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Stosh

To Do Or Not To Do, That Is The Question.....

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Might I recommend stripping off all the oil and going 100% bee's wax.  I don't know what a layer of oil under the wax would do.  When I went with the wax it was because the oils had gone rancid or I bought rancid from an antique dealer.  I took them back to square one and use wax exclusively with just those pans. 

 

I can always tell which are which when I start out.  The oil is very shiny and the wax is opaque.  If you decide not to go with the stripping first, I would be interested in knowing how it turns out.  I do know that without stripping you will have an old layer of oil always under the wax and I don't know what difference that will make.

 

Keep me posted.

 

By the way, I bought a 1# block of bee's wax many years ago.  I've used about half of it.  Like I said. I use it only on the cast iron that I use less frequently.

Edited by Stosh

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Unless Restricted...always wood

 

I use mine so Often I use "Lard" to season with..Crisco is used as a Last resort..If it goes Rancid your not using it right..

 

I use mine for everything I can..If You can't cook it on Cast Iron..it Can't be cooked

 

I also have Cast Iron Skillets, Cornbread/Muffin Pans, Cast Iron Bean Pots and Cast Iron Griddles,. Skillets range from Single Egg Size to 22". Bean Pots run from 2 to 12 Quarts..and the Griddles Range from 6" x 12" to 18" x 24" which fits atop my Wood BBQ Fire Boxes...I can fire them Directly with Propane or over a Wood Fire or Indirectly atop my Fire Boxes..

 

Always Clean as you go..never used a Liner Yet...

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There is a real active group of Cast Iron afficionados on Facebook.  They say lard is the best.  I have also learned about cleaning rusty CI...including how to set up an electrolysys tank (E-tank) using a car battery and a solution of "washing soda".

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Enjoyed reading everyone's responses, since I don't work with troops anymore I stayed away from answering, because the answers would have been what our troop use to do about 8 years back when I was involved..  I do use the DO's for training in IOLS, OWLS and BALOO, but my answers would now be about my own personal cookware..

 

I have an older cast iron skillet for my kitchen.. I always thought with long use my other cast iron would someday look as well seasoned as it is (very smooth on the inside, and the outside is not smooth at all, sort of like it had slowly built up some sort of hard protective coating from sitting in the coals or something).. But then I read it was the difference of the older way they use to cast the cast iron compared to how they cast them today.. 

 

 

Show me a Club Aluminum or Revere Ware or any Circulon, or whatever they sell in stores today that has seen a campfire and I'll show you an abused piece of cookware. 

 

Hopefully you are talking about newer Club Aluminum.. I have old Club Aluminum  maybe 1930 or 40's, I don't know if early in life it had any other use, but it's been in my family for over 50 years and is our camping pots.. More used on camp stove, but on occasion put over the fire (I've learned with an open fire to put soap on the outside bottom or the soot is hard to clean off after use..  They are those triangular style ones come in a set of 3 but only one lid and one wooden handle in the set, they were designed so they could share a single burner..

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My parents went through a lot of Club Aluminum since the early 1950's.  Usually it was the handles that burned off.  The only camping CA that survived were the ones Mom used on the stove in the trailer.  The campfire cookware was mostly cast iron, except for the large griddles which were aluminum and blacker than the ace-of-spades on the bottom.   :)  I still have and use both of them.  Abused?  Most definitely!  My aluminum DO looks just like my cast iron DO's except the little handle on the lid looks different.  They are all black on the outside.  I don't do the soap thing and I don't care what the outside looks like.  If it doesn't come off in the wash, it's not coming off on my clothing..  If it does, I'll just wash my clothes.  :)

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Can't burn the handles on mine unless you are really not being attentive, since the one handle shared by all comes off, and you have to take it off since the way it's made it is very secure when lifting the pot with it, but if you leave it on without holding on to it, it will fall off due to gravity..  I debated getting a single pot with lid & handle for the extra handle that I saw being sold on ebay, just because I fear if I loose the handles, the pots will be useless..

