What!?! Use metal utensils and soap on my Dutch Oven!?! You better believe it. - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 12-21-2016   #1
 
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Eugene, Oregon
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What!?! Use metal utensils and soap on my Dutch Oven!?! You better believe it.

Some science to quiet my buddy down who always freaks out when I use a metal spatula on the cast iron. The soap info is new to me though. Sweet.


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Old 12-21-2016   #2
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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a couple comments on the video.

I grew up on a one mule two cow farm in North GA. My Mom cooked on cast iron fry pans all my life. And the food was great especially the corn bread. I never saw my Mom wash her fry pans and other cook gear in anything but hot soapy water with a good rinse after the wash. And she used her fry pans multiple times a day just about every day.

I have a bunch of cast iron Dutch Ovens and really do like to cook in them. I rarely wash them as I mostly bake in them and just wipe out and lightly oil them.

Since GSI hard anodized came out, that is the dutch oven's I cook with 90 percent of the time. The ability to wash and dry in the river dish wash train is why. They Do not hold heat like the cast iron, but you learn to adjust and the light weight and ability to wash like normal gear makes GSI my DO of choice these days.

I took a Cee Dub DO seminar and he had Lodge units that looked like black glass on the cook surfaces. Said many were left over from his early days along the middle fork in Idaho. A further exam by me into his pickup storage area revealed several GSI units that looked well used. Butch allowed he did use his GSI units on a lot of personal trips due to the light weight. Even with my seasoned cast iron or GSI I always spray the inside with PAM - we group cooked for three days with Butch's cast iron and never sprayed anything and zero sticking.

I used to use vegetable or seed oils but here lately use the Camp Chef stuff to oil my cast iron. Main reason is I store cast iron for a long time between use. Camp Chef oil is supposed to not go sour in long storage.

I switched over to wood spoons, scrapers etc for all my cooking gear along with the plastic flippers as well. I have scratched my GSI stuff and aluminum as well with metal utensils and find wood works really well for me. Going back to my Mom's cooking on cast iron, she used metal utensils and the few pans I retrieved from the barn when she passed on have solid glass like surfaces. Due to the decades of daily use she did is my guess why.

I do not recommend doing what ever seasoning routine a person uses in the Wife's oven. I did that one time, smoked up the house and got the message ASAP to not ever do that again else suffer greatly. My propane BBQ grill has a cover. What I do is use that covered grill to "cure" any cast iron I find and restore. My name is Dave and I am a cast iron addict. Doing my best to pass up rural yard sales, but that is difficult.
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Old 12-21-2016   #3
 
Cd'A, Idaho
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You can ask ten people how to care for cast iron cookwear and you'll get eleven different answers.
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Old 12-21-2016   #4
 
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I've used the GSI Hard Anodized aluminum DO's on a few trips and they work great. I was paranoid about scratching the coating, but the owner of the DO's said not to worry about it and using a metal spatula to scrape off stuck on food was fine. He wasn't wrong, and I scraped pretty well. I still wouldn't go out of my way to do it, and I defintely wouldn't use a steel scrubby on it...but its more durable then you would think.

I've never proscribed to the "no soap" school of Cast Iron. I would get the hard core abrasive pads/scrubbers out, but a bit of soap isn't gonna ruin it. I've had people freak out on my about it though.

After watching the video in the first post, it linked to a few about sanding the roughness off of a new cast iron skillet or DO. I seem to remember reading that a lot of the older Lodge or similar cast iron stuff used to come with a much smoother finish that is more desirable from a non stick standpoint. It seems legit to me, and I'm kinda tempted to try it on the cast iron skillet I have. It takes more time to get the seasoning back up since you are starting completely from scratch, but starting with a nice smooth surface seems like a good way to go.

