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Old 08-20-2009, 05:10 PM  
Dinny Blues Dinny Blues is offline
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Cast Iron Cookware Questions

I read somewhere on the internet (so it has to be true) that if you are going to use tomatoes in the pot of gruel you're whompin' up, you should avoid black cast iron dutch ovens and skillets. They suggest enameled cast iron.

Is this blasphemy or some other kind of hooey?

And if I am using enameled cast iron, am I using cast iron?

I have been shopping cast iron cookware, focusing on large dutch ovens. I have a few black skillets that I love that I use for frying.

I just want an ~8-12 quart cast iron dutch oven, and need advice on the enameled/tomato thing.

Thanks in advance, sorry if repost.

Dinny
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:15 PM   #2
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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The acid in the tomatoes can leach out the iron. It'll give the tomatoes a metallic taste. Use enameled if you're wanting to cook anything acidic in cast iron.

Even enameled cast iron is superior to non cast iron.

I love cast iron. Love. Love, love, love.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:16 PM   #3
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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On another note, once you've got a really well seasoned cast iron dutch oven, the acid in tomatoes won't be a problem. Cook away.





On a completely unrelated note, you should feel free to use tomatoes when doing a dutch rudder, or double dutch rudder.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:25 PM   #4
Dinny Blues Dinny Blues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
On another note, once you've got a really well seasoned cast iron dutch oven, the acid in tomatoes won't be a problem. Cook away.





On a completely unrelated note, you should feel free to use tomatoes when doing a dutch rudder, or double dutch rudder.
Nobody knows what a double dutch rudder is.

Dinny
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Go to 1:05.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfQk34rY6ck
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
orangeuawitch orangeuawitch is offline
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So many of the old cooking styles are obsolete now. Who needs a double dutch rudder?
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:40 PM   #7
RJ RJ is offline
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I'm cooking a pot roast as we speak in a Le Creuset 7 qt. enameled dutch oven. FMB thinks Le Creuset is overpriced and he may be right (I got this piece in a sales promotion) but this really is a remarkable piece of cookware. Even, consistent heat, very durable and cleans up easily.

I usually put tomatoes in a midwestern chili that I make in a regular cast iron dutch oven, haven't detected any metallic taste. Might be different with a marinara sauce, though. In chili the tomato flavor is surrounded by lots of other stuff.

If there is a World Market store in your area, I've seen some reasonably priced enameled cast iron there.

http://www.worldmarket.com/home/index.jsp
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:17 PM   #8
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ View Post
I'm cooking a pot roast as we speak in a Le Creuset 7 qt. enameled dutch oven. FMB thinks Le Creuset is overpriced and he may be right (I got this piece in a sales promotion) but this really is a remarkable piece of cookware. Even, consistent heat, very durable and cleans up easily.

I usually put tomatoes in a midwestern chili that I make in a regular cast iron dutch oven, haven't detected any metallic taste. Might be different with a marinara sauce, though. In chili the tomato flavor is surrounded by lots of other stuff.

If there is a World Market store in your area, I've seen some reasonably priced enameled cast iron there.

http://www.worldmarket.com/home/index.jsp
Le Creuset is great, there's no doubt. But if you'd bought that dutch over outright you'd probably have spent $230. While Lodge is not as good, it is still very good, and at $50 for essentially the same thing comes out to be a superior product. At least that's my opinion.

And I'll add that Cooks Illustrated backs me up on that. They rated Le Creuset as the best performing cast iron, with 3 stars across the board, and "highly recommended." They rated Lodge, available at Wal-Mart and Target, with 3 stars across the board, and the "clear winner" because of the price difference. It was also rated as "highly recommended" above the Le Creuset.

Now, if I had the opportunity to get Le Creuset even at double the price of Lodge, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. But, I'll take a somewhat lesser product for a fraction of the cost and be happy.

You seriously should be able to buy a good enameled cast iron from Target or Wal-Mart for $50 or thereabouts.

All cast iron has even cooking. Heat absorption/retention quality is a trait of the metal because of its mass. I've used "really" cheap cast iron that had better and more consistent heating than $70 pans.

Plus, you gotta love that cast iron will literally outlive you. Every time I'm at a flea market or a garage sale I'm looking for cast iron. Not only will it last forever, the stuff that 50-60 years old usually has 50-60 years of seasoning on. That shit makes car batteries taste good.

For a pot roast, I would personally use a regular cast iron dutch oven, if it were available. Something like that with just a little braising liquid would help season a good piece of cast iron cookware.

Like I said before, if your cast iron is seasoned well at all, the light acidity from tomatoes wouldn't do anything, so that's probably why you've never tasted the difference. When I first got into cast iron I did a tomato salsa Santa Fe chili sort of thing with a brand new pan and could definitely sense the metallic taste. Now, I'd cook just about anything in my cast iron. The seasoning on them kicks ass.

I still use my cast iron a lot, but I've most recently gotten into using carbon steel pans. Fell in love with a carbon steel wok, and the cookware is sturdy as hell, cheap as it gets, and professional quality.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:20 PM   #9
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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I think if it is seasoned well, it should be fine.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:37 PM   #10
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FMB is The Man when it comes to cast iron.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:41 PM   #11
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I'm going to make some oven roux in my cast iron skillet on Saturday. GUMBO FTW!
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:02 PM   #12
RJ RJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
I'm going to make some oven roux in my cast iron skillet on Saturday. GUMBO FTW!


Explain oven roux whenever you have the time, please.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:18 PM   #13
Gonzo Gonzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinny Blues View Post
Nobody knows what a double dutch rudder is.

Dinny
I gave Lumpy a double dutch oven the other night...

(but that's a completely different conversation)
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:19 PM   #14
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FMB! saw it on Alton Brown and mentioned it on another thread. This will be the first time I've tried it, but it's got to beat stirring for 45 min.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a...ipe/index.html

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:26 PM   #15
Fried Meat Ball! Fried Meat Ball! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ View Post
FMB is The Man when it comes to cast iron.
It's an obsession. I'm OK with that.

If it can be cooked in cast iron, it should be cooked in cast iron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcox View Post
I'm going to make some oven roux in my cast iron skillet on Saturday. GUMBO FTW!
Let me know how that turns out. I still haven't tried it, but that may be a Sunday chore. I love me some gumbo.
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