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Good quality cast iron frying pan

ziggystardust Feb 3, 2012 07:42 AM

Somewhere along the way I've picked up the idea that a cast iron frying pan is the way to go. Can anyone recommend a good place to buy one that's not too expensive (if they are expensive, no idea really) How about Tap Phong on Spadina? Or would they not carry good quality ones?

  1. l
    LJS2 Feb 3, 2012 07:55 AM

    Cast iron pans are not expensive. Look for the Lodge brand. Caynes has them in varing sizes. There is a wealth of information on cast iron seasoning and maintenence on the cookware board. Lodge is, I believe, the only remaining North American Manufacturer.

    1. elvisahmed Feb 3, 2012 08:10 AM

      I got mine from Kitchenstuff plus when it was on a special and it came pre-seasoned. Cayne should have a lot of options as well.
      However if you still feel like seasoning it. Just do a deep fry batch using the new cast iron pan and voila you have just seasoned it. I recall paying 30$ for a good 12" sized pan.

      1. n
        Nyleve Feb 3, 2012 06:39 PM

        Sasmart in Kensington Market has good cast iron - Lodge, I'm pretty sure - at what is probably a decent price. The other place you could try if you're uptown is Caynes. They have everything and their prices are usually competitive.

        1. jayt90 Feb 3, 2012 06:47 PM

          Zellers has Lodge

          1. z
            ziggystardust Feb 3, 2012 06:56 PM

            Thanks to all of you for the information. The next question is, what advantage does cast iron have over a regular frying pan?

            3 Replies
            1. re: ziggystardust
              Chatty Cathy Feb 3, 2012 07:28 PM

              Depends on what you mean by a regular frying pan. Compared to my old regular stainless steel frying pan which cannot be placed over high heat without getting discoloured and potentially warped, my cast iron pan can go over direct high heat, including a gas burner. Same problem with my Teflon frying pan; high heat will damage the Teflon coating and apparently can release toxic fumes. Also I've been told that food cooked in a cast iron pan will pick up some iron which can be good or bad depending on your particular dietary needs. Two disadvantages for cast iron pans are the heavier weight and they can rust if left on a damp surface.

              1. re: ziggystardust
                elvisahmed Feb 3, 2012 08:14 PM

                Well depends what your intention for this pan is.
                Long life is a starting point (frying pan having a year or two in my case while my cast iron is still going strong after 8 years)
                I prefer to cook stuff requiring high heat such as steak or foie gras in it.
                Deep Frying is a no brainer
                My fajitas stay nice an warm due to residual heat
                Now would I pick it over a frying pan not really there are things that a frying pan is more suitable for like cooking eggs etc.

                1. re: ziggystardust
                  plasticanimal Jan 30, 2013 09:52 PM

                  Self defense!

                2. Pastryrocks Feb 3, 2012 08:49 PM

                  My last cast iron was purchased at the Downsview Flea Market, I don’t even remember its brand name.

                  They key to a ‘good cast iron’ pan is the maintained of the pan. I also have two other pans, one about 12 years old and one about 25 years old. Also, there is one down side to using a cast iron, is that you cannot use an acid in the pan such as tomatoes or lemon; it will leach out the iron and then flavour your dish.

                  One good way to begin seasoning is to fry chicken in the pan for its first use. Wash in warm soapy water, dry well and rub in olive oil. If kept well it will last for many many years.

                  1. g
                    g5spark Feb 4, 2012 07:04 AM

                    Last week canadian tire had kitchen aid ones for 19$ (10") and 29$ (12"). I picked one up awhile ago at that pirce and its great. Cast iron puts a nice crust on meats that non stick just cant. it can also go easily from stove top to oven broil (my non stick has a max of 400 degrees). Make sure you season after use (and it'll become non stick over time like a wok) and dont leave it soaking in water, as it'll start to corrode (says my wife)

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: g5spark
                      Herne Feb 4, 2012 07:17 AM

                      I have one that is pre WW11 and still as good as the day it was cast. Will stay that way because it isn't advisable to use them on a glass topped stove. So until I get a new stove, with burners, it will stay in a cupboard.

                      1. re: Herne
                        jayt90 Feb 4, 2012 07:22 AM

                        I have used a CI pan on a portable induction burner with good results, even for steak.

                        1. re: Herne
                          ctl98 Jan 5, 2013 07:40 PM

                          I use my Lodge cast iron pan on my glass-topped stove with no problems. I don't drag it and I make sure to place it gently to avoid scratching the stove top but so far, so good. Nothing else sears a steak like cast iron can.

