Calling all Cast Iron Chefs

When my grandmother died, I found a stack of cast iron in her basement when we were cleaning out her house. They were woefully neglected and covered in dust and grime. I spent a day removing everything and re-seasoning them. This is the end result. Every one of them, with the exception of the top left pan, is from the 40s or 50s. I think one or two were ones her mother passed down to her. They all have a finished surface and everything comes out great. The newly cast pans (I think from the 70s and up?) have the rough surface and more stuff seems to stick. Either way, all my other pans have collected a layer of dust since I got these back to working order. Everything is better with cast iron!
 
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We live in the middle of no where and often loose electricity.  Inside stove is electric.  So made a camp kitchen on the car port with propane burners.  The legs on my pot dangle threw the grill over the burner and there is no problem what so ever.  Originally made a tripod to hold the pot over the burner n remove the grill, but it is a pain in the rear to use and always worried about the legs sliding on the concrete.

Works just fine on the grill.
 

salsalady

Business Member
I did a quick search of this thread and didn't get a hit for Finex, so I'll post up my NEW...yes, that is recently made...Finex CI skillet! (that I got over a year ago!  Sorry if this is a duplicate)
 
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Finex Cast Iron were offered in a Kickstarter that I bought in to a couple years ago.  They are made in Portland OR, and since this first campaign, they have started production of a smaller skillet and a lid for the 12", which I purchased.  They have more items in the queue  
 
This is the first modern cast iron I've seen that has a milled/smooth bottom, and innovative design features like the spiral handle, octagon design and tab on the far side for holding/lifting. 
 
I've had the Finex skillet for about 18 months.  We use it 3 out of 5 times when a CI skillet is needed.  The other CI times are the #8 Chicken Pan, the CI Wok or the CI Dutch Oven for deep frying on rare occasions.  There are still times I use a non-stick, though ( like the 6" egg pan.....). 
 
 
The Finex is a bit spendy.  But it's one of those once in several lifetimes purchases that will be handed down to the next generations.  Like a quality knife or Le Creuset.
 
 
 
 
 

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SL I was considering doing that when they were on the kick start and almost pulled the trigger. By that time I had already collected allot of older CI skillets dated 1904-1940's from Griswold and Wagner. They are definitely high quality CI. 
 

salsalady

Business Member
Virgil and others-
 
It is hard to justify the price of the Finex if you have some OldSchool CI to rock with.  Why I bought into the Kickstarter was because none of the NEW CI pieces I'd purchased panned out, and also because this was the first venture I'd seen to try and re-vamp cast iron and make improvements.  I wanted to help the KS get going and hope that a few years down the road they would produce the "ultimate" CI piece I'm looking for. 
 
I followed their production posts, and it was a total start up with missed deadlines, broken equipment, stuff not working right, re-tooling,  re-vamp of the production with different equipment.....
 
but they made their production goal ( a few months past the target date) and the product delivers.
 
Comparing the new Finex skillet to a comparable sized one from YesterYear-
the cooking/non-stick aspect is about the same.
add in the comfort features of the new Finex skillet handle, the octagon shape, milled bottom, tab on the far-side for holding....Finex Wins for convenience. 
 
SL plus those old gems from yesteryear are hard to find and if you go the eBay route they are really expensive. I would like to see if they develop any other CI in the future and I might pull the trigger. I just have way to many skillets at this time.

I just rocked this 3 gallon CI Dutch Oven today on some Chili. For heat I used fresh jalapeno's and some cayenne pepper.
 
 
 

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Hot blue and righteous.
 
Looks like you also had some tomato paste in there too.
 
Some would call that a sin using it in cast iron.
 
Seasoned CI can handle it just fine.
 
The beans on the other hand.....
 
Well thats a whole 'nuther topic.
 
No matter.
 
SR well done senor!
 
SavinaRed said:
tomato sauce and I use it on my well seasoned CI DO's. I've never had a problem yet.
 
Smart!
 
And the fact that you have some vintage Griswold & Wagner tells me you are in no 
 
need of advice here on how to use 'em.
 
And I'd try a bowl of that bean and chile con carne.
 
