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Cast Iron Pan

Where in the GTA would I find a good quality cast iron pan? I have a teeny tiny one that was handed down to me, but I want one that will be a good size to make socca (chickpea flour pancake/flatbread). It would also be nice to have a great pan for making roux. I'm looking for something that will last a very long time once it's seasoned. I'll be in Toronto this weekend and would like to pick one up.

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  1. I think the best cost/value cast iron pans I've seen are at Canadian Tire.

    1. I think the best cost/value cast iron pans I've seen are at Canadian Tire.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Everythingtarian

        Do you own one that you bought from Canadian Tire? Does it cook evenly?

        1. re: 1sweetpea

          I do and it does. Its a 12" pan with WKM stamped on the back. No heat distro problems at all.

          1. re: Everythingtarian

            Excellent. I won't wait until the weekend. I'll just pop into my local Crappy Tire and pick one up. Thanks!

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              Agreed with Canadian Tire having the best prices. They also had the best selection of sizes when I was shopping for mine a few months ago (Yonge just north of Bloor). Lodge seems to be, by far, the most popular brand, and mine has worked beautifully.
              Although they come "pre-seasoned", this seasoning is not what you want to be cooking on, and it's certainly very different from the jet-black, slick finish you might recall from your grandma's old pans. The method I used to season mine was from this thread:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/433869
              Scroll down and follow the directions from "acmorris". She really knows what she's talking about, and I'm very happy with the way mine turned out.

            2. re: Everythingtarian

              are wkm pans any good? i just got a heavily rusted one that i cleaned up, and am in the middle of seasoning. i notice on mine that the cooking surface is very smooth, which is nice

        2. Zellers and Wal-Mart are worth looking at too. Canadian Tire can be expensive unless on sale. Return counter sucks.
          The larger Loblaws have a few cast iron items, well priced.

          1. Current pans from Lodge and far east sources have a sand blasted surface. It is probably better to look for a pan with a smoother surface. Eventually a Lodge will become smooth with use, but he pans are not finished as well as the old ones.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jayt90

              The more you use it the better it gets. After it is washed, dry it and put it on the burner to warm it up so that it thorouly dries and give it a thin coating of oil. Do not let it sit in water.

              1. re: fatman0000

                Don't wash it with dishwashing liquid !

                1. re: lamaranthe

                  I actually only use water, heat and a scrubber - but there's a chowtip video that suggests using kosher salt....

            2. If you're going to be in Toronto, head over to the William Ashely warehouse sale http://www.williamashley.com/warehous...
              I am a huge fan of cast iron (particularly for frying) and I picked up some more cast iron cookware at silly prices. The sale is located in the Lawrence/DVP area.

              1. I got mine at Home Hardware of all places...love it!

                1. If you're coming from north of the city you can stop at Bass Pro Shops. They have a large selection of cast iron.

                  DT

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Davwud

                    Oooh! I've been wanting to visit Bass Pro Shops for years. I'm just so rarely in the area. That might be a fun way to spend and hour or so on Sunday. Thanks! And to think I thought I'd have to make a visit to Williams Sonoma or something.

                    I was on Amazon.com reading the customer reviews of the Lodge cast iron pans and the reviews were mixed. Many commented on the really small handles and hot and cool spots on the cooking surface itself. I was planning to avoid Lodge cookware, but am hearing otherwise from a few of you. The old pan I have from the 50s or 60s is just a 6-1/2 inch pan, but it has good long sturdy handle and is, indeed, black and beautifully seasoned. Do those still exist? I think I want either a 10-1/2 or a 12-inch pan. 15 inches will be too heavy and large for me. I have a gas stove, but only one of the burners seems really large and I've heard that the largest pans are the worst for uneven cooking, due to the heat not being as intense around the outer edges. If anyone has comments on any of those points, by all means, weigh in.

                    Thanks everyone, for such prompt replies. One last question: does more merchandise get brought out daily at the William Ashley outlet sale or is the stock rapidly shrinking? I know this sale has already been on for a bit and wouldn't want to drag my SO there if it looks like the final hour of the annual Hadassah WIZO bazaar in there, LOL!

                    1. re: 1sweetpea

                      "The old pan I have from the 50s or 60s is just a 6-1/2 inch pan, but it has good long sturdy handle and is, indeed, black and beautifully seasoned. Do those still exist?"

                      Not sure what you're asking -- are you asking if there are new pans with long and sturdy handles? Or whether there are new pans that are black and beautifully seasoned? If the latter, then the answer is "no, not really". The black and beautifully seasoned part comes from years and years of use or from a really, really dedicated home-seasoning effort (the link to the home cooking board thread is really good for learning how to do that). If you're looking for a smoother surface, your best bet is to buy an antique cast iron pan off of ebay or from a garage sale and clean and re-season it.