                          1. re: ctl98
                            filtered Jan 29, 2013 08:12 PM

                            i use m CI skillet on glass top all the time. no scratching issues.

                            1. re: filtered
                              Herne Jan 29, 2013 09:17 PM

                              Actually I am concerned about dropping it a few inches and breaking the glass.

                              1. re: Herne
                                Googs Jan 30, 2013 08:54 AM

                                Under what circumstances would you drop a skillet? I wouldn't worry so much. I use mine on my glasstop. A little windex, a little no stick scrub pad, voila! Like new.

                                1. re: Googs
                                  Herne Jan 31, 2013 06:14 PM

                                  Under the usual circumstances I've dropped things all my life--they slip.

                                  1. re: Herne
                                    Googs Feb 1, 2013 08:10 AM

                                    Perhaps you should spend some time in the store checking the feel of the handle in your hands and the balance of the pan much like you would a knife before purchase. Just a (hopefully helpful) thought.

                      2. w
                        wano Feb 11, 2012 03:50 PM

                        Love cast iron. Definitely use it for high heat sutff like: steak, pork chops, veal , searing, fish, scallops, deep frying, but also - breakfast food like sausages, pancakes, french toast.

                        Also use it for pot stickers, grilled cheese, stir fries. Grilled veggies like eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms.

                        1. g
                          Gary627 Feb 11, 2012 04:09 PM

                          Excellent choice for cooking---cast iron is the original non-stick pan. I own 2 Lodge fry pans and a Lodge grill pan, plus a Lodge charcol grill my wife bought for me more than 15 years ago.. I still want to purchase one of their Dutch Ovens.

                          I'm delighted with Lodge products. If you can't find a local retailer, you can purchase directly from Lodge or at least have fun making your list.

                          Lodge web site http://www.lodgemfg.com/


                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Gary627
                            deabot Jan 5, 2013 03:55 PM

                            Has anybody seen any of the Lodge Dutch Oven's in the GTA? Looking to purchase one. Thanks!

                            1. re: deabot
                              stargazercd Jan 5, 2013 04:29 PM

                              Check with the Corningware Corelle Revere Store. I bought mine there. Address: 160 Rimrock Road, North York
                              (416) 633-5636

                              1. re: deabot
                                TorontoJo Jan 5, 2013 05:10 PM

                                Ashton Green carries a few version:


                                Mail order or pick up at their Scarborough warehouse.

                                1. re: deabot
                                  ylsf Jan 5, 2013 07:54 PM

                                  Pretty sure the Bass Pro outlet up in Vaughn carries a wide selection of the Lodge products including the Dutch Ovens. Been a while since I have been up there so you might want to double check. They are listed on their website (various sizes) but it may be the USA site:


                                  1. re: deabot
                                    Googs Jan 6, 2013 08:19 AM

                                    Kitchen Stuff Plus has the glass top version. I'd be more inclined to go with the cast iron lid.

                                    1. re: Googs
                                      deabot Jan 27, 2013 08:29 PM

                                      Thanks to all for their suggestions! I will have to follow up on the kitchen stuff plus and ashton green recs! Thought I could get by with a slow cooker but it isn't quite the same.

                                2. n
                                  neighborguy Jan 6, 2013 09:44 AM

                                  I bought a 12" pan at Loblaws Superstore for $10. Very basic but that's all you need. When I remember I season it after every clean-up and I'm not sure if it's the same case with the Lodge pre-seasoned.

                                  If I were to do it again, I would go with the same or the Lodge since it's made in North America. Cast iron is pretty much the same everywhere so when you pay $30-50 for KitchenAid it's just for their brand name (which seems to be on everything so that tells you something.)

                                  I currently have my eyes on a Lodge grill pan. The heat and grid pattern is perfect for steaks and chops.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: neighborguy
                                    Googs Jan 6, 2013 09:53 AM

                                    The grill pan is perfect for starting steaks and chops, but not finishing. Even with rotating once a side and flipping once, you can't get the internal temp high enough without over charring the meat. You have to finish in the oven. Still totally worth having.

                                    1. re: Googs
                                      nevrenuf Jan 30, 2013 07:59 AM

                                      i got mine at bass pro mills...the "outdoor" branded ones are cheap...mine was about $15...i love it...probably my favourite piece of cookware...

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