best cast iron skillet with smooth cooking surface?

markr6

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If you want some sentimental value to go along with it you can always get an old one on ebay. But the cast iron "secret" is out, no deals there. Maybe locally at a garage sale or Goodwill store, but even then cast iron is definitely "a thing" now. Very hard to get a deal.

I have a 1930s Griswold skillet that I like so much I purchased an almost identical 1920s version on ebay just to have two. Very smooth and flat. The seller posted good photos but I still consider myself lucky.
 

raggie33

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whats ya all seasoning with? im doing flaxseed oil lately .i love cast iron but the new nonstick stuff is way better for eggs
 

markr6

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Crisco on my cast iron.

And yeah I can't lie, my T-fal ceramic skillet takes 10 seconds to clean so that's hard to beat. Just depends on what I'm making. Not supposed to be as good as the Teflon stuff, but after 2 years it's still doing great.
 

turbodog

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If I tell you this, you have to promise to NOT google what I tell you. :ironic: So that you don't get sucked into another strange hobby forum on the internet.

There is a forum for cast iron fans just like our forum. I spent some time there looking for resurfacing/seasoning advice. Those people are seriously strange.

For a nice smooth pan you've got a few options:
1. carbon steel pans like chefs use, cheap, durable, middle of road compromise
2. finex or equivalent pan, grab your wallet though. I own two and while looking awesome they are just so-so
3. fine a new, cheap pan and sand it smooth with something like a 4" disc sander. Did this to two pans and it worked really well. The sanding marks leave just enough grip for the seasoning to stick well.

And oh yeah, they got SUPER pissed when I said I had sanded a pan bottom!
 
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markr6

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If I tell you this, you have to promise to NOT google what I tell you. :ironic: So that you don't get sucked into another strange hobby forum on the internet.

There is a forum for cast iron fans just like our forum. I spent some time there looking for resurfacing/seasoning advice. Those people are seriously strange.

LOL exactly! I eventually built an electrolysis tank. The most AMAZING thing I've ever seen with my eyes! I turned the biggest POS into a brand new cast iron skillet. Seasoning took a long time since it strips it down to nothing, but that's the point.
 

ledbetter

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My two cents is cast iron’s overrated. Yeah, they’re cheap and can work great but the negatives outweigh the positives, especially if you’re willing to spend some money on modern cookware. The only real benefit they have is ability to go from range top to oven for browning and braising in one pan. Otherwise, forget them. They take forever to preheat! And that’s best done in the oven at 400! Not great for keeping the kitchen cool in the summer. And the weight and the seasoning and the cleaning, really? I’d rather be quick in the kitchen and enjoy my meal. Also, no commercial kitchens use them unless for a specific task like fried chicken or chicken fried steak and you don’t even want to see what those pans look like! Modern multilayer pans from paderno, all clad, scanpan work well and last. Why use 19th century cookware?
 

markr6

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My two cents is cast iron’s overrated. Yeah, they’re cheap and can work great but the negatives outweigh the positives, especially if you’re willing to spend some money on modern cookware. The only real benefit they have is ability to go from range top to oven for browning and braising in one pan. Otherwise, forget them. They take forever to preheat! And that’s best done in the oven at 400! Not great for keeping the kitchen cool in the summer. And the weight and the seasoning and the cleaning, really? I’d rather be quick in the kitchen and enjoy my meal. Also, no commercial kitchens use them unless for a specific task like fried chicken or chicken fried steak and you don’t even want to see what those pans look like! Modern multilayer pans from paderno, all clad, scanpan work well and last. Why use 19th century cookware?


Yeah, I think a lot of it is nostalgia. My T-fal ceramic, even after eggs it looks pretty much clean. Zero sticking, cooled down and put away in no time. I do have fun making pizza and brownies in the cast iron though.
 

ledbetter

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Yeah, I think a lot of it is nostalgia. My T-fal ceramic, even after eggs it looks pretty much clean. Zero sticking, cooled down and put away in no time. I do have fun making pizza and brownies in the cast iron though.
I’m going to try a pizza stone in my barbque since it gets to about 600 degrees , but I don’t understand the benefit of brownies in a cast iron? I use a ceramic dish with parchment paper, and at only 350, I don’t think there’s any benefit of using cast iron, though I could be wrong.Biscuits would be good since you’re at 450.
 

turbodog

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It holds a lot of heat, more than any other pan I know of. Good for searing meat. A properly setup pan is unbelievable... and I've ever only seen one in my lifetime. Despite sanding/seasoning or buying finex pans I've never been able to duplicate the performance of a ~50 year old pan I have. Dug it out of the mud under a house years ago. Think it was used as a dog bowl.
 

raggie33

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i like heavy pans so the meat sizzles and dont drain the heat from pan..id love a heavy super heavy non stick pan
 

ledbetter

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Don’t want to be a buzzkill on this interesting thread, but cooking meats at high temperatures has been proven to contribute to cancer, and most notably, colon cancer, so everything in moderation and old guys need screenings(myself included).
 

nbp

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In the kitchen I use Cuisinart stainless cookware. Occasionally non-stick for things like eggs and pancakes. The only cast iron I have is in my camping stuff. When dad and I go camping we cook almost everything in cast iron pans. I should look to see if there is a name on them. I believe he bought them at an estate sale or junkyard or something for a few bucks like 30 years ago and cleaned them up and we still use them today!
 
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