HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >

Discussion

Cast Iron Pans

I know most cast iron pans come pre-seasoned in some kind of fat or another. Are there brands that are kosher-friendly? I would prefer not having to season a new pan myself.

Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I have a Lodge cast iron skillet. They are preseasoned with a soy-based fat. http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-care-help...

    Is this your first cast iron pan? It will change your life. :)

    11 Replies
    1. re: shaytmg

      Every time I go to Target, I pick up a Lodge skillet and put it back down. Not sure how I would use it and it seems sooo heavy. Do you use it for meat or dairy? Any suggestions?

      1. re: cheesecake17

        The question is what can't you cook in cast iron. Once your skillet is well seasoned you pretty much have a non-stick pan.

        The weight of cast iron is where the magic happens. The pan holds on to so much heat that even when you put in cold food the temperature stays high allowing you to get a great sear on the food. Also since a cast iron pan is oven safe (pretty much indestructible) you can sear off some protein and then finish it off in the oven.

        The best things I have cooked in my cast iron are hamburgers, chicken cutlets, sausages, london broil, corn bread, and eggs. I actually just made Thomas Keller's roast chicken in my cast iron the other night on a base of root vegetables which got amazingly caramelized because of all the heat the pan can soak up and dish out.

        1. re: shaytmg

          I made his chicken last night, such a simple and tasty recipe. Next time I'm going to try it in my Lodge skillet what a great idea.

        2. re: cheesecake17

          I plan on meat. I know cast iron is good for grilled cheese and maybe dairy egg "pies" (quiches, fritattas), but I think the potential uses for meats are much greater.

          1. re: craigcep

            It's great for making heartier fish too.

            1. re: DeisCane

              Right, but I can do that in a meat pan (which I certainly would). The opportunity cast for meat is higher than dairy.

              1. re: craigcep

                Totally agree. Although they are so cheap so why not buy two.

            2. re: craigcep

              ok, you convinced me! moving soon, where I will have a bbq (dont have one now). Am I better off still with a skillet? I've seen a lot of cast iron grill pans... but I'm guessing those don't go into the oven?

              1. re: cheesecake17

                I don't see why cast iron grill pans couldn't go in the oven.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  Any cast iron cookware can in the oven. In fact cast iron dutch ovens are designed to go into the middle of fire to cook, well maybe not the le creuset ones that are coated in enamel, but the can definitely go in the oven. You can also use a skillet on the grill or even nestled in the coals of a charcoal fire.

                  I have both a grill pan and a flat skillet and find myself using the skillet way more than the grill pan. Hamburgers are way better in the skillet since they develop a full crust rather than just grill marks.

                  Best hamburger you will ever eat - Salt and pepper in the meat. Preheat cast iron skillet on high. Drop in the hamburger and don't touch it until its ready to flip and don't dare smash it with a spatula. Toasted bun with a smear of mayo. The outside sear becomes crispy while the interior stays moist and almost creamy. Heaven.

                  Let us know how it goes.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    I've got
                    a small cast iron -great for eggs
                    2 large skillets - either 10 or 12-inches, I can't remember
                    a chicken fryer with a lid - great for, what else, frying chicken
                    my favorite and most used - the grill pan.

                    When it's too cold/wet/miserable/etc. to fire up the grill, use the grill pan. Will the thin skirt steak incinerate in the broiler? Use the grill pan. Grill the veggies to go with the meat in the same pan, too.

                    All cast irons can go from cooktop to oven. Perfect for searing thick cuts of meat and finishing off in the oven. Cast iron pans last forever, too. Take care of the pan properly and your grandchildren may using the same pan one day. That means no soap and dry immediately after washing to prevent rust. The pan is definitely a good investment.

            3. I thought that Lodge used a wax coating of some sort. I don't care for it, as I like to season my own, so their preseasoning gets brillo-ed off. With this in mind, I gave it a quick Google search and found this: Lodge pre-season their cookware with a proprietary vegetable oil which is soy-based and has been certified as Orthodox Union Kosher.

              Lodge is commonly available and fairly cheap, so they may be the way to go. But I bet that most pre-seasoned cast iron has taken the same consideration.

              2 Replies
              1. re: regp03

                It is my understanding that all pre-seasoned cast iron pots and pans must be kashered before use. This even applies to Lodge pans. Even though they claim that they only use kosher oils, there is no way to guarantee it so it would require kosher certification just like any other product.

                1. re: chicago maven

                  Just stick it into your oven and set the two hour self clean. It will smoke at first, but will be totally good to go once done. Season and enjoy. Shaytmg is right, there is no turning back.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. This really sounds like question for your local orthodox Rabbi, in lieu of that you should call the Star-K, whoever answers, tell them you have a kasrus question and it will probably get answered right away.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: vallevin

                    I asked the crc in Chicago and got an answer right away. In fact, i learned that it can also be kashered with boiling water as any similar pot. The self cleaning oven is still my choice as NYC suggested.

                  2. So you never, ever wash it with soap? That's the part I don't get. Let's say you make those hamburgers Shaytmg suggested, isn't there meat residue still in the pan? Or if you do chicken or fish? You just wipe it out and that's it? Nothing ever burns on?
                    I'm game to try it, but it seems very strange not to wash it.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: helou

                      The whole don't wash with soap isn't true anymore...its from a time when soap used to be made with lye, which was rough on the iron, but now that soap is much weaker and wont harm ur pots...clean with soap, but dont scrub with any rough sponges, or use any metal utensils on it to not scratch the seasoning off...although you can and need to re season the pan every once in a while

                      1. re: helou

                        If you wash it with soap you can lose the season layer which is essentially carbonized (burnt) fat. It is the residue from the cooking that builds up to become the non-stick layer. All you need is some water and paper towels to clean it once you have a good season going. If there is any baked on grit, just sprinkle kosher salt on it and scrub away.

                        1. re: shaytmg

                          How does that work with the fish and then meat or vice versa concerns?

                          1. re: shaytmg

                            The soap nowadays won't do that...I've cleaned my cast iron pan without an issue..."seasoned pans" will need to be re-seasoned anyway, to maintain the non-stick layer, which is like you said a layer of carbon...in order to make the non-stick layer, you basically smear oil on it, and heat it up, which will burn off all of the hydrogen, and leave a layer of carbon (since fat is essentially a bunch of hydrogen and carbon atoms), so you can do that whenever you so desire...

                            @craigcep - in regards to fish and meat, if you're asking halachically, i have no idea, but from what I understand, as long as there aren't visible pieces of fish on there, you can use it with meat, but then again, I ain't no rabbi

                            1. re: koshergastronome

                              here's a link for cast iron care if you want - http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/02/...
                              and they say like i said, that it was the lye based soaps that would ruin the seasoning, but not the soap we use nowadays

                              1. re: koshergastronome

                                Well, call me old school then. :)

                                I always seem to lose my season if I wash it with soap. Maybe I don't let it build up enough.

                                1. re: shaytmg

                                  My first reaction was "EWWWWW." Then I thought about my barbecue. I never clean the grill. I do very much hate burgers made in the oven. Worth a try!

                                  1. re: SoCal Mother

                                    Absolutely. Burgers in the oven are pretty much meatloaf.