 

I guess because I grew up with them always being semi-shiny I feel like that is the way they should be and I am not taking good care of the family pots if I let them go black.. When my father broke up his house when moving into assisted living, he asked what I wanted.. All I wanted were these triangle pots and the old Camping box my Uncle Paul made for our family.. So you could call them my family heirlooms. Others have diamond necklaces and ruby rings.. I have old camping gear. :)

 

I went looking for a cute aluminum DO I noted a fellow scouter having once, but I couldn't find it.. Wasn't round as normal, but was like a small single layer rectangular cake pan with bottom & lid.. The owner rattled off all they could do with it and I was impressed.. But I have no clue where or when they got it, and now I can't remember all he could do with it aside from the cornbread that he was baking in it when I saw it..

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My cute little aluminum DO is my mess kit.  :)  I do a lot of biscuits and beads, pot pies, etc. in it  works great.  Most troops don't teach mess kit cooking anymore, but I do it all the time.  There is a middle ground between patrol cooking and utensil-less cooking.  I have never seen any one demonstrate mess kit cooking.  And yes, cornbread in a mess kit is fantastic.  Not quite as good a blueberry muffins, but close.  :)

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I didn't realize those old aluminum mess kits were that airtight as to be used that way.. Does anyone still sell them new? Most the time the ones I see are so beat up and grungy I couldn't see anyone eating or cooking with them anymore, if they had an airtight seal at one time, they don't anymore due to the dents and mushing they received..

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Must have ran out of my 15 minute edit, I added to last post but it didn't take.

 

I also thought the aluminum cookware had to have some thickness.. Those cook mess kits from what I saw are paper thin..  My club aluminum cookware has about 3/4 inch thick walls, the cute aluminum Do wasn't that thick but had some thickness too it, enough that it did not look like you could change it's form with dents and mushing from normal ware and tear and packing into a backpack.. I could see where you could have burn problems others referenced where you burn at every place the charcoal touched, if your aluminum cookware is paper thin..

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I have a $10 cheapie that I got at Walmart.  They tend to bend up pretty easily, but then I realize that and work hard at not beating them to death when I cook.   :)

 

I try and keep my seal the best I can, and for the most part it works nicely.  But like everyone knows, once they leak they (envision a punctured foil dinner) they burn the food.  That's because we tend to toss foil dinners and such right into the coals of the fire.  One doesn't do that with a DO, but they think nothing of doing it with a foil dinner.  This is why I don't do foil dinners, I don't really like eating burnt food.  When I see a whiff of smoke coming from the mess kit, I just back off on the heat.  A little steam coming off is okay, it happens whenever one cooks food.  Just don't have the heat too hot and the moisture needed for cooking won't disappear and burn the food.

 

3 briquettes on the bottom, 4 on top is all one needs for a medium "oven".  That's a far cry from a bed of coals that they use for foil dinners.  Patience is a virtue and an art-form all at the same time.  This is camp fire cooking with a mess kit, not a microwave oven. 

 

Just remember not to get the mess kit with the little plastic bead on the lid of the boiler.  The old aluminum cups make excellent muffin tins.  

 

Here's the trick.

 

take the cover of the boiler and put in the bottom of the fry pan top down.  This allows the cup (tin) to be up off the bottom of the DO.  Batter in the cup on top of the inverted lid. Put plate on, lock with handle, put on 3 briquettes a put 4 on top.  This will give you pretty close to 350 degrees.  I would trade out briquettes ever 30 minutes, 15 minutes for wood equivalent because of the cool down speed of aluminum.  The briquettes will decrease in heat and cast iron holds the heat longer than aluminum.

 

After one plays with it for a while, an understanding of this will become clear.

 

Most modern mess kits come with a useless plastic cup.  Take a tuna, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts can and toss that in the mess kit instead of the stupid plastic cup.

 

And when the pan/plate doesn't seal anymore, use aluminum foil to put in the seam to plug leaks, or if the mess kit is really bent up, just wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil.  :)  

Edited by Stosh

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