Serious Question - Why is everyone so into Cast Iron?

Discussion in 'Pots, Pans, Grills, Other Cookware / Cleaning & Fo' started by Keith Hawkins, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Keith Hawkins

    Keith Hawkins Active Member

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    So I am new to camping with the PUP as of 2 summers ago. Before that it was always tenting and backpacking where we would pack light. I have 1x10" cast iron skillet which I cook bacon in for the kids and then a few non stick and regular old pots and pans.

    Why is everyone so into Cast Iron over everyday cook wear? What are the advantages and disadvantages in general?
     
  2. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Advantages:
    adding iron as vitamin
    flavorful cooking
    ease of cooking


    Disavantages:
    heavy
    some parts of food get stuck on pan
    takes time to maintain (clean n oiling)

    I still use it... makes me feel like camping more.
     
  3. JustRelax

    JustRelax Well-Known Member

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    I use mine mostly in the fall as we are too active during the summer, but cooking a meal over the fire in CI can be an activity in itself. There's just something about it that makes food better when having a bourbon with a cigar stirring a meal in CI over the fire. It's an experience in itself.
     
  4. michaeltdyer

    michaeltdyer Member

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    Cast Iron tends to dissipate the heat better than lighter pans so if you are cooking over an uneven heat source, the pan tends to compensate for that and you get an more evenly cooked dish. With thin cookware, you can get hot spots on the bottom of the pan. This is why Cast Iron is the cookware of choice for cooking over a campfire.
     
  5. sea-piner

    sea-piner Member

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    Good question Canon 101! I have often pondered the same thing. I don't normally cook over the open flames and prefer the ease of clean up of the non-stick pans. My mother always cooked with CI and when I went away to college she bought me a cast iron skillet, that I honestly never used. Clean up is a chore that is not my favorite, so I'll avoid it every chance I get. I also do most of the cooking when camping as my DW is usually busy wrangling the kiddos. I love the idea of CI and after reading all these threads I am going to go through some old boxes and see if I can find my old one...
     
  6. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Not only do I use cast iron camping, it is all I use at home. I like the way it cooks food. Cleanup is a breeze with properly seasoned cast iron. All I do is run it under water, wipe it out with a dish cloth or paper towel and set it back on the still hot stove eye to dry it.
     
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  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We have a huge collection that we use at home. Properly seasoned, it's non-stick, and does a great job browning onions, veggies and meat. However, we do not bother to take ours camping. We tried it a couple of times, but we cook much more simply at camp, never cook over a fire, and we decided that it is just not work the weight or space to take it with us.
    We did splurge for good cookware for camping, after years of cast-offs and cheaper cookware. We have a stacking set of Magma pots, including a steamer/colander insert (great when we happened upon wonderful corn in season) and (new) a wok-ish sort of ceramic coated pan. We also have two Calphalon non-stick pans, and a Nordicware griddle. All cook great on our Coleman camp stove (white gas) or the LP stove in the camper.
     
  8. jpaul

    jpaul Member

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    MichaelDyer X2

    IMO CI cooking will out perform most cook wear at half the price. Temperature control with CI is less sensitive so there is less chance of burning your food. Also. CI will retain heat longer which translates to longer time for serving. My wife has a very large assortment of pots and pans but her favorites, at home and away, are CI.

    BTW we camp with 2 CI skillets an 1 CI pot. I won't mention how many other pots and pans we camp with but the Cast Irons get plenty of use.
     
  9. Mr Zip

    Mr Zip Member

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    It cooks better. Use teflon.
     
  10. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    But Cast Iron IS our everyday cookware....
     
  11. Fixitup

    Fixitup Active Member

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    If you ever had a dutch oven cobbler, cornbread, or a pot roast in a dutch oven, you will be hooked!
     
  12. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    There are two cast iron frying pans sitting on top of my house stove right now. Another one hanging on the pot rack and a large dutch oven in the cabinet. Then there are the two or three cast iron frying pans and the two camping dutch ovens in my camping cast iron storage box. Almost forgot the Lodge cast iron Sportsmans charcoal grill that also goes camping with us.
     
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  13. kreeves

    kreeves She and her two dogs

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    Cast iron is all I use too. After growing up in chemical valley and seeing all of the cancer that Teflon has caused I won't even have that in my home. My saucepots are Revere Ware that is stainless.
    Once you get a good CI skillet seasoned it is non stick. Warm water after it has cooled with a SS scrubber and a quick swipe of oil and you are done.
    You don't know what you are missing... :)
     
  14. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    cuz a little of every thing ever cooked in the thing is in the last meal cooked.
     
  15. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Cooking with cast iron is to cooking like camping is to sleeping; sometimes you just want to do it rustic. I love me some cast iron at the campground and at home. The Dutch Ovens are just TOO cool! You can have anything at the campground that you could have at home. It's a challenge in itself sometimes.
     
  16. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    For me I got into cast iron because I do a lot of cooking over an open fire or hot coals. I was also looking to branch out with different recipes to include baking in a Dutch oven. I can make fresh cinnamon rolls right in my Dutch oven, or my side kick's favorite, pizza. My other pans would scorch or cause me to have uneven cooking when cooking over a fire. Where as the cast iron spreads the heat out better. I still use my house hold pans if I use my camper stove, but I don't like cooking inside unless bad weather and only use it for non greasy/ smelly foods. For me I just prefer the taste a fire adds to my cooking and it's easier to lug cast iron pan vrs a gas camp stove which I found a challenge to keep lit in windy weather. To each their own. My way of cooking does take time and work, but so worth it when I have the time.
     
  17. devle dropper

    devle dropper New Member

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    I love using cast iron pans for cooking because it screams tradition. From pan cakes to fish and steak it forces you to use natural ingredients like butter and oil to create a non stick surface instead of sprays or Teflon coating. At this point in our family's life we have a mini van so I do not use them camping because of their weight. My favorite dish to make in a cast iron pan is sausage and peppers........yum
     
  18. ByramTra

    ByramTra Member

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    I love cast iron. I prefer it. Vintage is better, a lot of mine is much older than I am. other cookware has its place, but cast iron is my favorite. I love to do a pineapple upside-down cake in the dutch oven when camping, or stew.
     
  19. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I only use cast iron at home, and then it is limited to a couple skillets. I find it too heavy to drag out camping. I never cook over an open fire, and I personally don't see much of a difference in taste. I have a dutch oven, but I cook exclusively with foil liners so I never have to worry about cleaning. I have some dedicated camp skillets and griddles, mostly aluminum with non stick coatings, and they have performed flawlessly for me. They take up less room, cook well enough, are still easy to clean and above all are much lighter. If I were to load up my chuck box with cast iron cookware instead of the equivalent pots/pans I currently use I probably wouldn't be able to lift the box!
     
  20. Jeramiah Johnson

    Jeramiah Johnson New Member

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    I got into cast because it accentuates the flavor of foods. I feel it enhances the whole camping experience. There's a nostalgia to cast. It makes me feel like the original pioneers.
     

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