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Use it daily and Cast Iron is just fine. My daughter bought some of those new ceramic green type pans and when you read the fine print they only stay non-stick if you do not use olive oil or do not cook things with protein in them. Those pans after while build up protein on the non-stick surface and no longer performed as they did when new then the non-stick continues to degrade with every use while the cast iron just keeps on getting better.

Fry Queso Blanco in one of them new pans and you can have your hands full (or rather pan full) of sticky cheese while my ancient every day cast iron lets you skim it right off clean and done to perfection with a stainless steel spatula with no worries.

My Mother-In-Law on one sad day did me a favor while visiting (brace yourself and don't let the frail or youngn's see this) took all my cast iron pans and cleaned them with Steel Wool and Comet Cleanser. Then it got even worse when she decided to take my Cheese Cloth Bag (for making dried yogurt and ricotta which was a gift from an very nice elderly lady from Sidon who made if for me when she was just shy of 100 years old) and used it to go over them again with more Comet Cleanser. :eek:
 

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Replying to a 2008 thread!

Cast iron cookware may be fine at home but on a boat it sux big time.
The amount of propane to heat the pan to cooking temp is crazy.

Propane,, on a boat, is a finite, expensive resource that is not available in many places you may be anchored.

On passage it must be conserved.

Investigating cookware I found the reason why heavy pots are reveared: they are expensive! They want you to spend 10 times you need to spend.

I now buy my stuff from commercial kitchen supply stores. They have what the professionals use. Top quality. Low prices. Long lasting. Fast to heat. Economic to use.
 

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Replying to a 2008 thread!

Cast iron cookware may be fine at home but on a boat it sux big time.
The amount of propane to heat the pan to cooking temp is crazy.

Propane,, on a boat, is a finite, expensive resource that is not available in many places you may be anchored.

On passage it must be conserved.

Investigating cookware I found the reason why heavy pots are reveared: they are expensive! They want you to spend 10 times you need to spend.

I now buy my stuff from commercial kitchen supply stores. They have what the professionals use. Top quality. Low prices. Long lasting. Fast to heat. Economic to use.
Ok, you're buying your stuff from "commercial" sources, but what are you buying? Stainless? Copper clad? Stoneware?

Yes, it's true that it takes a bit more fuel to impart enough energy into cast iron cookware, but I learned that using thin, steel pots and pans (even copper clad) also wastes fuel because they shed their heat nearly as fast as the propane (or alcohol) can put it in. Cast iron retains heat energy. Once I get the cast iron to cooking temperature, I can then turn the gas down quite low to retain that level of heat, so I'm not quite certain about your hypothesis that cast iron wastes fuel. It also helps if you use the proper sized cookware for the task. Use a smaller pan/pot for smaller jobs. I know this seems common sense, but plenty of people try to get by with a single skillet or pot for space saving or convenience reasons.

All that being said, if you have found a better solution at the commercial supply houses, I'd love to hear about it.
 

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Ajax - Ditto: I use much less fuel with my inexpensive cast iron that has lasted my family more than a life time. With the cast iron its medium-low or simmer most of the time. I got mine from my Grandmother and my children will get it when I'm gone however even new the no frills cast iron cookware is not very costly compared to the new wonder pans. Many iterations of the new stuff have come and gone and none have been truly worthy replacements for the iron. I also buy commercial such as for spatulas, ladles and cutlery.

The only exception would be for a boiling or coffee pot as the thin stainless would be better for that purpose.

Aluminum for a acid rich Mediterranean Cuisine would be a definite "No Way". Aluminum pans though are great for draining oil into and washing machine parts especially if you get them at Yard Sales or one of the Dollar type stores.

As for a new user bringing back a Zombie Thread well that's OK as its still a valid discussion a decade later.
 

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Ok, you're buying your stuff from "commercial" sources, but what are you buying? Stainless? Copper clad? Stoneware?
I use thin base stainless steel with non-stick surface.
It needs to be good quality because if not the base warps...as with supermarket grade pans.
Some have basic steel handles so you need a cloth to pick them up (or chefs hands).

I have a smallish frying pan I use every day for my breakfast and often at night for frying a steak. It gets a huge amount of use. The non-stick is still fine as is the whole pan... But it's 2 years old bought in Chinatown in New York City. There's 3 or 4 of the on The Bowery.

