My old Lodge chicken roasting pan bakes sourdough loaves, pizza and fries chicken

I gave my mother my treasured 5-quart Lodge deep skillet and lid when I found a lovely antique to restore. I've been using it while visiting with them.

It was no easy thing when I gave my Mom my Lodge chicken pan. I had been using it for ages as my primary skillet and perfected fried chicken in it, as many of my colleagues here at Boing Boing will attest.

I have been instructed that his style skillet be called a chicken ROASTING pan and the lid's stalactite-like points are what makes it a 'self-basting' lid. Evidently 1 roaster size chicken (3-5lbs iirc) will fit in it, and with the lid on the bird will roast up nice and juicy.

I have never done this. I bought it to fry chicken. I learned it was awesome for frying eggs, bacon, pancake and sauteeing things. It became the most used item in my kitchen. Then I started baking in it like a Dutch Oven.

The Lodge ended its daily use, however, when I found a larger Wagner pan at the Goodwill and restored it. I started baking in my dutch oven. It is a bit easier to maneuver. When cast iron sits and isn't used, it needs to be used and this pan was truly special. I tried alternating between it and my Wagner, but the extra space and smoother finish of the Wagner kept it on my stove. It was a little easier to fry bacon and sear steaks and fish in the #9 vs the #8 pan. Read the rest

The easy way to season cast iron

I have offered plenty of advice on caring for your cast iron cookware. Stop seasoning it in the house, use your BBQ.

Seasoning this stuff in the oven (my favorite old way,) or on the stove smokes your house up. Just throw the shit on the grill.

Super thinly put a coat of oil on your cast iron piece.

Put the cast iron piece on the grill.

Heat the grill up, let it run until the cast iron piece has stopped smoking.

Turn off grill and let cool down.

Repeat.

I was able to perfectly season a set of cast iron Pie Irons with no problem. Read the rest

This cast iron griddle is cheap and fantastic

I've been using this 10.5" cast iron griddle at my brother's place, and it is just great.

I keep a #9 cast iron skillet on my stove at almost all times. My brother prefers a cast iron griddle. I can see the attraction.

The griddle is great all the things I do with a skillet, and also serves as a pizza stone. The lack of sidewalls can make grease management a bit more of a chore, however when making pancakes or otherwise looking to get under and flip frying items things become a lot easier. I didn't notice how much angling around and dickery goes into using my skillet.

Eggs over easy are a lot easier to wrangle.

I have a #8 'Chicken Pan' that is essentially a very deep walled skillet (with a self-basting lid) that I use for fried chicken. I could use that for deep frying, and a griddle for everything else... however I'm awfully fond of my skillet.

I have a griddle I picked up at a cast iron flea market ages ago, and never bothered to refinish. My brother has this Lodge item and it is wonderful. It will serve for generations.

Lodge 10.5 Inch Cast Iron Griddle. Pre-seasoned via Amazon Read the rest

I want to go to the cast iron market in Brimfeld, Mass

I want to go there.

My favorite pan is a Wagner I got at Goodwill in San Francisco.

I especially like to refinish cast iron waffle irons.

(Thanks, David Wolfberg!) Read the rest

I woke up my long refrigerated sourdough starter

Everyone I know is on a sourdough kick. My sister was talking some stuff she learned in a class, so I took these photos to show her what "waking up the starter" means to me.

When I took my starter out of the fridge and looked in the crock I saw a deep pool of hooch. It has been since Thanksgiving that I used it, and I may have put this batch in the fridge back in June or July 2018.

I take a heaping spoonful of the starter and...

...gently mix it with 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of flour. Then I set it aside for 4 hours.

I feed the starter every 4 hrs when I am awake, until it is awake. When I sleep the yeast can sleep. Once I have 2 cups of starter in my bowl, I discard 1/2 and add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour again, maintaining the volume at around 2 cups. When the starter looks like this, it is ready to use.

I used the starter, baking a loaf of bread in my Dutch Oven.

Bread with butter, jam and cheese was yesterday's meal. Read the rest

$12 chainmail scrubber works wonders on waffle irons

Cleaning a cast iron pan is no problem. Cleaning a waffle iron can be a pain in the ass. This $12 chainmail scrubber gets into the nooks and crannies..