I've also wanted to take a whack at making my own Partner Steel DO or cookware. Buy some aluminum plate, weld it up, and then send it off to get hard anodized. I'd even be interested in figuring out the process myself, though I hear that Hard Anodizing is more involved then the standard style since you need to keep it cool and within a steady temperature range.
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Old 12-22-2016   #5
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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Nice video, but I know many folks that would dispute some of those "facts", or "fictions" really...

I was a NO SOAP guy for a long time, but I've converted over the past few years... You won't find my scrubbing with a scotch pad AND soap, at least not very hard but I do give them a quick wash.

As for smooth - the best cast piece I've ever had was an old '40's Wagner that was smooth as glass. Nothing stuck to that thing. It was a gift and was rusty when I got it. I cleaned it up roughly like described in the vid, seasoned it several times in a row and never looked back... until it cracked several years ago (like 10 years into my stewardship). I still have no idea why it happened - very sad day.

I've since sanded several others, usually that were very rusty. Cast Iron is HARD and very difficult to sand, plan on spending a lot of time sanding but I do think it's well worth the effort.

I'm hoping for a GSI from Santa my self... We had some on our fall MF trip and they were very nice and sooo light.

Lastly, I too would love to try my hand at making Partner style AL pieces. rectangular just makes so much sense in boating... I just need the equipment to do the welding - Santa?
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Old 12-22-2016   #6
 
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Hi,

My mother undertook to clean and improve some of her dad's semi rusty cast iron by having it sand blasted.

Not good.

It cleaned it up beautifully, but also removed all the stuff filling in the granular metallic surface of the pan.

Shiny but sandpaper rough. It took me uncounted oil/heat cycles to restore a useable cooking surface, filling in all those granular cavities.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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Old 12-23-2016   #7
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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I purchased a GSI hard anodized 12 in DO soon after they came on the retail market. Liked it big time.

Might be just me but I baked up a DO of Brownies. Wanting to cut down on dish washing I used a regular eating type knife out of the cook kit to cut the brownies while still in the DO. I use that DO a lot and it still has the checkerboard outline of those brownies scratched in the bottom.

That experience prompted me to go to either wooden, bamboo or plastic cook utensils on all of my pots and pans. I do not stress out if some one does use metal in my GSI but do not cut anything in the DO.

Some one posted, ask ten different DO cookers about anything and you will get eleven different opinions. Or words to that effect. I have found this to be true most of the time. I have also found that these opinions have worked for them. Bottom line for me is people have been doing DO style cooking for more centuries than I can count and there is a lot to learn even now.

Several posts mentioned Partner Steel cook gear. My opinion is that gear is top of the line. Based on posts in this msg board, I contacted Partner and ordered one of their "lasagna" pans. Very similar to the griddles but has edges like a pan. I am really looking forward to using this pan next warm weather boating season to cook breakfast spuds, green beans any thing for a large group that needs to be stirred around while cooking. The griddles are great for things like pancakes but not so good for some other items.

No matter what the topic I enjoy and learn from msg's posted on this board. Keep it going !
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Old 12-23-2016   #8
 
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[QUOTE=okieboater;Several posts mentioned Partner Steel cook gear. My opinion is that gear is top of the line. Based on posts in this msg board, I contacted Partner and ordered one of their "lasagna" pans. Very similar to the griddles but has edges like a pan. I am really looking forward to using this pan next warm weather boating season to cook breakfast spuds, green beans any thing for a large group that needs to be stirred around while cooking. The griddles are great for things like pancakes but not so good for some other items.

No matter what the topic I enjoy and learn from msg's posted on this board. Keep it going ![/QUOTE]

Perfect for breakfast Burritos , I'll bring the green chili.
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Old 12-24-2016   #9
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I,,,
Always use a metal spatula
Never use soap
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Old 12-24-2016   #10
 
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I scrub mine with steel wool like my grand ma did for 70 years they are smooth and don't stick. If i forget the steel wool then I use soap and a cloth and hot water. I dry them after the wash and heat em up to keep rust from starting.
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