It doesn't need to retain heat as with all my pots, as I prefer to control that with the propane. So when I stew I have the propane on for 5 minutes and off for 15 or 20 minutes and that's fine.


BTW buying knives at a commercial restaurant supplies is truly the way to go. Mild steel, not stainless! Then they are sharp. But you need to leave a bit of oil on them to stop rust.
In normal stores its very difficult (impossible) to get md steel.


Concluding.... : I do buy good stuff. Cooking on a boat is not as easy as at home so buying the kit that makes *you*/wife happy is important. 😁
 

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Usually go High Carbon Steel or a High Carbon Steel Laminate (thin High Carbon Steel Razor sandwiched between two sheets of milder steel) for the knives. The laminated blades are almost self sharpening. Also stay with wooden handles or riveted handles which can be replaced with anything wood or sheet material locally available. Really hate plastic handles that have reacted with heat, salt and oil over the years and gone forever gummy.

On a pocket knife I have for the past 50 years had the same directional grain stainless steel knife that was tempered/shock quenched in something like liquid nitrogen. Takes an edge like a razor and the grain makes it dig in and cut easily when you draw it against what your cutting. I forget who was making them for Sears back then. They came in a presentation case with a penny in it so as per the friendship tradition (with the penny the gift showed friendship while without it could be taken as: Take this and cut your own....).

The process for grain orientation is loosely based on this effect when the stainless is molten and magnetism or electrical current can be used to control the structure:

I first saw this more fully demonstrated and explained in a workshop by Physicist Dr. Julius Sumner Miller which may be included in one of this series:

I really liked the good doctors enthusiasm and childlike joy when doing his experiments especially when he like one so much that he would repeat it just for the fun of it.
 

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I first saw this more fully demonstrated and explained in a workshop by Physicist Dr. Julius Sumner Miller which may be included in... .
OMG!
Where the hell did you dig up Prof Julius Sumner Miller???

He's Australian!

Just checked Google.... He's American. Used to be professor of physics at Sydney University where he had a TV show harassing school kids in the 1970s untill his demise at age 900.

God I hated him.

He made science look so easy where it was so difficult. Made me feel so inept.

He would have 3 school kids on his show and try to make them solve science questions yelling at them. I always knew one day I would be dragged onto stage and shown to be a fool by him. I lived in mortal fear of him, my parents and the TV set.

Miller to host his own science-based TV series which was filmed at the University of Sydney where he taught. Why Is It So? (the program title, which also would become his stock phrase), was broadcast from 1963 to 1986 and became an instant hit known for its "cool experiments, interesting science, and fantastic hair".
 

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We use a small cast iron pan/pot for many things and stainless for boiling water and a ss wok for sauces. Once properly seasoned they cast iron is no problem. We prefer cast iron.
 

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OMG!
Where the hell did you dig up Prof Julius Sumner Miller???
I used to watch his show on PBS with my children. It was the series that he opened with the introduction, "Professor Julius Sumner Miller is my name and Physics is my game".

I come from a family of Engineers and Test Pilots who brought us from the Model T and Sopwith Camel to the Jet and Helicopter age. My father for 47 years as an MIT trained Engineer with his Masters in Electrical Engineering and other degrees in Chemical Engineering designed machinery, rubber composites and synthetics for our modern age while my Uncle worked with him specializing in Vulcanizing and other Heat Processing equipment for the industry, my First Cousin was a Senior Test Pilot for Sikorsky in Connecticut and the list goes on, so my brothers and I grew up with these occupations being the topic of conversation at the dinner table, family gatherings and such giving us the inclination to levitate toward that venue with our children.

They would bring home new experimental products to be tested in the real world such as boots, shoes, athletic equipment, sporting goods, electronics, camping equipment, parkas, diving suits, life rafts, life vests, floats, tools where the ball or sintered bronze bushings had been replaced with synthetics, electronic automobile ignition systems without points (late 1960's to early 1970's), non-stick coated cookware (early stuff was really, really bad and gave food a plastic like glassy texture where it touched the pan), etc, etc. We had gift subscriptions when we started learning to read to Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and the like.

