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Cast Iron Fry Pans for Patrol Use

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On 10/16/2008 at 11:12 AM, Buffalo Skipper said:

--We interrupt this thread for a minor hijacking--This past summer we went to Skymont Scout Camp near Monteagle, TN.  On the way we passed through South Pittsburgh, TN, home of the Lodge factory (and only factory outlet store).  I could not convince the other leaders to stop, even though it was only 5 miles off the freeway.  More curious, however, one of the CITs for the new scout program, is a member of the troop from South Pittsburgh, and it is chartered by Lodge.  He assured me that ALL their "car camping" cookware was cast iron. Some troops have all the luck...  Also related, Skymont has a daily Cast Iron Skillet Award (dates back some 20 years, and they are all hanging in the dining hall).  Any guess where they get these?--We now return you to your regular scheduled thread--

We stopped there heading back from Skymont  Got a replacement lid for a dutch oven

Skymont clean site award is the Cracked Skillet award.  Much to our surprise we actually have won it a few time

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Lodge is the real deal.  Seasoned and ready to go.

There are several FB cast iron pages, with dozens of posts each day.  Recipes, reseasoning, identification of vintage items, etc.

Edited by desertrat77
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7 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

What kind of stovetop? If a smooth glass ceramic, I would be concerned about cast iron scratching it. 

I use cast iron on mine regularly, and have had no issues with scratching.

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I love my cast iron. I have close to 100 skillets, griddles, bowls, ovens. All are older, some from the 1800s.

Although for camping, I use a stamped steel skillet when I need to fry. Usually I just plan a menu which does not require a fry pan at all.

The boys still like to make eggs, pancakes, and french toast. They have issues with food sticking regardless of the pan. That come with practice. If a boy can learn to get his eggs to cook without sticking to an aluminum fry pan, he can handle any material.

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This is for a postmodern nomad, so I have no idea what kind of stove will be used. I'm just hoping it will fit in the bag for the flight out!

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I have a lodge skillet and s glass top and have had no issues with scratches.

There's a difference between the old and new cast iron pans in that the casting process of old was fairly crude and required sanding. The newer pans aren't sanded but are still a bit rough. The result is the old pans are much smoother. So, I borrowed an angle grinder and sanded my lodge skillet. I really like it. If you do this, be careful as an angle grinder can easily add divots. They eventually fill in from the seasoning 🤫

We got our patrols steel skillets. You treat them the same as cast iron but they weigh less and aren't brittle.

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Have Gramma's old Erie and newer Lodge skillets. Bottoms are a little rough, insides are smooth.  I would be wary of sliding over a glass ceramic top but maybe that's just me.

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The newer pans are not sanded because it is added labor and increases the cost.

 

The older cast iron was very refined, not crude. One can how carefully, and perfect the sand molds were packed by looking at the casting details. The inside was sanded out, but it was all highly skilled labor. The best iron often has the maker's mark cast into it. This was how they knew who was better. Poorly packed molds would yield crappy iron, and were then melted down again.

In todays world, this is all machine cast and thus quality is assured at the basic level but no more.

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Those old Eries are awesome. The rough bottom comes from pitting the iron by cooking over coal. Collector pieces are pristine. I wish I had some that were that nice.

 

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53 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Have Gramma's old Erie and newer Lodge skillets. Bottoms are a little rough, insides are smooth.  I would be wary of sliding over a glass ceramic top but maybe that's just me.

 

51 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

Those old Eries are awesome. The rough bottom comes from pitting the iron by cooking over coal. Collector pieces are pristine. I wish I had some that were that nice.

I suggested spending quality time at estate sales. That almost got our handed-down skillet thrown at me. I'll have to check the mark. It spent most of its life in Erie county, so ...

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

 

I suggested spending quality time at estate sales. That almost got our handed-down skillet thrown at me. I'll have to check the mark. It spent most of its life in Erie county, so ...

Almost all of my CI has come from estate sales. I have 4 different Eries, none are of collectible condition. Those are found at auction. Or once-in-a-lifetime in the wild. Erie's on bottom row.

0827190813.jpg

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Is that your kitchen or your camping storage? Quite the collection.

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8 minutes ago, MattR said:

Is that your kitchen or your camping storage? Quite the collection.

That is only one wall in the (finished) basement. There are two more walls, plus the parlor which has all the scotch bowls, and other non-hangeable items. In the kitchen I keep just one skillet, and one griddle. I don't take the CI camping, I use stamped steel.

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12 hours ago, DuctTape said:

 If a boy can learn to get his eggs to cook without sticking to an aluminum fry pan, he can handle any material.

Very true.  Of my memories as a patrol member, about half of them involve KP duty, endlessly chipping/scrubbing aluminum fry pans that were encased with impenetrable baked-on food substance.  :) 

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FWIW, The one that nearly got thrown at me was a Griswold, Erie P.A. U. S. A. ... I'm thinking 1940s.

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