                      Re: William Ashley warehouse sale. They restock every day. But if you've never been, be warned -- you may have to wait outside under a tent for up to an hour (or more!) just to get inside. There are some phenomenal deals to be had, but everyone else wants them, too! I've chatted with people who drive in from Windsor or further just for this sale. It's a zoo.

                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                        It's true about the handles. I have a 12-inch Lodge and it's a bit cumbersome. It's a good pan, but it's bigger than anything I need it for. If you can get away with the smaller size you should consider it. Lodge has a line called "Pro-Logic" which has slightly larger handles and sloped sides.

                        Have you checked the Cookware board? There are several very comprehensive threads on all things cast-iron.

                      2. re: Davwud

                        and oddly enough they are much cheaper there

                      3. A couple times i've seen great deals at BENIX (in the malls). I mean really great deals like a set of 3 for $11 or something. The only reason i didn't get it was because I already had one (from Honest Ed's (lodge, preseasoned)....a good place to go from what I was told) and don't need more than one cast iron pan.

                        1. As everyone has said... you can buy this more or less anywhere - to the best of my knowledge a cast iron pan is just a giant hunk of metal - I suspect it's challenging to find one that doesn't cook well and evenly.

                          Just remember -- don't put any soap in it, ever.

                          A fancier brand will cost WAY more.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mikefly

                            Actually, there's a lot of bad cast iron coming out of China. Paula Deen's line of cast iron has been recalled due to cracking issues.

                            I bought my Lodge 12" at Canadian Tire for $34 or something. It was more of a convenience thing. Ideally, I would have found one at a garage sale.

                          2. hi,

                            like a lot of the other posters on this thread, i got my lodge pan at canadian tire. it was preseasoned but i seasoned it myself about seven times before using it. i tried various methods ... the one from ac morris and others that i found on the web. i found crisco shortening to be the best form of 'grease' to use and the bbq was definitely the most convenient method.

                            either way, my pan is now totally non-stick ... eggs and omlettes and pancakes slide right out! it's great!

                            as an aside, i bought the protective silicone pot handle holders at golda's in mississauga. it took me forever to hunt these down. they don't fit 'perfectly' but they're good enough.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: lilaki

                              Lodge makes mini oven mitts that slide over the handles. They're really great. I have a couple.

                              https://secure.lodgemfg.com/storefron...

                              DT

                            2. We went to the Cook's Place (Danforth and Logan) yesterday. Lodge Logic cast iron pans in all shapes and sizes were there.
                              Prices looked all right and I think they offer a discount if you buy a few pieces from a set.
                              Customer service is spectacular and I will personally do anything to avoid going into the messes known as Canadian Tire and WalMart. and The Cook's Place will donate your old pans to charity for you.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: atomeyes

                                Thanks for the tip, atomeyes. I'll be staying right near there this weekend. I'll be sure to pop in and check out the selection. I suspect I'll make my purchase there, too. I'm all for supporting the mom and pop places, vs. Crappy Tire and WalMart. Actually, I'm not sure what my aversion is, but I detest WalMart. When I have to go there for something, which is rare, I grab that one thing, pay for it and flee the store. I don't feel as strongly about Crappy Tire, but I'm amazed at how little effort they put into making that store appealing in any way. I usually hit my neighbourhood Home Hardware first, before venturing into CT.

                                1. re: 1sweetpea

                                  the nice thing about the Cook's Place is that they care and its not a disorganized multi-aisle store. Barbara is the owner (or one of them) and she's passionate and knowledgable. was there yesterday looking at pans, coincidentally, and she explained what she recommends and the difference between coated, stainless and cast iron (like, why i need each of them).

                                  across the strees, there's iCube (i think that's the name) that also sells stuff, but they tend to be pricey and not overly informative.

                                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                                    Try Caynes on Doncaster - they have Lodge pre-seasoned at cheap prices. I have two Lodge pans - 10 inch (old version unseasoned but it is nowover 15 years old so it great) and 12 inch pre-seasoned (about 3 years old, great too).

                                    1. re: wano

                                      My personal issues with Caynes are:
                                      -its far from the downtown core
                                      -it has that Honest Ed's feel to it that makes me not want to hunt for my savings.

                                      1. re: atomeyes

                                        I totally agree that Caynes is a giant pain to get to, especially since I don't have a car. But if you spend over $75 online and pay with VISA, you can get free shipping.

                                        http://visa.ca/visaperks/shopping/Cay...