A long weekend might involve helping in the workshop designing and building something for the next vacation trip or to use around the house or while out fishing or might simply have revolved around getting up early before my Mom and sneaking into the kitchen to make a Manly Breakfast with plenty of meat involved.

I therefore may see things from a vastly different perspective than many others due to all of the above.

I write analytical software, my younger brother is a certified network engineer/DBA (also formally schooled as a pastry chef) and the youngest brother specializes in custom software and computer systems for law offices. My daughters were both math majors and honor students with the eldest specializing in mathematics and analysis and the youngest in volunteerism doing disaster relief. They found Julius entertaining and captivating perhaps because by the 1990's there was no chance here in the US of being put on the spot by him.

For cookware the girls prefer my original series Faberware Stainless Steel set (with the Eldest inheriting my mothers) or good old no frills cast iron. That jury is out on the new ceramic knives (many are too thin and flexible making them dangerous for things like cabbage) with them still preferring my commercial Dexter and Chicago knives that I bought when new 50 years ago.
 

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If he had so many TV shows nowadays he'd be a multi-multi millionaire


He was the first to try and make science accessable.
 

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I have a cast iron dutch oven that I really wanted to like for sailing, but it actually kind of worries me. It is so much dense weight I am afraid it will get loose and punch a whole through the hull in rough weather.

However, I do bring it with me for canal cruising where I know I wont run into any dirty weather, which I do a fair amount of.

It really is the best pot I have used for cooking over an open fire on the beach. The heat is really even and easy to control for cooking on an open fire. I don't cook with it on board, I use a stainless pot for that.
 

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If he had so many TV shows nowadays he'd be a multi-multi millionaire


He was the first to try and make science accessable.
I believe he succeeded!

Loved it when he had a guest on to demonstrate a principle such as how science, physics and math are important in more than an engineering or physicists occupation. One that enthralled my daughters was when he had a chef from a nearby Chinese Restaurant on to demonstrate how he used the 12th power when cooking and proceeded to take a 5 or 10 pound ball of dough and whip it around by hand without any machinery to make Dragons Beard Noodles and tell everyone exactly how many noodles were in the Dragons Beard (4,096).

The Chef visiting Dr Sumner Miller did similar to this without all the explanation and did it a bit faster. I believe the Dragons Beard Demonstration and the profound respect the Dr showed to the Chef is what hooked my kids on math. You can fast forward almost 4 minutes to get to where he starts the count of the 12th power:

And many don't believe this can be done without some kind of pasta machine. In less time than it takes to drive to the grocery he had enough fresh noodles to feed a large crowd and cooking them takes only a moment or so in boiling water.

And many today believe it was Bill Nye who made science accessible.
 

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I'm really not sure where anyone gets the idea that you can't keep cast iron on a boat. This particular pan lives on our boat and is used frequently. After use, just heat it back up and wipe it down with whatever oil you use to cook with, in our case frequently that would be olive oil.
 

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Just recalled another reason I don't like aluminum as it can melt on some stoves.

I was in the workshop yesterday prepairing the foot of a mast for brazing preheating it on a camp stove and got distracted for a moment. The aluminum bar stock that I was also getting warmed up sagged as it approached the molten state so I had far surpassed the 720 degrees I was aiming for. I have seen this happen to aluminum pans and even stainless with carbon steel encapsulated in an aluminum wafer on the bottom of the pan.

I rescued one teenage girl who could not understand why I grabbed her from behind when I caught sight of the aluminum disk shifting as she started lifting a pan she had boiled dry to quench it in her wash tub. I told her the bottom of the pan had melted and hot liquid metal was about to pour all over her so hold still and let me take the pan. I set it on the concrete and let it cool. When she saw the bottom of the pan shifting about as I tried to somewhat center it she stopped yelling at me, turned a whiter shade of pale and broke down into tears realizing what it would have done to her if the aluminum wafer had slid off and hit any part of her. That would have been a horribly painful and disfiguring burn. The pan rocked a bit afterwards and was still serviceable plus reminds her of the need for caution lifting a pan that you have boiled dry and has any aluminum parts on it.
 

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I'm really not sure where anyone gets the idea that you can't keep cast iron on a boat.

Did someone say "can't"?

I think some said they don't or wouldn't.... Not can't.

However, if untended and not oiled it will rust far quicker than anything else... But that's not a 'can't" that's neglect.
 
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