there waiting for me. < =D
Thanks for your detailed reply amxntransplant. Yes, deBuyer pans, I have two. Large (10 or 12") and the small crepe pan, mostly for eggs. I've been gentler on them since my post above and they are already browning up a bit. I try to clean them when they are still hot too, under hot running water, wipe with paper towel. Then warm the pan a bit and add some mineral oil.
Hi there Mary. :) I also use a food-grade mineral oil in mine, I apply it with an old dish washing cloth. Then, I store the pan away **with** the (oiled) cloth laying flat across the bottom, then my "flattening lid" thingie on top of that. (It's just a round piece of metal with a knob on it, used to weigh down burgers and flatten them without using a spatula). It all sort of keeps dusty bits from getting into my freshly oiled skillet. :)
Oh goodness, I know just what you mean about cabinet space being at a premium, YIKES! You should see mine... then again, maybe not. ;) But, I actually use the drawer in the bottom of my range to store all my skillets, that helps a lot!
There are certain things in my kitchen my hubby is not allowed to "clean" - cast iron skillets, knives and steak knives in the wooden block. I also have a bread knife that I had to literally write "bread only" on the handle to keep him from using/cleaning it. I keep it in it's own drawer - it cost me an arm-and-a-leg way back in the 80's, goodness knows how much it would be to replace it now if I had to.
I also have stainless steel muffin pans, various pots, and cookie sheets that are off limits to hubby. I've told my daughter I will leave them to her in my Will.
Honeybee, Hmmmm, now you've got me wondering what else a bread knife could be used for. I've either got absolutely no imagination whatsoever, or I'm far to anal about my kitchen tools. ;)
How do you like your stainless steel muffin pans? Are they easy to clean? I've thought about getting either stainless steel ones or cast iron, can't make up my mind, but I'll be needing new ones really soon.
Oooooh, and my cookie sheets!! Those are practically stored in a sealed vault!! LOL! Nothing ever touches those but parchment paper. Period. =) (OK, and the pot holders too, heh heh).
speediebean - hubby thought the bread knife was fair game for anything that could be cut/sliced with a knife!
I use liquid soy lecithin to coat stainless steel muffin (and other pans.) I purchase mine from a local health food store. It will make any pan "non-stick" but it does tend to burn at high temperatures. It's particularly useful for glass bread pans. Fresh baked bread just falls out of the pan.
I have found cookie sheets useful to freeze chopped onions. Chop the onions, place in a single layer on cookie sheet. Place in freezer. When frozen, quickly transfer to freezer bags and place in freezer. When you need onions, it's easy to remove just the amount of frozen onions needed, and the rest can be placed back into the freezer for "next time."
honeybee, thanks for the tip on lecithin, I'll look for it in my local health food store.
[quote]Chop the onions, place in a single layer on cookie sheet. Place in freezer. When frozen, quickly transfer to freezer bags and place in freezer. When you need onions, it's easy to remove just the amount of frozen onions needed, and the rest can be placed back into the freezer for "next time."[/quote]
I do something similar with the abundant pepper harvest in fall/early winter. But I don't leave the diced pieces separate, like I will do for individual roasted Hatch chilies, so I can grab just one if that's all I need. I stuff about 2 cups of the diced jalapeno's into a quart size freezer ziploc, smush out all the air and zip closed. Then I just break off a piece of what I need in the recipe. Works reallly well.
I slice (or chop) and then dehydrate onions, shallots, mushrooms, celery, tomatoes, summer squash and a few other veggies, esp. those I can reconstitute to use in a soup/stew. I live in a very wooded area where power outages are common in winter weather, so I prefer NOT to depend on my freezers.
That turned out to be a good strategy since we were without power for several days a week ago, and then again (but just overnight) 2 days ago.
Lecithin is an important phospholipid for our bodies, and Adele Davis (http://www.betternutrition.com/lecithin/columns/askthenaturopath/939) highly touted lecithin. However, I won't buy or use what's generally available anymore, my reasons being the source (GMO soybeans) and extraction methods. I prefer to get my necessary lecithin from egg yolks, milk and some seafoods.
Lecithin is now generally extracted chemically (using hexane, ethanol, acetone, petroleum ether, benzene etc.) but it used to be extracted mechanically. It is available from sources such as soy beans, eggs, milk, marine sources, rapeseed (canola), cottonseed and sunflower.
However, I doubt you could "season" a pan with egg yolks, so I continue to use my real home-rendered lard or tallow.
I checked out the link to the Liquid Lecithin and I had some of the same questions that you mentioned Darius, and that some of the reviewers posed in amazon. I can remember back when I was a young teen, my Dad had me taking Lecithin granules (for my psoriasis).. yeuucchhh!!! (and it never helped either, sheesh!). Anyway, that was a long long time ago, and I'm sure we didn't have the GMO issues that we have now... but for seasoning pans, I use food-grade mineral oil; I wonder how, or if, that would work for stainless steel. I use it for my cast iron, and I've got quite a bit left in the bottle (it doesn't take much!). And, I don't render my own tallow or lard. =/
Honeybee or Darius, your thoughts on the mineral oil for stainless steel?
speediebean, I can only tell you that after several years of health problems from exposure to environmental toxins, I've become very narrowly focused in my selection of things I ingest (where possible).
Since mineral oil is a distillate of petroleum, whether food grade or not, I won't use it. Would you eat motor oil, no matter how pure?
As far as rendering lard or tallow... no matter where you live in Maryland, it is a short drive to the Amish area in southern PA where you can get enough real pork lard or beef tallow for a year or more that's not contaminated, if you don't want to bother rendering some yourself. Keep it in the freezer.
But in NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you buy the packaged lard or Crisco vegetable shortening found on the grocery store shelves. The problem with "vegetable oils" is that they are mostly composed of polyunsaturated fats (the most highly reactive type of fat) which leaves them prone to oxidation and free radical production when exposed to heat and light.
Processed polyunsaturated oils are the most inflammatory inside our bodies because of their high reactivity to heat and light. This inflammation is what causes many of our internal problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases.
When I was a kid I think those oils and fats on the shelf might have been decent products (not as good as Grandma made, but much healthier than what's available now). Today they are all processed with high heat (becoming trans-fats) and simply add to our health problems.
[quote="MaryMcP"]Thanks for your detailed reply amxntransplant. Yes, deBuyer pans, I have two. Large (10 or 12") and the small crepe pan, mostly for eggs. I've been gentler on them since my post above and they are already browning up a bit. I try to clean them when they are still hot too, under hot running water, wipe with paper towel. Then warm the pan a bit and add some mineral oil.
Appreciate the feedback.[/quote]
Just wanted to be sure, since people were mentioning their pans always being black (which would be cast iron) ... Wanted to be sure I wasnt in the middle of the wrong conversation LOL!!
And WOW. You have TWO. (color me jealous!) I really really want a crepe pan. (And actually for crepes!) Do you love the deBuyer for a crepe pan or do you suggest another material for that? I have a stainless steel one that I use for crepes currently , but the sides are so high (it is not a crepe pan) that flipping the crepes isnt as ey as it could be.