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Old 07-03-2010, 01:45 AM   #1
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We bought some good'ol fashion cast iron cookware about a week ago. Thinking that it was bullet proof. No teflon to deal with getting scratched up, never sticks it treated properly and maintained... Unfortunately down here where we are (were in Fl, just got up to GA) it turned into a rusty mess in no time...

I grew up on cast iron cookware and generally love it. It heats even (which on a gas stove is always nice) and last forever... but no matter how well oiled we tried to keep it we'd wake up in the morning and it would all be covered in a thin layer of rust... we kept scrubbing it off with steel wool and reoiling it, thinking maybe it somehow dried out but nothing we could do would prevent it from rusting up in a heart beat... can't set it on the counter without leaving rust rings, don't want to stow it with the other cookeware because it's well coated in oil.... and yet it still rust up in less than a day down here...

ah well... looks like we've got a new dinghy anchor...

I guess it may be time to invest in some good thick copper bottom stainless cookware.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:58 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear of your culinary problems.

I too love cast iron pots and pans, also having grown up with them. I have never had any trouble with them but, because of their weight, don't use them at sea. Cast iron is somewhat porous and so, unless all the pores are sufficiently blocked with oil or grease, I suppose it would rust easily.

I am sure there is nothing the matter with your pans and if you donate the to a friend ashore I am sure that friend will have many years of use from them. They are far too good to become dinghy anchors!

A pan I have been using for a number of years now is the Gastrolux. Gastrolux pans are expensive but they have many of the qualities of cast iron without the drawbacks. They also are non-stick but permit the use of normal steel utensils although it is probably better not to.

Honestly, I love them but, despite them being made in Germany which is not very far away, here in Scandinavia (where I have my home and mostly sail) or is Spain (where I work) they can be difficult to find and are not cheap when one does track them down.

I hope you can find Gastrolux cookware and, if you do, give them a try. IMHO, there's none better.

Hope this helps

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Old 07-03-2010, 11:39 AM   #3
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Jason, have you seasoned your cast iron pans? If the cast iron pans are still steel colored, not black, they are not yet seasoned. If that's the case,

put some oil on them, everywhere, with a thin layer in the bottom of the pan, then put them on the burner and get them quite hot, so the oil sheens but hasn't yet burned. Let cool.

The best seasoning for cast iron is to use them. One does not usually wash them as with regular steel or aluminum pans, but simply wipes them with a paper towel unless there's a lot of food stuck on. However, the less soap and water applied, the faster they will season.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:54 PM   #4
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Agree with everyone about seasoning. We have one cast iron pan which is heavily seasoned--it doesn't rust. Our wood burning stove is also cast iron/steel and doesn't rust. The stove is also seasoned. When I scrub the stove, I can create a situation where it will rust, but I have learned to quickly season it.

The method of seasoning a cast iron pot/pan that I was taught included placing the well oiled pan into a 300 deg F oven for a while. The "lore" is that the pores in the iron/steel are more open at temperature and that's when you want the oil to be on the metal so it will "soak" in.

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Old 07-03-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
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The pans were black... and we tried to season them again, using Brendas method, salt and oil for 4 hours at 300.. I always just wipe out cast iron with a papertowel even if there's a bit stuck on it'll usually cook off quick enough or I can knock it off with a steel spatula once it cools...

may have had something to do with being cheap cast iron cookware (though I don't know what the difference in cheap cast iron and more expensive stuff is)... I'll poke around for gastrolux and see what I can find.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atavist' date='03 July 2010 - 01:58 PM View Post

The pans were black... and we tried to season them again, using Brendas method, salt and oil for 4 hours at 300.. I always just wipe out cast iron with a papertowel even if there's a bit stuck on it'll usually cook off quick enough or I can knock it off with a steel spatula once it cools...

may have had something to do with being cheap cast iron cookware (though I don't know what the difference in cheap cast iron and more expensive stuff is)... I'll poke around for gastrolux and see what I can find.
cheap doesn't matter. patience, patience.. and NO SOAP
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:59 AM   #7
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We use our cast iron cookware on the boat almost every day: a big griddle, which covers the front 2 burners on our Force 10, and a sauce pan. They are really fantastic workhorses in the galley! We've been cruising for two years, mostly in tropical climates, for whatever that's worth. I'm inclined to think that the frequent use helps, as does washing without soap, and promptly drying (we set it back on a hot burner for a minute).

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Old 07-22-2010, 12:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atavist' date='03 July 2010 - 09:52 PM View Post

The pans were black... and we tried to season them again, using Brendas method, salt and oil for 4 hours at 300.. I always just wipe out cast iron with a papertowel even if there's a bit stuck on it'll usually cook off quick enough or I can knock it off with a steel spatula once it cools...

may have had something to do with being cheap cast iron cookware (though I don't know what the difference in cheap cast iron and more expensive stuff is)... I'll poke around for gastrolux and see what I can find.
You would not know the name of the maker of the cast iron would you? We use Stainless Steel and they are a pretty penny to buy but they clean well and cook very well also. I currently could not use a cast iron pan for cooking so we stick with stainless. Can't stand Teflon, don't like a fluoride product that dense, that close to my food.

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