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cast iron +baking

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I want to get a few cheap pieces of plain cast iron bakeware (brand is, i think, Camp Chef?) - bread loaf, pie plate, muffin tin. Quick question - is cast iron OK for baking? I.e. are there any significant issues I should know about? I admit I want to buy them because the look - heavy, chunky - appeals to me.

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  1. I use a cast iron skillet to bake corn bread, but I have never used a cast iron bakeware. Cast iron is ok for baking, but (in my mind), they are not as versatile as the aluminimized bakeware. Mostly, a cast iron bakeware will heat up slower due to its high heat capacity (heavy), so some of your recipes will need to be tweaked.

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    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Ditto this.

      I've used Cast Iron pans to make cornbread, banana bread, and things of that nature, but would never consider a cast iron loaf pan or baking dish. It's not the best material for baking.

      There's a reason bakers don't use cast iron muffin tins or bundt pans, imagine the cost of electricity or gas ...

    2. For baking pans, I only have Lodge so I can't comment on camp chef. I've had my loaf pans for probably 20 years and love them. I bought them back before the preseasoned pans were available. I also really love the aebelskiver pan, that one is the new preseasoned. I lost my muffin pan during a move so I haven't had one in years, but I liked it when I had it. I replaced it with WS gold touch muffin pan.

      The only issue is that they tend to cook faster than regular metal pans so check it early.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rasputina

        I too have mostly lodge pans and and old Wagner Cornbread pan (the kind that makes cornbread that looks like corn on the cob) that I never use.

        As for baking, it might depend on what you are baking. I bake cornbread in mine. I too, have two cast iron loaf pans that I use for meat loaf, corn bread and I have baked just old fashioned type loaf bread in them. They work great. Pot pies do very well in cast iron skillets in the oven too.
        I don't know about regular type pies. My grandmother used regular pie tins for pies. I would think that muffins would do very well in cast iron muffin pans.(I am assuming this because my bread did so well in the CI loaf pans) I also roast potatoes in the oven in my cast iron and I have done a few casseroles in my cast iron in the oven.

      2. If it were me, I'd make sure where this stuff was made. I've heard rumors that Chinese cast iron uses less pure iron. If I am incorrect, I think someone here will correct me. A good heavyish aluminum baking pan is my preference, expect I will bake cornbread in a CI skillet. Aluminum is an efficient conductor of heat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sueatmo

          I've only heard concerns over the safety of the glazes in enameled cast iron made in China. But I would avoid Chinese cast iron anyway, there is plenty of good American made cast iron at reasonable prices.

        2. I've seen these in the Sportsman's Guide catalog and have been tempted to buy one to try, but haven't. I am also a bit leery of the Chinese made cast iron. I love my American made Lodge pans, but have heard stories of the Chinese cast iron cracking easily. Cast iron is good for baking, but the cornbread recipe I have calls for the pan to be preheated before the batter is poured in. I could see that being awkward to do with pie or muffins.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lawhound05

            You don't preheat it for pie or muffins, or even cakes. The preheat for corn bread is to get that crackling fried crust, which obviously isn't what you want for pie, muffins or cake. Well I do preheat when I make pineapple upside down cake in my Le Creuset tart tatin pan, but that is different.

          2. Thanks for all the comments - I think I will buy the muffin tin and see how it goes with muffins, which I make a lot of. At least these cast iron pieces are cheap! I will also make sure to look for USA made (Or Canada made!) cast iron. Thanks. :)