It'd be good over some nachos.
 
Ahhhhh nachos.
 
That's Tex-Mex "pizza".
 
Woah dad....
 
I think I just swooned.
 

salsalady

Business Member
Well, I totally Ef-ed up my Finex skillet.
 
I had some pork belly for a TD rendering down and getting all happy-happy.  Thought I turned the burner OFF but turned it a bit too far and the burner was on HIGH.  I ran down to the corner store, and came home to this...in the house on the stove...
 
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Totally carbonized everything, I scraped out the mass formerly known as Pork Belly out.
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I scraped out a bunch with a metal turner, then worked on it a bit with a green scrubby pad with granular dishwashing soap as an abrasive.  It got most of the sticky grease out, but there was carbon stuff on the bottom of the pan.  The SS pastry scraper/blade was able to get everything off the bottom, basically down to original metal with no seasoning. 
 
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Finex website says-
Q: How do I restore my cast iron cookware?
Sometimes bad things happen to good cast iron cookware. First, scrub the inside of your cookware with steel wool. Promptly dry your cookware after washing it (try to avoid soaking the spring handle in water and soap). Lightly coat the inside and outside with the cooking oil of your choice and bake it in the oven at 400º for an hour. If you don’t still see the desired results, feel free to send us an email at cookwithus@finexusa.com.
 
 
I coated the pan with canola oil and into the 400F oven.  After 15 minutes, it was looking like this-
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I did a couple swipes with the paper towel to re-coat the pan and back into the oven.
 
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:banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead: :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:  
I'madumbassdumbassdumbassdumbass......
 
 
 

SmokenFire

Staff Member
Moderator
Business Member
I have burnt more than my fair share of cast iron pans in the past SL.  Try this:  Take a potato, cut it in half lengthwise and then sprinkle it with baking soda.  Scrub the pan with the baking soda'd potato half.  Hard.  If the potato gets too slick slice a bit off and put on more baking soda.  Once you've scrubbed off all the bad stuff simply rinse and re-season.  This has worked for me multiple times, and is especially effective at removing rust on cast iron. 
 

salsalady

Business Member
Thanks SnF.  I've burnt stuff in pans, but usually simmering with water works, maybe the Brillo Pad to get the gunk off the pan.  This one burnt the original seasoning off the pan.   
 
The baking soda and spud trick may be needed to get the burnt taste out of the pan.
 
     I have a lot of cast iron. A lot. I think I have accumulated at least a dozen pieces over the years, not counting presses and lids. Some I bought new, some I got from my grandma, some I bought cheap from antique stores over the years... Until recently, I had no idea that the old stuff was sought after and maybe expensive. I can identify some of the pieces by their cast markings. Lodge, Griswold, Keilen - all easy. A lot of them just have seemingly random letters and numbers or just say 'patent pending". 
     Would any of you CI gurus able to help me ID manufacturers or (rough) production dates based on such info? (I'm looking at you, salsalady and Savina Red.  ;) ) The stuff I use regularly is well seasoned and shiny. Others, not so much. I will accept any and all guff for my bare iron. Pics will follow shortly. 
 

grantmichaels

Extreme Member
I have a little iron cookware snafu of my own going on, but in the form of my Mineral B pan ... which is iron, and has a beeswax coating from the factory, that rusted in my pantry room, which is humid in the Summer =( ...
 
I've been working on that here lately, and am probably going to strip it bare a la SL's pan, and start it from scratch ...
 
In my mission to do so, I found a product via TCF recently, while checking out that Stargazer pan - crisbee pucks ...
 
http://www.crisbeepuck.com/
 
It just so happens mine arrived today, actually ... I bought one from the scratch and dent section for like $10 ...
 
HM01 - anything beyond the scope of folks from these parts, might be within the realm of TCF ...
 
Depending on which social networking/media sites you use:
 
https://www.facebook.com/theculinaryfanatic/
https://twitter.com/jeffrogers01
https://www.instagram.com/theculinaryfanatic/
http://theculinaryfanatic.com/
 
:cheers:
 
PS - he's a nice guy, whom I've contacted before ... very helpful.
 
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