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Un-seasoned cast iron cookware

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dallozdoppler Jul 11, 2010 12:04 PM

Hi,

This is my first post and I have a question. I'm looking to buy high quality cast iron pans, and I'm looking for companies that make un-seasoned or un-preseasoned pans. A lot of them are now preseasoning the pans for you but I'd rather do it myself. I looked but I could only find preseasoned ones. Also, what's enameled cast iron?

Thank You

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  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: dallozdoppler Jul 11, 2010 01:37 PM

    Yike. It is more difficult to look for unseasoned cast iron cookware than seasoned ones. To be honest, I don't know. I just bought mine and than baked out the seasoning surface in the self-cleaning oven.

    Enameled cast iron cookware are cast iron cookware with porcelain enamel surface.

    1. paulj RE: dallozdoppler Jul 11, 2010 02:56 PM

      Iwata Japanese cast iron might be the highest quality around, or at least the most expensive

      http://www.snowpeak.com/cookware/dutc...

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        Emmaus RE: dallozdoppler Jul 11, 2010 04:37 PM

        Chinese stores all sell unseasoned cast iron pans, if they have them.

        1. Zeldog RE: dallozdoppler Jul 11, 2010 05:23 PM

          The so-called preseasoned pans are not truly ready to go. You really need to go through the process (i.e. rub with lard/oil, heat in oven or stovetop) the pan 3 or 4 times before challenging it with something like fried eggs. Preseasoning is just having the first round completed at the factory. I woudn't select a pan based on whether it was preseasoned or not. They will all be the same once they are ready to cook on.

          If you do find an unseasoned pan, be sure to clean it thoroughly with soap and water first, as it may be coated with mineral oil to prevent rusting or have leftover cutting oil from the machining process.

          1. SanityRemoved RE: dallozdoppler Jul 11, 2010 07:37 PM

            There is a caveat to what you are looking for and that is that an unseasoned pan needs to be coated to prevent it from rusting. I have purchased both types and I would rather have a seasoned new pan than an unseasoned new pan. It can be a lot of work getting the coating off of an unseasoned pan. I'd rather have a coating that is 100% safe to cook on and build up additional seasoning through cooking or re-seasoning. If you must start from scratch you will not have to worry if you miss a little on a seasoned pan.

            1. Caroline1 RE: dallozdoppler Jul 11, 2010 07:39 PM

              Enameled cast iron is simply a cast iron pan sealed in an outer layer of ceramic. They are heavy and do require a certain amount of care because the enamel is ceramic (in other words, a form of glass) and can chip. But when handled well, unlike "naked" cast iron, it will not rust. It's also a lot more expensive than "naked" cast iron, and the brand name of enameled cast iron will determine its price. I have some Le Crueset enameled cast iron that is over fifty years old and still going strong. I only wish I were, because it gets heavier with every passing year!

              I have no idea why you want to cure your own cast iron, but it shouldn't be that hard to find. However, there is some question in my mind as to whether "high quality" cast iron is available in a non-seasoned form in this day and age. Good luck.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Caroline1
                Chemicalkinetics RE: Caroline1 Jul 11, 2010 07:50 PM

                Actually, I did. I were told lad is the best for seasoning cast iron cookware, so I baked out my two cast iron Dutch Ovens in a self cleaning ovens before coating them with lad. Really not sure if lad is really better.

                1. re: Caroline1
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                  RGC1982 RE: Caroline1 Jul 11, 2010 07:54 PM

                  Actually, enameled cast iron can rust. It is the reason most manufacturers, LeCreuset included, suggest that you do not allow the pans to drip dry after washing. It is possible that some of the cast iron is not not sealed, especially at the edges. Also, on some pans, there may be tiny spots or pinholes where the enamel is not sealed, (techically, defects), and of course, any chips will expose raw cast iron. Water can interact with those places. The lids are especially prone to this where the knobs screw in.

                  It is always a good idea to dry enameled cast iron pans promptly, just as you would cast iron.

                2. MikeB3542 RE: dallozdoppler Jul 12, 2010 08:05 AM

                  If you knock around camping/surplus shops and yard sales, you might find a few Lodge or Wagner pans in "original" finish.

                  Honestly, just about everything new is pre-seasoned. Why? Part of it is marketing -- it's easier to sell a pan that is already seasoned. But the other part is practical. They have to ship the pieces coated in something to prevent rust. That used to be wax or mineral oil, which had to be thoroughly washed off before you could begin seasoning. The pre-seasoning serves the same purpose.

                  Of course, if you want to go old school, run the piece through your oven's self-cleaning cycle. Clean off the ash, dry thoroughly, and season. Coat sparingly inside and out with Crisco, and put upside-down in a 425-450 oven or gas grill for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. You will probably need to repeat this process once more to get it to look right.

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                    deeznuts RE: dallozdoppler Jul 12, 2010 12:21 PM

                    Buy preseasoned ones, and unseason them.

                    A lot of griswold's wagners on ebay (not the collector ones) for cheap, unseasoned covered in some stuff that prevents it from rusting. Have to remove with bar keepers friend etc. I have one pot ready to go just waiting for my oven to be installed :)

                    1. greygarious RE: dallozdoppler Jul 13, 2010 07:44 PM

                      Buy old ones on eBay or in thrift shops and yard sales.

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