Fucking waffles. I have no idea why, likely it is just happenstance, but every now and then a waffle sticks to the iron. Admittedly, using a cast iron waffle iron is more art than science. You don't want to over oil it. You better not under oil it, and oh-for-gods-sake do not forget to oil it at all. Whatever I do, occasionally a waffle gets stuck.

It is no pleasure getting waffle remains out of a heart-shaped waffle iron, let me tell you. The first thing I try is simply making a new waffle on top of the crusty remains of stuck waffle! Sometimes new waffle pulls dead waffle right the heck out! I suggest undercooking new waffle just a bit. If this does not work I move on to the chainmail scrubber.

I've reviewed the chainmail scrubber before, people told me I'm crazy. Ignore people, this thing is great! The links on this chainmail scrubber work perfectly to fit into the waffle-channels and grind out stuck, dried waffle. I'm not going to bullshit you and pretend this is an easy job, but I usually find a medium effort pass with the chainmail, and a quick rinse with warm water and a sponge, will get everything cleaned out. If it doesn't, making a new waffle in whatever is left over always finishes the job. Read the rest

Great primer on cooking with and caring for cast iron skillets

Cast iron skillets should be a part of everyone's kitchen, but some people feel intimidated by with the preparation, use and maintenance. This nicely-produced video by Tasty shows how even an old hand-me-down skillet can be transformed into the perfect tool for great stovetop results. Read the rest

Here's the best and easiest way to maintain your cast iron cookware

I prefer to do my cooking on cast iron cookware. Cast iron is an astonishingly effective non-stick surface. It heats evenly and is super simple to clean. I can think of only two negatives: it is heavy, and maintenance is very different from my other pots and pans.

I have a set of more-common-today stainless/copper cookware. After using a pot or pan, I scrub it out in the sink with hot soapy water, dry and put away. Sometimes, when I'm lazy or just so inclined, I even put it in the dishwasher. It is what most people are used to now.

Because cast iron is seasoned to create its non-stick properties, and to keep it from rusting away, it needs different cleaning and maintenance. The coating of seasoning on your pan is a layer of polymerized oil. It's tough, and keeps air, water and food from ever coming in contact with the highly reactive iron surface. Most of the time cleaning it is super simple: while the pot or pan is hot, throw in a large handful of kosher salt, and using a wadded up paper towel, you scrub the sucker out.

You toss away the salt, wipe out the dusty remains, and let the cookware cool. If you want, and I do every 3 or 4 uses of an item, you can wipe it down lightly with your cooking oil of choice. I recommend wiping it off as much as you can, so the layer is just super thin, and heat the pan until it smokes. Read the rest

Lodge's single burner, reversible cast iron griddle

In my kitchen, or in my camper, this single burner cast iron griddle is a huge boon. Recommended by a friend when I complained about clean up when cooking for one, this griddle is pretty sweet.

The things I love about cast iron are many, and easy of clean up is probably at the very top of the list. I have quite a few cleaning tools for my collection of cast iron cookware, but none are as simple as using rock salt. This pre-seasoned griddle has rounded corners and the area between the bars on the grill side leave plenty of room rub the pan down with a simple paper towel and salt.

Not only is this griddle easy to clean, its pretty easy to cook on. The size of the platter roughly covers one burner perfectly on my home stove. It is a little larger than the burner in my VW Westy. The grill side is excellent for burgers and steaks, and with the use of a simple pot holder can be easily transferred into a pre-heated oven for finishing. The griddle side is a griddle, and simply will allow me to carry one less frying pan in my camping kit.

I've only had this griddle/grill for a week or two, but the pre-seasoning the Lodge applied works pretty well. It isn't as great as a well used pan, but it'll get there. The surface is fairly non-stick, right out of the box.

Lodge LSRG3 Single-Burner Reversible Grill/Griddle, 10.5-inch via Amazon

Previously on Boing Boing:

Is antique cast iron cookware really better than new? Read the rest

An awesome cast iron dutch oven for camping

My daughter specifically asked if I had packed this 6 qt dutch oven for an impending camping trip. It is super handy and surprisingly makes the best desserts. Read the rest